Wednesday, August 7, 2013

How to Handle Cravings - pt. 1

Do you think about food all the time? Do you spend an abnormal amount of time battling cravings? Or does giving in to a craving seem like an forgone conclusion?

I began obsessing about food when I was a kid. Mostly, I fretted about the food I wasn't allowed to eat. I fretted about the food I had to eat. I remember how my friend Mandy would eat her smarties one at a time, and I just wanted to eat the freakin' smarties by the mouthful!

For thirty more years I continued to obsess about food, with the added weight loss/weight gain worries. By the time I started cognitive behaviour therapy in 2010, I experience food cravings all day; as long as I was awake, I wanted to eat something.

Having gone through therapy, I now understand my cravings. I can tell you that the best way to battle a craving is to just not have it in the first place. And to eliminate cravings all together you have to change how you think about food - you have to change how you think about everything.

I resolved the bulk of my cravings by working with my therapist by reprogramming my thoughts. I no longer think of food as good and bad. It's just food. I don't restrict the amount or kinds of foods that I eat. After all - if I'm told I can't eat chocolate - I'm going to want to eat chocolate. If I'm told I can only have one serving of rice, I will want two servings.

The remainder of my cravings are truly spontaneous, typically a social situation. It's taken a while to figure out a good plan for these cravings, but I've got a plan that works, but I am still practicing.

For the next few posts, I'm going to write about what I've learned about cravings and provide you with some ideas on how to handle your own cravings.

How do you handle cravings?

Next post: How to handle cravings - make a decision to eat or not


  1. Thank you for writing about this! It's something I struggle with and have often come to believe that if I have a craving at some point or another I need to give in to it so that I don't drive myself crazy. Riding out a craving is not something I ever really contemplated - I just figured that if I was so ravenously craving something then it must be my body telling me that I need something that is in that food. Having techniques to help me assess how I deal with these situations is really helpful

  2. Thanks for posting this! I have wanted to know how you handle cravings for a while. For me, dealing with cravings is the hardest thing. If I give into them I feel incredibly guilty and if I don't I just sit there and think about that food until I finally give in. I feel that if I don't eat whatever I'm craving it is very stressful, but then if I eat it it is equally, if not more so, stressful but in a different way. I guess I figure that if my body is craving it then it must need it. I know sugar is addictive and it is definitely my vice. I have tried to give it up for good, but then I think - well it's something I really enjoy, imagine a life without chocolate?? Not really worth it to me. xo


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