Remember CRAVINGS are defined 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).
Causes of Cravings:
1. Remember Craving comes from the belief that any food is "special" or "forbidden". You will crave those foods until you legalize them in your mind. See the PDF Legalizing is Normalizing
That is why I so often advise you to say to yourself " I will get to eat that food 100,000 times in my lifetime" and ask "am I really hungry for that in my belly now, or do I need something else?"
2. The feeling of deprivation from dieting can drive cravings, this is often called "Jonesing" like an addict that craves what they are addicted to. That is why stopping the diet thinking is the treatment and is critical. No good or bad foods anymore, in your mind anyway.
3. Some artificially altered foods like sugar and flour can become addictive due to the dopamine that is released when consuming these foods. Amino acid therapy can help with treating this as the foods are removed and prevent the craving and treat the effect those foods had on your body. I'll write more detail about this later, for now read the book The Diet Cure by Julia Ross in the Resources for Change on this website.
4.Cravings can come from amino acid deficiencies like L-tryptophan, GABA, DL- Phenylalanine or L-Tyrosine. These deficiencies come from a depleted diet (not balanced or high in junk food and packaged foods) or high intake of starches (flour) and sugar. These types of cravings often accompany mood disorders as well and both can be treated with the proper amino acid therapy. I'll write more detail about this later, for now read the book The Diet Cure by Julia Ross in the Resources for Change on this website.
5. Cravings can come from low blood sugar as well and this can be treated with better eating and the use of the amino acids L-Glutamine powder .
6.Cravings can be experienced when there is one of the Other Hungers showing up in you. Essentially a need that is not getting met leaves an uneasy feeling in the belly and the ego mind turns this feeling into a craving. This must be acknowledged and translated back into what the real need is. Then you can work on meeting that need and the craving will stop if all the other issues above are taken care of as well.
7.Are you thinking about food all the time? Do certain foods in your freezer or cabinets seem to "call your name and say "hey I am fun, come and eat me".
These are foods that "beckon" you, and most likely they are processed foods or "special foods". Make them legal and normal in your mind and they won't have the same power.
Remind yourself that the truth is you can get these foods anytime you want them, and you have had them many times, so remind yourself of this and ask if your belly is even hungry for them (the mouth (ego) will always say yes, but the belly can't lie).
In the beginning sometimes these "trigger" foods are best to be kept out of the house until you are stronger in a new belief system later. Also in some cases they never belong in your house because they are garbage foods and it would be better to find a recipe that is better that is similar to those foods.
8. 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 we see this in babies and in pregnant women that don't have food issues. Eating a wide Variety of foods is the solution with this, if you eat the same foods over and over you can become nutritionally deficient and it will be difficult in Making a Perfect Match if you haven't been exposed to a wide variety of foods.
9. Cravings can come from not making the perfect match with the foods you choose to eat. You will be left with an unsatisfied feeling evenif you are full, so do your best to make a Perfect Match as much as possible or make the food as close as you can to what you are craving if it is belly hunger.
10.Cravings can come from thirst or fatigue or other hungers that have nothing to do with belly hunger but can be very simple needs like AND they can be very sophisticated needs like some in the Universals Needs List.
Learning about your "Cravings" is crucial for you to begin to interrupt overeating and weight gain by translating your cravings back to what they originate from, without feeling deprived.
This is critical for allowing sustained weight loss to occur and to feel liberty around all the foods of the world.
It is also the next step after learning about why you eat without hunger and after you have been practicing Mindful Eating or Conscious Eating explained on this site.
You will also be practicing Legalizing & Normalizing Foods
in your thinking before eating, because without this practice you will
be driven by craving food that is forbidden or "special". These are
usually the foods you deprived yourself of when dieting, and after that
you crave them like crazy.
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 it can feel scary.
The INNER BELLY WISDOM will NEVER guide you to overeat or eat without hunger. So the important piece to practice for the best way to lose weight practice with every eating experience staying connected with that wisdom and guidance.
your belly often, before, during and after the eating time, to stay
connected to the information the belly is giving you. I really do
believe this is a connection to our higher self, no wonder people over
time have said "trust your gut".
You can do this 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".
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 (this helps develops a better sense of self.
This is a new project to work on as a way of showing your ego mind you can take care of yourself.
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 don't yet understand. You are being signaled from your inner wisdom to address the real issue, there are a lot of things to learn in those moments.
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.
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.
I hate to feel full now and it guides my eating behavior and when I stop eating.
This inner belly wisdom guides my life with every eating experience now. I hate to feel too full in my belly (similar to abhorring or loathing the feeling).
The food doesn’t feel good in my belly if I am not hungry to begin with.
How could I make a perfect match with my belly hunger to the food I choose to eat if I have no hunger? If I don't have hunger to begin with the mouth will be happy to eat that food 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 in the world, you will feel calmer
eventually. And that does not mean you have to go on a big binge, that
won't feel good in the belly.
And if you practice believing that you will get to eat that food 100,000 times in your lifetime when you are hungry for them (in the belly) it takes the power away from the food you are thinking about.
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).
That is why babies never over eat and we are hard wired the same way even after years of dieting and deprivation.
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.
You will never known if your belly wants certain foods if you have never been exposed to them.
Getting variety is very important for enjoyment and balanced nutrition, the body knows what it needs, but you have to try new foods and experiment a lot, and forever.
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 Mindful 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 you ate past fullness, stay fascinated, ask yourself what is going on inside you.
Because you are checking in with the belly wisdom often by touching the belly and getting a reading of your level of hunger and fullness you will catch this more often and be able to interrupt unnecessary eating.
STAY FASCINATED-ask the 5 Investigative Questions
You are like a private investigator gathering the details of a "crime scene" where you got ricked into eating when you weren't hungry. So you can solve the mystery of what just took place. Don't miss the clues!
The next step is to learn about options for eating when we realize we want the food to be our reward. Often we eat without hunger when we are eating foods for a reward so you want to "Get Rewards" in a better way, we all need rewards from time to time.