At a time when there is SO much temptation, how do you get your brain to stop driving you crazy with cravings? Mindful eating for cravings sounds hokey, but its is super practical and backed by science. HOW we enjoy treats tells our brain whether we are satisfied or not. You can implement this one right away, and the bonus is that the more you practice it the softer cravings will likely get.
Why does HOW I eat treats matter?
Our brain gets stimuli from every angle. Feeds come in from our eyes, ears, nose, skin and body and this is amplified when we are combining activities like scrolling our phone and watching tv, while also trying to cook dinner (anyone else?). A pure “taste” craving (ie smell freshly baked cookie, covet freshly baked gingerbread cookie) is one that is checked as completed by your brain when it has had a chance to soak in the experience. Eating it quickly (hiding or feeling guilty), or when completely distracted means you got only a fraction of the boost your brain was looking for.
How to get your brain to turn the craving off:
- Start with something you can handle. This is not the time to test out a food that is triggering for you (where you feel like you lose all control or it calls you from the cupboard constantly). We’ll get there, but start with something delicious but not so challenging.
- Minimize distractions. You don’t need to be in a dark, silent room but sit at the table, put the phone down or pause the tv until you’re done. Remember all those feeds your brain is receiving? We’re trying to focus them on the food so we get the full boost of happy hormones and enjoyment.
- Savour it! How does it taste? What is the texture like? Does it change as you eat? What are you reminded of? Tune in to the experience so your brain really lights up the reward centres.
- Move on. Once you’re done, intentionally move on to another activity or place so your brain can get used to intentional enjoyment instead of mindless grazing.
More detail and strategy in the video below – I’d love to hear your thoughts after giving it a try!
Extra Resources To Lower Cravings:
- All or nothing with food and diets? Here’s why it’s hurting you and how to fix it
- 5 Things Making Cravings and Hunger Worse and how to fix them
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