If cravings overwhelm you or you found that they interfered with any diet you may tried in the past or they are disrupting your efforts to eat mindfully now, take heart, you are not alone. Cravings are real experiences that can be either physical or emotional in nature. Fortunately, whatever the reason, cravings can be handled with mindfulness. The important thing to know about cravings is that they will usually go away on their own within twenty minutes, if you don’t give into them. To manage cravings mindfully, try the following:
- Recognize if you are physically hungry. If you are hungry, decide what you are hungry for and eat. If what you are hungry for is what you are craving, enjoy a portion of it mindfully.
- If you are not physically hungry, assess if you are emotionally hungry. If you are address your emotional need.
- If you are not in the mood to do either of the above suggestions, simply set a timer for 20 minutes and ride the craving out. Distract yourself with some activity that does not involve food and when the bell goes off you will most likely be craving free!
Adapted from Mindful Bites – Joyful Life: 365 Days of Mindful Eating. Available in bookstores everywhere.