You want it so badly, more than anything else at the moment. The yearning feels like a magnetic pull, impossible to resist. It sits right there in front of you, calling your name, laughing in your face. Can you fight this desire? Maybe you can.
We all have food cravings. That unexplainable yearning for what we absolutely don’t need. Fats and sugars can taste so good that we are often compelled to them. These foods are not healthy and can be very bad for us if eaten in excess. They are sometimes referred to as ‘comfort food’ as they are often consumed as compensation for a disappointment to give us comfort. But they can lead to health problems such as: obesity, high blood pressure, dangerous cholesterol levels, and even diabetes. And to make matters worse, the craving always returns as it’s only ever satiated for a short time.
Whether the weakness is for chocolate, french fries, chips, or cheesecake, it never goes away. And the older we get, the stronger the desire. It’s always a challenge to fight these urges and make them stop. However, with a bit of imagination you can combat food cravings using an easy two-step technique.
Step 1 – Give in and eat
The next time you have a craving give in to it, but do it very methodically:
- Look at the food: its colour, shape, and size. Turn it around a few times to make sure you see it from every angle. Take piece and feel the weight, smell it, and watch how it gets bigger as it gets near your mouth.
- Close your eyes as you put it in your mouth and then slowly chew it, moving it around with your tongue to feel the texture. Enjoy the taste as you swallow it and feel it move down your tongue and into your throat on its way to your stomach.
- Have another piece, bigger or smaller it doesn’t matter, as long as you savour each bite.
- Continue eating it this way, thinking about each piece, every chew, and the wonderful flavour, until it’s gone.
- Enjoy the feeling of how yummy it was, what fun it was to eat, and how much you enjoyed it. Concentrate on this feeling of satisfaction for longer than usual.
Step 2 – Play it back
Think about what you did in Step 1, remembering everything that happened, replaying it from beginning to end:
- Think about the food, its shape, weight, size and smell.
- Close your eyes and image each bit, chew and every swallow.
- Relish the flavour and the enjoyment of eating it.
With these two steps, you have created and played back your very own virtual experience, an experience you can re-use.
So, the next time (and every time thereafter) you have this craving repeat Step 2. You just have to close your eyes, re-play the experience (Step 2), and you will have the mental satisfaction of eating your favourite food, without any physical effects.
It’s all good!