How to Control Food Cravings – 10 Ways to Comfort Yourself Without Food
We all get unhealthy food cravings from time to time that are hard to control. There can be many reasons why we crave certain foods: it could be that we’re just plain hungry, stressed/emotionally upset, or physically addicted to the foods we are craving. Certain foods are more addictive than others such as high fat and high sugar foods, chemically processed foods, and sometimes we can be addicted to the foods we are allergic to.
However, no matter what the reason for our food cravings we are trying to satisfy a need in us, whether emotional or physical. To put it simply, we are trying to make ourselves feel better. Unfortunately, most of the time, if we give into unhealthy food cravings we end up feeling worse! Fortunately, there are other ways to comfort ourselves without food that won’t make us sick or leave us feeling guilty!
Here are ten ways how to control food cravings and comfort yourself without food. Try them next time the craving monster hits!
Next time you get a craving . . .
Tip #1 Try chewing on something instead of eating such as a piece of sugar free gum, a straw, seaweed, licorice root sticks . . .(etc.)
Tip #2 Try stimulating your mind by playing a crossword puzzle or suduko.
Tip #3 When wanting to zone out and eat mindlessly try flipping through a magazine instead, it doesn’t take much mental effort and can have a calming effect.
Tip #4 Try bringing yourself back to present moment by paying attention to you breath and any bodily sensations you are experiencing in the moment. Repeat the statement, “I am here now”.
Tip #5 Try making yourself more comfortable by changing into sweat pants, letting your hair down, finding a comfortable place to sit or lay down, and or snuggling up with your favorite blanket.
Tip #6 When looking for comfort without using food, try using the soothing effect of heat to calm your body such as drinking your favorite cup of herbal tea, or applying warm washcloth over your eyes or forehead.
Tip #7 Try giving yourself a quick self massage on your hands, feet, shoulders, ears, face, and scalp.
Tip #8 Try changing your mood with different scents. Essential oils are great way to experiment; some scents have a calming effect and others have an invigorating effect. You can use an aromatherapy humidifier, lamp or diffuser or simply pour the oil on a cotton ball and sniff anytime you need it!
Tip #9 Try listening to a piece of beautiful relaxing music such as classical or new age type music that has a calming or uplifting effect on your mood. If you need a quick pick me up try dancing for a few minutes to your favorite energizing music.
Tip #10 Try looking at pictures of loved ones that make you smile, and make sure to have these pictures handy next time a craving hits.
This blog post was inspired by the book 50 Ways to Soothe Yourself Without Food by Susan Albers, PSY.D, so if you liked these tips, check out the book! (Available on Amazon.)
If you have any other ways you like to comfort yourself without food, please do share!
P.S. If you would like some personal guidance on how to conquer cravings I am also available for a raw food coaching session.