Find out about what you actually want when you crave your favourite foods.

Cravings for treat foods are often very subconscious and because they are usually just feelings, we don’t often think about them much – we just act on those feelings, whether it’s trying to suppress them or giving in and eating the food.

Breaking down what a craving is can help in:

  1. Understanding that there’s nothing wrong with you if you are having them.
  2. Helping you fix them for good.

There’s Nothing Wrong With You

We all get cravings for things in life. It’s a natural part of how our brain works.

The subconscious primitive survival part of your brain has a job to do. It’s constantly on the lookout for threats and dangers to your survival. And when it does feel there’s a threat, it has a very strong ability to make you do something to remove that threat.

For example, if you touch something HOT, your survival brain makes you pull your hand away. You have very little logical control over that action.

The same goes for negative emotions and internal feelings.

If you are feeling down, then to the brain, this indicates a possible threat!

Your brain doesn’t know what has created that negative feeling, but it’s better to be safe that sorry, so try and get rid of it.

Now this part of the brain learns very fast. If you have taught it (just through experimentation) that nice food changes the way you feel, then it will use that. It will give you cravings until you eat something to get rid of the bad feeling.

Your survival brain doesn’t care about your future weight loss goals. It cares about how you feel now and getting rid of imminent threats.

And it’s so powerful that you will often feel like something has taken over you and you have little control over your actions.

That’s why emotional eating is so frustrating and stressful for those who do it. This then leads back into the need for more of a release, creating this vicious cycle of getting cravings to further release negative feelings.  

Fixing Emotional Eating For Good

Let me start with a statement:

You don’t really want the chocolate, you want the change in feeling.

Put another way, you don’t want what you’re craving…you want how it makes you feel.

Here’s a diagram to explain what I mean:

So the food is just the route or the vehicle to get you to a more positive feeling or state.

You start with a negative feeling and you want a positive one.

You’ve just taught your survival brain that the quickest and easiest way to get that change in feeling is food – so it will use that.

It’s not going to take a longer route. It wants a rapid and reliable way to remove potential threats. So it’s not going to make you crave going for a walk for example to get you to relieve stress.

But understanding that food is the just vehicle to you what you want is a vital step in solving emotional and binge eating.

We don’t want to change the outcome, just how we get there.

Using external things like food and others including alcohol, cigarettes, gambling, drugs etc…to regulate our emotions is going to have a detrimental effect at some point if we rely on them.

So when fixing emotional eating for good, that’s the part we work on!

If you would like to know more about how to do this, I’m happy to have a no-obligation chat with you.

Check your Emotional Eating Score

Answer these 8 questions to allow me to evaluate your level of emotional eating.