How can you learn to “think thin” and fight food cravings?
If you’re like most people, the foods you crave contain a sweetener like sugar or corn syrup, or they’re made from wheat flour or process oils. These unnatural foods are highly addictive, so you’re not alone. Millions of people in the United States and elsewhere struggle to give up unhealthy, fattening foods, but find their cravings overpower their best intentions.
Many people have discovered that it is possible to fight food cravings by following these three steps (which I’ll explain in much more detail in future posts).
1. Learn the True Cause of Food Cravings
Why do you instinctively crave sugar and fat so much, and how are your instincts short-circuiting your eating decisions? Once you understand this process is perfectly natural, you’ll then be able to stop being angry with yourself for being unable to turn down that cookie or that bag of chips. Knowledge will turn your self-anger into understanding and self-compassion – this is the first step towards letting go of the struggle and taking control of your eating choices.
Once you see how your instinctual mind interacts with your conscious mind, you’ll realize that this is the normal way for a brain to work – there’s really nothing wrong with the way you think now. It just doesn’t work so well in the 21st century, because we’re surrounded by processed foods that are manufactured specifically to tap into our instinctual cravings for high-calorie food.
Our bodies were designed, whether by evolution or by the Word of God, to live in a world that did not contain white flour, white sugar, refined oils and fats, or grain-fed cattle. Our appetites, which are part of our survival system, are focused on getting enough of the rare fruits and wild game that existed a million years ago. Back then, things that tasted sweet were good for us, because ripe fruit is sweet – and full of the nutrients our bodies need. Sugar tastes good because it’s super–sweet “super-fruit”. Our instinctive mind thinks sugar is good for us, but it isn’t.
Instead, sugar brings us obesity, diabetes, immune system problems, and other health issues. And it’s physically addictive. This is something our instinctive mind cannot understand (but food processors and manufacturers understand it very well).
2. Meditation Can Help You Fight Food Cravings
To get more in tune with your real dietary needs, you’ll need to do some fine-tuning so that you will make fully conscious eating choices. That means learning to listen to what your body really wants, and then choose to eat the food that makes you healthy instead of fat. But how do you really listen to your true needs when your cravings are so powerful?
In this blog I’ll teach you a very simple mental exercise called “walking meditation” that can be used during your commute to work – or whenever you have a few minutes to yourself. This easy and enjoyable skill will help you feel more focused and aware of the times when your instinctual mind tries to make eating decisions for you. Once you’re aware of the thoughts that your instinctual mind creates to convince you to maintain your unhealthy food addictions, you’ll be able to look at those thoughts and let them go – without a struggle or internal argument – and make the right choice, the conscious choice, instead.
You’ll be amazed at how easy this is to do, once you’ve practiced walking meditation for a very short time.
Then you’ll have the chance to look at things in your life that make it more difficult to maintain this state of awareness – and the biggest obstacle for most people is stress. Ask anyone who is trying to kick an addiction, and they’ll tell you that stress is one of the biggest reasons for failure.
3. Reduce Your Stress so You Can Stay on Track:
To keep stress from sabotaging your weight loss plan, I’ll show you how you can use the simple meditation skills to reduce that stress level.
Once you start using the meditation techniques to become aware of food choices and reduce your stress, you’ll be able to see food in a whole new way. Once you’re really able to pay attention to your body instead of your cravings, you’ll be amazed at how good a healthy diet can make you feel.
Because of your new awareness, you will understand how important it is to create a supportive environment at home and find people and activities that give you the extra support you need.
But remember — you need to use this meditation technique along with a diet made up of traditional foods, to replace the unhealthy processed foods that make so many of us so sick and fat. Instead of just eliminating the sugar, white flour and processed oils from your diet (which feels like punishment), you must replace these things with good-tasting, comforting real food. You won’t be tempted to overeat if you keep your home stocked only with the types of foods that your body really needs.
In a nutshell – the way to fight food cravings is to:
- Learn why our bodies naturally crave the wrong foods;
- Learn how to use a simple meditation technique to become aware of the times when our instincts are making bad food choices – and then use that awareness to make better choices for our health; and
- Learn how to use the same meditation techniques to reduce the level of stress hormones, which do so much to sabotage any healthy eating plan.
- And then fill your fridge and cupboards with healthy, life-sustaining real food.