Getting Rid Of Your Food Cravings Makes A Huge Difference To Being Successful With Weight Challenges. When you crave food looks at how wonky eating gets embedded that indicated how food isn’t always the cause behind weight gain.
Changing the taste buds starts by changing how we react to certain foods and it’s important to know why you crave food, what lies behind weight gain, i.e you might have laboured under the illusion that food choices are what keep you overweight when overeating tends to be a symptom rather than the cause.
It’s true that changing how you eat will help you find your desired body shape, but that’s because normalising your eating will bring you back into a balanced weight and the body you’ve wanted for however how long it’s been? But using approaches that turn out to be this weeks fad or last weeks flavour, and blame you, do not help. Although they’re a distraction they can certainly work against you in the long-run.
Do you ever find you’re saying things like this to yourself:
- I’m hopeless at dieting
- I can’t lose weight
- They work for other people but not for me
If you have been saying any of these, and similar, they only serve as a put-down which is not helpful
But yes diets work for some people, and according to the 2007 study from the UCLA it’s approximately 22-25% of us. It’s also likely that what created the weight-gain was a phase of disruption, and was likely caught early, rather than someone with a well established pattern. And the other element is in making long-term lifestyle changes.
A friend of mine was so keen to shed some pounds in order to attend her daughter’s wedding looking her best, and she had dogged determination. But the biggest difference came about by how good she felt in her slimmer self and she maintained by breaking her overeating food associations.
It doesn’t always last especially when for example a person has a future emotional trigger where they may fall off the wagon going back into those old familiar patterns.
It’s dependent on how much the pattern was established subconsciously, how much resistance is at play to maintain the new lifestyle and other variables. Weight gain becomes more complex as we age especially when hormonal issues kick in.
Listen to what you’re telling yourself
You may or may not be aware but your mind is always listening, whatever you say to yourself about your weight, eating and body image, is what your mind and outer experience delivers time and again. You’ve probably heard this saying before:
You get more of what you focus on!
Which translates as, if you keep telling yourself how hopeless you are when it comes to losing weight, then guess what you’ll be hopeless, you may even put on more over time.
I know this one from my own experience! And not finding out anything other than the diet industry diktats until I had reached menopause didn’t help either.
If you crave food you might find that your cravings move around, from one food to another (even the naturally sourced variety) and this happens for a number of reasons:
- Hormones: At certain times of the month or in certain phases of your life
- New habits: Which form more easily because food is the place you turn to for comfort
- Associations: Foods you ate that re-visit a moment in time you shared with others, even TV night
- Cultural links: As part of an event or celebration
- Other people’s expectations: What is accepted as the norm within your family or friend circles
- Men and women: Being treated differently growing up
If we look at the last point, as a woman did you grow up being treated differently to your male siblings, and as a man did you have allowances made that your sisters didn’t?
I know that happened in my family home, and I was very resentful in my teens, where decades later I learned that my brother’s perception was rather different to the one I took away, when I felt he was favoured.
Which only goes to demonstrate that a shared experience doesn’t necessarily mean the same experience of itself as far as the participants are concerned.
As a parent
I’m not a parent, I have the experience of being a child who lost a parent quite early (at 13 my father passed away following a chronic illness) which brings about a different set of challenges. That point in my life brought about substantial change in every which way.
But as a parent have you unknowingly inherited any unwanted methods of parenting from your parents, do you sometimes feel surprised when you hear yourself saying the exact words, using the exact tone that was used to you, while momentarily remembering how uncomfortable those words felt?
Because we often continue the patterns that we were raised by, and as parenting doesn’t come with a manual, there are as many parenting styles as there are parents.
Just because it was said to us and we’re now repeating it, doesn’t make it right or wrong!
But when a moment like that arises it’s a good idea to take stock, become aware of it and look at whether it’s a useful pattern to continue.
Have you become an alien to your kids?
It’s something you can look at. For example if your children struggle in an area of their life, can you assist them in finding their own solutions, rather than telling them to do x, y, and z?
This can be a huge challenge for a parent, and teaching your kids to take responsibility from the outset by using a hands-off supportive approach is time consuming but it pays off massively later.
The downside is that the later you start the harder it can be, and most parenting doesn’t introduce the idea of taking ownership through cause-and-action until the kids are adolescent, by which time their hormones are raging and the last thing they need is an unrecognisable system at home.
Raising children can be likened to making a Christmas cake (please excuse the frippery) but you toil and toil, adding all the required ingredients, at every turn, at all the various, yet rigid (systems imposed from the broader society) stages, and finally the proof of the pudding is whatever turns out of the tin on the big day.
What is your family history?
If you take a moment to consider your own history there are probably examples you can think of where your parents asked something of you they would not have asked of your opposite-sex siblings? Are you continuing that same pattern, because this keeps unwanted behaviours bound in! Have you gone the opposite way just because you rebelled?
This might be a triggering topic for you, something that has you running to food for cover, as the cravings rear their sexist heads. We’re not beating anyone up here, no matter how much angry or passive aggressive your behaviour has become for you with others or you with yourself.
It is what it is, and it’s better out than in, because where family patterns have resulted in unhelpful patterns with food, types of relationships and behaviours, it’s wise to look closer to home for the insights.
No-one wittingly set out to relay these patterns onto you, everyone in your life was doing the best they could with what they knew at the time.
So the next time you crave food, take a moment to think about it if you can stop yourself in time, and see if you can track it back to where or when it started.
Step up to the plate
If you’re ready to ditch the emotional roller-coaster my approaches are guaranteed to bring about a very noticeable difference? Click through on the button below to explore having what you want instead.