Cravings. They feel so insistent and urgent. So loud in my brain. Resist and they get stronger. Give in and they’re reinforced. It feels like I can’t win.
When it comes to cravings I find that it helps to understand why my cravings happen. Learning about the physiological aspect of hormone regulation and over-hunger in combination with the mental aspect of over-desire has helped me to understand that cravings don’t mean that I am weak or broken. And once I understand that, I can take action and stop feeling helpless.
I also find that the way I have tried to battle cravings in the past has only served to reinforce them. So unfortunate. Cravings are normal, but there are ways you can decrease the frequency and intensity of them. Sometimes you can quiet them all together.
Cravings come from the physical side – over-hunger. This is related to the way your hunger hormones (insulin, leptin, ghrelin) work together. You can improve the balance of these hormones by what you eat and how often you eat. It’s also related to over-desire which comes from how the brain works.
Learning how to decrease over-hunger and over-desire is the key to conquering cravings. I’d love to help you reduce your cravings and urges to overeat and give you the same tools that have been such a help in my own weight loss journey. Join me for a 5 day Facebook training starting December 2.
I know many people want to wait until January to start on their 2020 health goals. This challenge/training is for people who don’t want to wait to make a positive change in their health journey now. If you are ready to start taking action with a group of like-minded people, sign up now for the free online training.
Have you ever hiked up a mountain? I’ve hiked Pike’s Peak in Colorado several times. It’s a 14,115 foot mountain. I hiked it 3 times one summer as part of a volunteer job as a camp counselor. The beginning always felt fairly easy. But part way up I got tired, my legs began to burn, I complained, and I wanted to quit. Glancing up at how far away the top was felt overwhelming.
I found that sometimes I just needed to focus on the next section of the trail. To make smaller goals to conquer the next few switchbacks and stop freaking out about how long it was to the top.
I’m learning to apply that to my weight loss journey as well. If I look at how far I have to go I can sometimes get discouraged. But when I bring it down to what I need to do this month…
I can manage to keep the focus on the actions I need to take. One step at a time. Here are some tips to help you get 1% better at reaching your goals.
Part of continual self improvement is to decide what the minimum necessary habits are for you. It’s best to just pick a few habits that you will focus on at a time. What is the minimum that you will commit to each day? Right now for me this is making a 24 hour plan, following the plan, and eating between -2 and +2 on the hunger scale.
Spend the next month tracking your minimum necessary habits. Set up a tracking method. For me, I use a page in my planner and fill it out at the end of the each day. I also make a note about why I did or didn’t get all 3 habits done. There is so much learning in looking at successes and failures from each day.
At the end of a 30 day period, add up how many days you did each habit. Here are my results from the last 30 days:
Made 24 hour plan – 71%
Followed 24 hour plan – 42%
Followed hunger scale – 71%
I spent some time evaluating why I didn’t have higher numbers. In this particular time period I had some out of town travel and I was sick for a couple of weeks. Now I know that those situations are times that I need to plan for. I will travel again and I will be sick again. How can I set myself up for success in those situations? How can I be better prepared next time?
I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to evaluate the moments that feel like a failure. Shame and guilt when you feel like you’re not good enough will never get you to your goal. Learning and growing is what will help you get better and push through.
Now you know your baseline. Focus on the next steps – getting 1% better. What will you need to think to get there? How will you need to feel? What actions will you take? Make a plan and get it done!
What habits will you track this month? If you need help evaluating where you are, where you want to be, and how to get there, sign up for a free consult call.