Coping With Cravings
Duke Diet & Fitness
This week, let's focus on cravings. You know, those urges that tell you to stop everything and eat a certain food? The truth is, these cravings and urges are normal and to be expected. They are not a sign of failure. Instead, they provide an opportunity to learn what your triggers are.
Try thinking of cravings as ocean waves. Just as a wave recedes after it peaks, a craving will recede if you do not feed it with your thoughts or actions. Instead of giving in to a craving right away, give it some time to pass. Distract yourself for a few minutes by reading or writing in your journal, taking deep breaths, going for a walk, talking about how you feel, or using such positive self-talk as "This urge won't last forever, and I am in control. I am feeling uncomfortable, but I can wait this out." Remember, bingeing might make you feel better for a short while, but you will feel better in the long run if you find a healthier outlet instead.
After a few minutes, check in with yourself. Feeling better? If not, give yourself a few more minutes. Once the intensity of the moment passes, look back and try to analyze what was going on at the time the craving began. Can you identify what triggered it? A feeling? Situation? Person? Event?
Once you've identified the trigger or triggers, develop a short list of other ways you can react to them besides eating. In time, you'll learn to recognize situations that trigger cravings in advance and be better prepared to face them. Be patient with yourself. It takes time to break old patterns.
Remember, the more you confront your cravings, the better you will be able to deal with them. So when you experience a craving, don't run away or give in. Use it as an opportunity to become aware of what you really need. Soon you'll be riding the wave instead of the crave!
Show hospitality to strangers for, by doing that, some have entertained angels unawares.
Never stop helping others because others think that they abuse you. That stranger can be Jesus and you lose the opportunity to serve, even in something simple.
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