First let's understand what food cravings really come from. Even the best way to lose weight will be of no help over time if food cravings aren't understood and translated into action.
Food cravings that run our lives and cause weight gain, overeating and lack of weight loss – what are they really about?
What can cause a food craving?
1. Craving can be a physiological need for a specific food because the body's wisdom is guiding you to eat foods to fix a nutrient deficiency. This comes from the belly hunger not mouth hunger. The body does not have a physiological need for junk food or highly processed food, so don't go there.
2. Craving comes from the belief that any food is "special" or "forbidden". You will crave those until you legalize them in your mind.
After 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 rebel at times and eat anything you want, to overeat or essentially go on a long binge.
3. The feeling of deprivation from dieting can drive cravings, this is often called "Jonesing" like an addict that craves what they are addicted to.
4. Some artificially altered foods like sugar and flour can become addictive due to the dopamine that is released when consuming these foods.
5. 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 or packaged foods) or high intake of starches and sugar. These types of cravings often accompany mood disorders as well.
6. Cravings can come from low blood sugar as well.
7. Cravings can be experienced when there is one of the Other Hungers showing up in you. Essentially a need that is not getting met which leaves an uneasy feeling in the belly and the ego mind turns this feeling into a craving.
Cravings that have nothing to do with belly hunger BUT can be very simple needs like thirst or fatigue (see the Other Hungers) AND they can be very sophisticated needs like some in the Universals Needs List. I made a handy PDF page about the Other Hungers to use as a reminder to check with yourself, send me your e-mail and I will send it to you.
Even Oprah Winfrey in a 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, that is what drove the problem 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 forbidden herself to eat.
That is a classic example of why dieting is not the best way to lose weight, if your want to keep it off.
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.
She also had Other Hungers and Universal Needs that were pushing from within for her to respond to and take care of herself better, we all can have these. That is probably how her Soul Series emerged because she was awakening to her other needs and other hungers.
Oprah stated “I knew I longed for more balance” (she was extremely overworked).
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" and certainly "trigger foods".
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.
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.
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.
That is why babies never over eat and we are hard wired the same way even after years of dieting and deprivation.
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. Right on!