For many, the food cravings we feel for the foods that harm us were developed when we were young. We often have a strong emotional tie to them, which may make it hard to give them up.
One of the foods that did that for me growing up was chocolate bars. I loved them all, because I was always taught to turn to chocolate when I needed comfort. I also thought I needed to eat the whole bar of candy to feel satisfied. As I grew older, I realized if I chose a dark chocolate bar or dark chocolate chips with a higher cacao ratio, that I would feel satisfied by only taking a square or two as opposed to needing the whole chocolate bar to satisfy my craving.
A second thing, I always had growing up was sweet potatoes, which are promoted as a very healthy alternative today. As kids, my sister and I would actually eat and enjoy sweet potato and white bread sandwiches (cringe!). At dinner, I even craved sweet potatoes. What I realize now is that, although sweet potatoes are an anti-inflammatory food – I actually crave more sweets after I consume them.
These are two great examples of how bio-individuality comes into play with the foods we choose, and crave. By listening to your body, or working with a wellness coach (someone who can show you ways to be more mindful of how you feel when you consume your favorite foods), you can discover where your cravings come from – and what to do about them.
BONUS TIP: A great way to get in touch with your body and figure out which foods you crave is to begin a food journal. Using a small notebook (pocket-sized for convenience), you can track every meal, snack, and drink you consume for 30 days. When you sit down to examine what you’ve been eating and drinking after just one month of doing this, you’ll be surprised by the choices you’ve made, and the way your cravings drive you to feed your stress!
Doing this for even one month will put you on the road to regaining control of your food cravings – and your own health and wellness!
Of course, I would never suggest you stop your food journal after 30 days. Instead, you should continue to track everything you put into your body for 3-6 months, as a way to create new healthy eating habits. Only after you’ve developed those new habits can you stop your food journal, unless you wish to continue to ensure you don’t fall back into your old habits.