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How To Resist Food Urges!
Does this sound like you: You can't stop thinking about a certain food (or drink), you search it out until you find it, and then you eat or drink it. You might try to stop eating or drinking the food but most often find that you can't. In fact, you can't stop until it's all gone! This is often called a craving. Cravings are strong FOOD URGES for a particular food (or drink) that YOU CAN'T RESIST.
Below are key behaviors that people that crave food experience. Answer the following questions to help determine if your food problem is a craving:
If you answered "Yes" or "Sometimes" to most or all of the above questions, you may be experiencing food cravings.
CRAVINGS You can crave just about any type of food. Salty and sugary foods as well as sweet drinks are most common. High calorie, fatty, and junk foods like donuts, chips, pop, cookies, ice cream and pizza are often the most problem to resist. You can't stop thinking about the food until you "cave" to the urge and eat the food. Sometimes, you might eat or drink until the food or drink is all gone. YIKES!
WHY DO I "CAVE" TO CRAVINGS? Sometimes people cave to food urges and eat the food they crave to comfort themselves or to avoid feeling certain emotions such as boredom, anxiety, sadness, or to relieve stress. They find it difficult to stop eating the particular food much like a drug addict finds giving up drugs difficult. Similarly, you can feel "addicted" to the food you crave. What's going on?
Here's a little science: Our brain has an emotional and a thinking area. The EMOTIONAL brain can try to trick us into eating something that tastes really good in order to soothe our sadness, boredom, loneliness, stress, or depression even though we aren't really even hungry. It's the emotional brain that tricks us and urges us to "cave" or give into eating the particular food we are craving.
Our THINKING brain is more rationale and knows pretty much what food our body needs for energy and nourishment. Our thinking brain knows that we don’t need the food we are craving at the moment. It says, "No emotional brain! No! I am not going to let you trick me!!" I do not need that food because I am not hungry. GO AWAY!!"
The Problem: The thinking brain and the emotional brain can sometimes be in a tug of war!Good News! WE CAN LEARN TO CONTROL OUR EMOTIONAL BRAIN. It just takes practice to become aware of what is going on. How about giving it a try!
HOW TO CURB AN URGE FOR A CRAVINGThere are several things you can do to stop an urge for a food craving. It helps to first get in touch with your emotions. Pause...and acknowledge that you are experiencing a craving. Then, try some of these tips to avoid caving to the urges to eat:
1. URGE SURFINGUrge surfing is visualizing a bothersome urge to eat and letting it roll over you like a WAVE.
Pause...feel...and be aware of your urge. RELAX, and "SURF" your urge, but without acting on it. Take a RISK that you may be hungry or miss the comfort of the food, but that it will pass shortly and you'll be OKAY.
Breath in deeply...hold in for a couple seconds..., then, let your breath out. Most likely, the urge to eat has passed. The more you use this technique, the more it will work for you. Now, try distracting yourself with other things to keep the urge at bay. Think of this as a NEW WAY to combat food urges. You can do it!!
2. SQUEEZE YOUR HANDS TOGETHER TIGHT
Squeeze your hands together tight for 30 seconds and then release. Repeat squeezing your hands together 3-5 times. Your craving urge will pass the more you can distract yourself.
3. FOUL SMELLS
Smelling foul smells can help cancel out cravings. Things like smelly old socks and garbage can distract you from your urge. Yuck! You can also make a foul smell. Here's an example: Cut up some raw chicken and put it in a covered container. Let it sit out on the counter for a day or two. Then, pour off the chicken juice and put that in a small jar for several days. It will start to stink! Then, whenever you have an eating urge that you want to stop, pull out the jar and take a whiff. Yuck again! The eating urge should disappear. Smelling sour milk also works.
4. FOUL TASTES
Tasting foul tastes, while you look at a photo of your problem food or eating the foul tasting food, can help you resist a craving urge. Taking a bite of a spicy or hot tasting food like fiery hot sauce and hot chili peppers can also work.
You can easily make foul tastes, such as spoiled milk or soapy water. Just put a little of the foul tasting material in a little container. While you are eating or thinking of the craved or problem food, take a small piece of the foul tasting food or drink and sip or eat some of it. You will begin to associate the craved food with the foul tasting food or drink and your desire for the craved food will start to go away. What you are doing is actually retraining your brain. WAY TO GO!
5. GROSS PICTURE
Looking at a photo of a gross thing, while you look at a photo of your craved problem food or while you are eating the craved food, can help you resist your craving urge for the food. Take a photo or photos of several gross things. You can also find lots of gross pictures on the Internet. When you have a craving urge, take a look at the gross pictures. They should help to stop your urges to eat the craved or problem food.
6. EXTREME OBESITY PICTURES
Viewing pictures of extremely obese people while you look at your craved or problem food or while eating that food can help you resist your craving urge. You can find several extreme obesity pictures on the Internet. When you have a craving, take a look at the gross pictures. They should help to stop you from wanting to eat the craved or problem food.
7. GROSS VIDEOS
Viewing a gross video while you look at your craved or problem food or while eating that food can help you resist your cravings. You can find several gross videos on the Internet. When you have a craving urge, take a look at the gross video. The video should help to stop you from wanting to eat the craved or problem food.width: 320, height: 240 /images/app/video_test/cellular/vid_worms.jpg /images/app/video/worms/worms.jpg
8. PRACTICE TALKING TO YOUR BRAIN
Talk to your brain and reason with your emotional brain when you have a craving urge for a certain food. Tell yourself, "No emotional brain! No! I am not going to let you trick me!!" I do not need that food because I am not hungry. GO AWAY!!"
Here are more ways to Curve Your Craving Urges by getting in touch with your emotions.
9. LEARN TO SUBSTITUTE OTHER ACTIVITIES FOR EATING
THINK BEFORE YOU EAT! Are you really hungry? If not, DON'T EAT. THINK DISTRACT as in distracting activities. Make a list of distracting activities you like to do and refer to the list when you get a craving. Learn to use distractions instead of food to cope with negative emotions. When you have an urge to eat when you aren't really hungry, substitute an activity on your list instead of eating. Usually, if you can resist for a few minutes, the craving will go away. TRY IT, YOU CAN DO IT.
10. GET JUNK FOOD OUT OF YOUR HOUSE! Out of site! Out of mind! Make your house problem food safe to help conquer craving urges. Getting the particular food or drink that you crave out of site will help a lot.
11. SURROUND YOURSELF WITH SUPPORTIVE PEOPLE. When the urge to eat strikes, strike back. Talking with friends instead of caving to the urge is a much better plan.
Once you understand why you are reaching for food, you can learn to do something about it. You can overcome your craving urges. It just takes practice! YOU CAN DO IT!
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