Food cravings that run our lives and cause weight gain, overeating and lack of weight loss – what are they really about?
This section of the web site about "Cravings" is crucial for you to begin to interrupt overeating and weight gain by translating your cravings without feeling deprived. This is critical for allowing sustained weight loss to occur. It is also the next step after learning about Eating Without Hunger and you have been practicing Responsive Eating and Conscious Eating but especially important after you have been practicing Legalizing & Normalizing Foods in your thinking and in your eating.
When the doors are open wide to all the foods of the world after someone has had years of deprivation through the Yo-Yo-Diet Syndrome, and years of training by the culture, medical doctors,friends and family to believe that some foods are bad and should be forbidden…the tendency can be to eat anything you want, to overeat or essentially go on a long binge.
The INNER BELLY WISDOM will NEVER guide you to overeat or eat without hunger, so the important piece to practice with every eating experience is to stay connected with that wisdom and guidance, by Touching the belly often, imagining the food in your belly and reminding yourself that you will get that food 100,000 times in your lifetime and then asking “Am I hungry in my belly? Will that food be a perfect match for my belly right now OR could this be another type of craving” that I need to learn how to take care of (see The Eating Flow Chart, The Other Hungers, Universal Needs, or Rewards - the MORE we long for).
Cravings that have nothing to do with belly hunger BUT feel just like simple food hunger can be very simple needs like thirst or fatigue (see the Other Hungers) AND they can be very sophisticated like some in the Universals Needs List. Look at the Sense of Self (SOS)Chart and see if you can come up with at least four things you do in each of the six categories that fill you up inside. If not here is a new project to work on as a way of showing your ego mind you can take care of yourself.
Even Oprah Winfrey in her recent statement in a video taped interview in January 2009, about her weight gain in the last few years said “I was so frustrated I started eating whatever I wanted - and that’s never good.””. Of course she has been on restrictive diet after restrictive diet, and when she was diagnosed with hypothyroidism, she got very depressed and “gave up”. Which means she broke out of her deprivation from dieting, and started eating everything she had forbid herself to eat. Here is a video clip of the interview (it is only 2 minutes).
The PROBLEM is that Oprah had been restricting herself, labeling food as good or bad and feeling very deprived regarding food and other parts of her life.
If Oprah had used her inner belly wisdom instead of following her mind/mouth hunger by eating without hunger or without making the perfect match, she would have discovered she had many beliefs that give food way too much power, as well as many of the Other Hungers and Universal Needs that were pushing from within for her to respond to and take care of herself better.
I feel sorry for Oprah regarding this issue that is so painful for her. I wish she could find this web site and information and really get the help she needs, of course I would be more than happy to help her ;).
Oprah stated “I knew I longed for more balance” (she was extremely over worked) yet I don’t think she gets the depth of what her “longing for balance” could mean and how it could change from day to day, or how to be guided by her inner belly wisdom while staying curious about her Universal Needs that need to be addressed.
Food Cravings can be about food your body is actually needing to meet its nutritional needs OR it can be about many other needs, beliefs, or feelings that all feel just like a food craving or "hunger".
It may seem like you are merely craving a certain food BUT if your belly is not hungry it is often something very sophisticated or even complicated that you are being signaled from your inner wisdom to address. There are a lot of things to learn in those moments.
Food Cravings Can Be Signals From Your Inner Belly Wisdom as well, guiding you to eat what your body is needing in the way of Nutrition or Variety. Although a critical factor in this piece of the puzzle is that you must be constantly checking in with your belly guidance system AND exposing yourself to new foods and different types of preparations. I would have never known my belly wanted certain foods if I had never been exposed to them. Variety is very important for enjoyment and balanced nutrition, the body knows what it needs, but you have to experiment a lot, and forever!
Use the tools provided in this web site to help you unravel what is really going on, they are the missing links for sustained weight loss!
Here is a reminder of the pieces to be using daily to prevent overeating and weight gain which will allow weight loss to occur:
1. Practice Legalizing & Normalizing foods in your mind and eating experiences (always staying tuned into your belly sensations and inner wisdom guiding you)
2. Interrupt The Lies We Believe about food, eating and weight, staying FASCINATED with what you think or believe, you will learn more about the thoughts that are driving your desire to eat without hunger.
3. Practicing Responsive Eating and Conscious Eating using the Eating Flow Chart, and the Food Logs.
4. If your ever notice you want to eat without hunger in the belly, or that your ate past fullness (because you are checking in with the belly wisdom often by touching the belly and getting a reading of what is going on)- STAY FASCINATED and ask the 5 Investigative Questions—You are like a private investigator gathering the details of the crime scene so you can solve the mystery of what just took place. Don't miss the clues!
Cravings & Desire - defined
The combined information of several dictionaries defines CRAVINGS as…...to long for, to beg inwardly, lust, desire, want, wish, covet, fancy, yearn or hunger for, to require, need, an extreme desire, a deep and compelling wish for something arriving from a feeling (that comes from a belief that the object will fill a void or a place of lacking felt inside).
DESIRE is defined as a sensual feeling (so you feel it inside it is not just a thought although it comes from what you are believing in the moment); a strong impulse to have, be or do something; a yearning, hankering, ache or thirst, feelings that impel a person to the attainment or possession of something
LUST is defined as an intense longing for a possession or enjoyment, appetite, hunger for something.
We only crave food when the belly is not hungry because the food has a lot of power when we label it as forbidden, and we have a belief, feeling or need that is not getting met or addressed (you are learning to translate these from your "investigative work" done after eating without hunger by using the The 5 Investigative Questions).
Notice the antonyms of the words above are to relinquish , renounce, abhor, or loathe.
You can’t in truth abhor, renounce or loathe the foods you crave because obviously you really do like them (you can’t trick yourself either). BUT you CAN begin to loathe and abhor the feeling you get in the belly if you eat without hunger or beyond fullness. That is why babies never over eat and we are hard wired the same way even after years of dieting and deprivation.
This inner belly wisdom guides my life with every eating experience now. I hate to feel too full in my belly (similar to abhoring or loathing the feeling). The food doesn’t feel good in my belly if I am not hungry to begin with. How can I make a perfect match with my belly hunger to the food I choose to eat, if I don't have hunger to begin with? The mouth will be happy but my belly will tell me differently.
It is as if the belly is saying "What the heck are you doing, I didn't ask for that, hey pay attention, what is going on out there in your mind?"
If you begin to believe that all foods are legal(by practicing Legalizing) and there are no forbidden foods and you believe that you will get to eat that food 100,000 times in your lifetime when you are hungry for them in the belly - you will be free to relinquish and renounce the craving that seems like it is about food, especially if you begin to practice meeting the real needs that lie underneath the craving of food without belly hunger.
Hunger is defined as "an uneasy feeling in the gut". Tell me...what else in life creates "an uneasy feeling in the gut"? This list is endless, ever changing and unique to each person.
As you begin to get better at distinguishing what the uneasy feeling is and getting to the heart of it, especially if you have legalized all foods, you will calm down, stop eating without hunger and lose weight easily and effortlessly. Plus the insanity about food, eating and weight will stop. Yahoo!