I’ve been talking a lot lately about how to beat cravings. From understanding why you get them, to which neurotransmitters (little chemical messengers your brain and nervous system use to influence what you do and feel) are involved in cravings, we’ve really covered them thoroughly. It seems fitting I help you with some easy things you can do to help beat cravings.
1. TUNE IN TO YOUR FEELINGS
There’s two parts to this tip – tuning in to how you’re feeling (what’s underlying the craving) and mindful eating.
Cravings are often increased by things like stress, fatigue, nutrient deficiencies or worry. But did you know that other feelings may trigger cravings for you as well?
When my clients tell me of their sweet, salty, stimulating, sour, squishy or protein-rich cravings it gives me big hints about what might be underlying that craving.
Maybe you’re missing:
- Connection with others
- Being grounded, feeling secure
- Hugs or physical contact
- Mothering, comfort or being nurtured
- Action or intensity in life
- Relaxation (needing to go with the flow more)
- Your mojo – lacking spark or vitality
- Intellectual stimulation
- Attention, being noticed or acknowledged
Food for thought, right? (See what I did there?!)
If/when you satisfy the craving, please do so mindfully. Slow down and enjoy whatever it is that you’re eating. Youll see some of my tips for mindful eating in the graphic here. Or you can go to the blog I wrote about mindful eating here.
So that’s the first step – thinking about, and acknowledging how you’re feeling. Often it’s easy to empathise with your kids, but it’s a struggle to do the same for yourself, or acknowledge that life and all the things you juggle is hard work. I think this is an important thing to do for you overall health and well being.
2. Nourish your body
What are you eating the rest of the day? Are you eating enough to provide your body with the nourishment and nutrients it needs to function?
This is even more important if you’re very busy, stressed, anxious or worried. Because demand for nutrients is really high at this time, but these feelings can alter or reduce your digestive power and function. You can read more about how stress (anxiety, worry, busy-ness) impact digestion here.
I talk more about what exactly is healthy eating, or eating for health in this blog. In a nutshell, plenty of colourful vegetables, healthy fats, protein and community. Yes, community is very important to a healthy lifestyle. Eating meals with people, chatting and laughing with them, helps you digest your food well. Because we aren’t just what we eat, we’re more like what we eat, breakdown and absorb!
3. Move it, move it
Moving your body, doing something you enjoy, increases levels of dopamine in your body. Please though, don’t see this as a punishment or a way to get rid of whatever ‘naughty’ or ‘bad’ food or drink you’ve had. Choose something you enjoy doing, that brings you a sense of joy or fun.
You might like to dance, roller skate, ride a bike, swim, walk, swing kettlebells, jump on the trampoline, swing from monkey bars, do yoga, pilates, or lift heavy weights. The list is endless. Choosing something that uses the big muscles of your body can be very soothing to your nervous sytem, as it applies deep pressure to your muscles and body. Some examples of how to do this are pilates, yoga, kettlebell, uphill walking or riding, monkey bars. Not everyone finds deep pressure soothing, but if you like tight hugs, firm massage or heavy/tight blankets on your bed, you’ll most likely enjoy deep pressure workouts.
4. emotional support
Australian Bush Flower Essences are an energetic medicine, they help clear negative beliefs and patterns of behaviours; making room for the preferred or positive behaviour, belief or emotion. When working with clients 1:1, I make a bespoke flower essence blend to help support them while making changes. Which flower essences I put in it will depend on what your health goals are, how you’re feeling right now, and what you’ve inherited or had imprinted in your concious and unconscious mind.
Some of the Australian Bush Flower Essences that are relevant to cravings are peach-flowered tea tree, boronia and bottlebrush. You can find boronia and bottlebrush in the ‘Wind Down’ blend. If you’d like a personalised blend made up, please book an acute consultation with me so I can ask some questions to help me pick the best essences for you.
5. herbal medicine
Maybe your cravings are because of nutritional insufficiency, stress, anxiety or feeling down. Herbal teas are a cost effective way to help support your body to return to a state of balance. They have been used for many hundreds of years as a therapeutic, or medicinal, aid.
Bog standard, widely available, chamomile tea is a great place to start. (I know, you don’t like it, but please, try the loose flowers before you say that. The flavour is so much nicer!) It has a really wide safety profile and is suitable for kids from 12 months of age.
You can see some of my favourite recipes on this blog, and my ‘Glow’ range of herbal teas in my online shop. Particularly relevant for cravings would be ‘Iron Glow’, Chamomile, or ‘Zen Glow’.
In summary, teas can be used therapeutically to help ease stress, anxiety, worry or low mood that may be contributing to cravings. Or they may be used to distract your tastebuds. A fruity, berry blend or licorice tea may help soothe your sweet cravings. ‘Lemon Lift’ comes to mind for this.
There you have it – my 5 easy hacks to help reduce your cravings. Of course, if you’d like to do a deeper dive in to why you’re getting cravings, then please be sure to sign up for the webinar I’m running on 27/4. The recording will be emailed to all those with a ticket, but will also be available for purchase after the night. Check out the product page for more info and to get access to it!
I love helping Mums understand and get on top of their health issues – especially those that are auto-immune, allergy, and stress-related – so they can stop feeling tired, cranky and in pain, and start feeling more like they used. If you’d like to find out how naturopathy and I may help you reclaim your health, then please book in for a free discovery call. You’ll be able to give me a brief overview of what’s been going on and ask me any questions you about me and how I may support you.
Now, I’d love to hear from you: what cravings have you been experiencing and have you been satisfying them?