12 Keys to a Healthy Weight
– Face Up to Your Cravings and Manage Your Weight

Welcome back to the 12 Keys to a Healthy Weight. Last week we created a regular routine of enjoyable physical activities. Today we’ll look at one of the most powerful barriers that may come between you and your healthy weight – food cravings.

Key #7: Face up to your food cravings and create strategies to address them

Food cravings give us all sorts of information about ourselves – how our day is going, what’s going on in our lives at this very moment, what’s happening in our relationships.

At White Picket Fence Counseling Center, we help our clients understand and use this important information, as well as helping them cope with the cravings themselves.

We remind people that you do not have to give in to a craving. In recovery, you can learn to tolerate the temporary discomfort of a craving and resist. Every time you do this, your sense of self-control will increase and strengthen, and you’ll be able to draw on that the next time a craving appears.

Getting through a craving is like riding a wave – it has a beginning, a crest, and then it will subside.

“[Cravings] will ALWAYS go away, even if I never eat a bite of food.” – Debbie Busis, LSW, who runs a weight loss group with Dr. Judith Beck, based on The Beck Diet Solution.

There are more helpful insights in Debbie’s blog post at:
http://beckdietsolution.wordpress.com/2012/03/08/a-peek-inside-a-diet-session-cravings/

To be proactive about handling your cravings, make a list of common situations and places where you notice cravings. Then come up with healthy choices and alternatives you can choose from a list when you may not feel like you can trust your own ideas in the moment.

For example, if you often crave a particular food when you go to a restaurant, note some of the other things on the menu that would be healthier for you. Avoid fast food restaurants as much as you can, where the less healthy choices are marketed more aggressively and it can be difficult to resist.

Here are some questions for journaling, therapy and reflection as you examine the barrier of food cravings:

When have I experienced a food craving going away, even if I didn’t give in?
What have I convinced myself might happen if I don’t give in to a food craving?
What are the types of food I usually crave most often, and when?

Next week, we’ll look at why planning is key to your success in achieving a healthy weight.

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