Stop Food Cravings
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untwist your thinking
"No man in the world has more courage than the man who can stop after eating one peanut.~Channing Pollock
This quote makes me smile, but if you’re an emotional eater like I am, you can relate, but it’s not funny at all.
This month: cravings.
However, if food is not your downfall and you have other addictions, there are similar cravings in all addictions – and once we’re hard wired to an obsessive behavior, we’re hard wired for life, but we can change.
There are areas of our brains that are responsible for memory and the pleasure that we associate with our addiction --and that’s where cravings come from.
Now, since this zine about food addiction -- when we are stressed or anxious we crave the foods to calm us down, and
food becomes an obsession
Funny how we never crave fruits and vegetables to relieve anxiety -- always carbs. Carbohydrates boost the serotonin level in our brains and this calms us.
So, you’ve finished supper and you’re watching TV and you’re not hungry, but somehow your mind keeps wondering to the pantry, to the chocolate chip cookies that you bought for the family. And you swore that you would not touch them, and you convince yourself, that if you just took one --so you get up and take one, and you get up again, and then what the heck, you the whole bag – gone. You’re thinking of nothing as you keep eating, but when you stop, you feel really bad…..and you’re stuffed.
Food cravings: How to kick them
As with other compulsive behaviors, cravings can lead to ruining your health. In fact, it’s common that when a person stops one compulsive behavior, it transfers to another ex. Stop smoking – gain weight.
Fats: We blame carbs for weight gain, but cravings for emotional eating is often triggered by fat. Chocolate, cake, cookies, chips, fast foods, candy bars, ice cream, mac and cheese
craving foods are laden with fat
Comfort: When we’re anxious, lonely, or tired or just plain bored, we want relief. We have memories tied to food and comfort. I remember coming home from school, looking forward to milk and cookies as a snack before starting my homework. Gooey cakes and pastries don’t get me at all -- what gets to me, are cookies!
Control: If you’re one of those people who can’t simply take one portion, try portion control. Don’t buy that gallon of ice cream or the family pack, although it’s cheaper. If you have a craving for these foods, buy individual portions. Eat slowly – and don’t go back for more.
Choices: We have so many low calorie or fat free foods. Many people can’t stand them, but taste is acquired, so if you want to, you can get over it. If you’ve tried and still can’t get used to ‘diet food’, eat the ‘real’ thing occasionally and take smaller portions.
Fast food is convenient, but filled with fat and calories. These foods are engineered to be taste sensations. But there are fast foods that are healthy. Sushi, soups etc. Make the healthy choice.
Eat: Don’t skip meals. Sooner or later you’ll grab the easiest thing around – chocolate bars, vending machine food – when you’re hungry they’ll call your name.
Take healthy food with you, to avoid cravings and binges.
Journaling: Write down when you get the cravings, what you crave etc. and notice the patterns. What emotions are you feeling? Understanding is the first step to making change.
Emergency: Always have fresh fruits, and healthy snacks in the fridge for the ‘must eat’ times. When you’re an emotional eater, it often doesn’t matter what you’re eating, so the healthy food is a better choice.
Nurturing: When you’re unhappy, tired, angry, stressed etc. cravings tempt you. You can comfort yourself in other ways. Maybe you need to relax, or go to the gym. Perhaps you need to get out of the house, or get a massage.
Comfort yourself with positive things and the more you do that, comforting yourself with food will be less.
Understand the addiction
and make sure that you have it
Craving fat is as strong as craving carbs, so stay away from most fast foods
Don’t use food for comfort. Recognize what you’re feeling
Buy individual portions, and don’t go back for more
Choose low cal foods or smaller portions of richer food –
and don't take seconds
Choose healthy fast food, like sushi, soups and salads
Don’t skip meals. Eat healthy snacks during the day
and here are more tips
Understand your cravings by noting when you get them, and what you want to eat.
Keep healthy snacks in your purse, in the fridge etc – just in case you need them
Do positive things for yourself, so
The less anxiety you have, the less you’ll need to comfort yourself with food.
Are you a food addict? Share your story
Q & A
My wife is clearly an alcoholic and I am a social drinker at home. I clearly want my wife to give up drinking, because it’s not only damaging herself, you also our relationship. What can I do?
If your wife is an alcoholic but in denial. When an alcoholic is in denial, he/she believes that their problem is 'not that bad,' and that others drink too. When you take a drink (drunk or not) this confirms her
To break the denial, have no alcohol in the house. This doesn't mean that the wife won't go out and get it, but what it does is that it makes it harder, and her need to drink becomes more apparent.
Another way to point out that her drinking has negative effects, is
not to enable her
When the partner doesn't enable, the alcoholic/addict has to suffer the consequences of their drinking behavior. This leads to arguments, but stay strong, telling the other that she should stop drinking or get help.
You can also try
Drinking would come into the discussion and she would once again be subjected to the consequences – her drinking is damaging the relationship.
Failing all this, go to Al-Anon. The members can help you learn to deal with what
family members go through with addiction
as well as give you support in the difficult times.
you learn new behaviors, which change your life.
You can also be helped to change your behavior
Try a free 30 minute session to see if it's for you.
Have a question?
Just ask and post.
Your questions comments and suggestions help others.
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