Change What You Crave By Changing How You Think: The 5 Step Mental Method
If I were to ask you which foods temp you, most likely they would’t be ones that are very healthy. I bet they would be ice cream, potato chips, pizza, or something along those lines. In fact, in your mind right now as you’re reading, you are probably thinking about a food that isn’t healthy. Well, aren’t you? Stop for a moment and think about it… The point I’m going to make in this article is that you can change what you crave by changing how you think.
Every new client that comes to my office for weight-loss has a craving problem. But I don’t see it as a problem at all. I see it as a solution. Cravings are over-rated. They are hodge-podge and we don’t have to be controlled by them. We don’t have to feel temped by ice cream, cookies or 20-ounce prime ribs. Instead, we can be tempted by watermelon, pineapple, oranges or apples; foods like that. Think that sounds crazy? Well it isn’t and you’ll see why.
When I first sit down and talk with a client about their eating habits, I gather everything I need to know about exactly what they eat and how they eat. The culprit to their weight problem always boils down to snacking, picking, eating foods that are unhealthy or just plain over-eating. Then I’ll ask them what fruits and vegetables they like. I’m yet to come across someone who hates fruit or hates every vegetable under the sun. Finally I’ll ask them how often they eat fruits or vegetables and it’s always a lot less often than the unhealthy stuff.
After I’ve gathered my arsenal of information, we do our thing. I’ll have my clients lay back in my recliner and close their eyes. I’ll direct their mind to a peaceful place, and within minutes they’ll be relaxed like never before. Then I start talking about their favorite fruits and vegetables. I’ll ask them to imagine taking a bite of their favorite juicy, ripe fruit and to feel the juices tickling their taste buds. I’ll say to their mind, from now on anytime you have a craving for food, you will think of a juicy, ripe piece of fruit. And bingo!!! Next thing you know these are exactly the kinds of foods they start desiring. Why? Because anytime you close your eyes and bring yourself to a calm, relaxed place, your subconscious mind emerges, and it is this part of the mind that controls what you crave. Change your thoughts and you’ll change what you crave. Simple.
Let’s look at this from another perspective. Let’s say pineapple is your favorite fruit. Now, if you were sitting with me right now and I gave you a juicy chunk of it, you would enjoy it thoroughly. And you’d want more, right? Of course. Now, let’s say I reached into my refrigerator, whipped-out a piece of chocolate cake and said, choose one. Most likely you would opt for the pineapple because you just had a teaser-piece, which would make your mind want more. The fact of the matter is this: you enjoy your favorite fruits just as much as you enjoy your favorite junk foods, you just believe otherwise.
Again, cravings are over-rated. The mere mention of that devilish word always seems to conjures-up images of high calorie, high fat foods only because these are the foods you are most exposed to in our media driven world. Your subconscious gets accustomed to this and just doesn’t know any better. Change your minds images and you’ll change your cravings. Here’s a quick 5 minute mental exercise you can begin doing now to help you start changing the way you crave food.
Step 1: Find a comfortable, quiet place where there are no distractions. Begin breathing deeply until you are quite relaxed. Next, count backwards from 10-1, slowly. With each count, imagine that your mind is drifting deeper and deeper.
Step 2: After you have finished counting, imagine that you are relaxing by yourself in your favorite place. A secluded beach or a log in the woods will do the trick. Imagine yourself feeling so very relaxed and peaceful.
Step 3: Next, imagine a basket full of your favorite fresh picked fruit sitting right next to you. See it clearly in your mind, the color, the feel, everything about that fruit. Imagine taking a bite of that juicy fruit and enjoying it like never before.
Step 4: Repeat the following suggestion to yourself 10 times: From now on, anytime I think of eating, I immediately feel a craving for fruit.
Step 5: Count from 1 to 5, slowly, and when you reach 5 open your eyes.