How I Deal With Sugar & Junk Food Cravings
I recently received this question from one of my clients in The Overcoming Anxiety Method.
It is something that I think we all struggle with at times and therefore I wanted to share the question and my response with each of you!
Question: What are some ways to satisfy sugar & junk food cravings without indulging?
Here is my response for how I deal with sugar cravings as a Certified Holistic Nutritional Consultant for myself and my clients:
First of all try to change your mindset around cravings. Sometimes you just need to acknowledge the craving and move on. You’re not always going to get everything you want.
Next, notice the time of day or specific situation around which this craving is happening. Determine if this is a habit. Are you just in a routine of having a treat after dinner or after you put your kids to bed?
What is the trigger or what are you doing right before this craving? Where is the pattern, and how can you break that pattern and get out of this habit.
Can you change that so that after you put your kids to bed you immediately go for a walk on the treadmill instead? Or after dinner you take a book outside and read for a bit instead of grabbing chips and turning on Netflix. Honestly, so often it’s an unconscious habit and once we bring some awareness around that it can be super helpful.
Next, check on how you are feeling in the moment. Ask yourself: what am I feeling right now? Am I just craving sugar because I am actually feeling some really tough or intense emotions right now and I don’t know how to handle those or process it, and so I’m just avoiding, distracting, or trying to cover it up with food? You may not even realize it so I am being literal when I say ask yourself some questions and then see what comes up. Try to feel into it and label what you’re actually feeling. Sometimes just acknowledging an emotion is helpful.
If you are able to label your emotion(s), for example you are feeling anxious or irritable or frustrated, the next steps is process that emotion. There are many tools in The Overcoming Anxiety Method program that you learn about to help you do this in a way that works best for you. For example, you may choose to use EFT Tapping to clear those emotions.
If you’re still not really sure how you’re feeling and you're not able to label your emotion or know where the craving is coming from I suggest getting out a pen and paper or even typing in the notes app on your phone and start getting curious.
Ask yourself more questions.
Your subconscious mind loves to answer questions. Why do I feel like I need to eat something that I know isn’t helping my anxiety right now? How am I feeling? What is really going on? Why am I feeling this way? How or when did this start? Those types of questions.
And let yourself just write freely even just for a few minutes and see what comes up. Then either continue to journal on that until you feel like it’s been cleared or use one of the tool to process and clear those emotions.
That can be really helpful for strong cravings especially sugar and junk food cravings. That may not necessarily "satisfy" the craving but it should eliminate it.
Another way to deal with cravings:
Take your favourite treat and find a way to make it a healthy choice that you can still enjoy in moderation. And remember everything is flexible and you shouldn’t feel like you need to eat perfectly 100% of the time because perfect doesn’t exist and that’s setting yourself up for failure. Just make the best choices that you have available.
In The Overcoming Anxiety Method program there is a healthy swaps guide and I go into more detail there on healthy swaps. This is one of my favourite things to do and you can look at the bonus recipes to get some ideas as well.
Find yourself craving brownies often? Plan ahead and make a batch of healthier gluten & dairy free brownies using a more natural alternative to refined sugar, such as pure maple syrup or honey. Cut them up into small squares and keep a batch in the freezer for when the craving hits.
You can find recipes or ideas for 'healthier' versions (low or no sugar, dairy free, gluten free, additive/food dye/chemical free, etc.) of just about anything these days! It may just take some planning and prep on your part but your mental and physical health will thank you for it!
And keep in mind as you continue to make healthier choices your tastes will change over time.
I used to be able to eat a bag of chips to myself and now I prefer green drinks and kale chips!
Did you find this helpful? Send me a DM and let me know!
Interested in learning more about overcoming anxiety naturally? Sign up for my free masterclass: 3 Holistic Ways to Overcome Anxiety without Having to Meditate, Go to Therapy, or Take Meds.
Check out my free guide: 5 Ways to Sleep Better When You Have Anxiety
Join the Facebook group: Overcoming Anxiety to Live Your Life With Purpose, to connect with a supportive community of like-minded people and get tips and resources to help you overcome anxiety.
CONNECT WITH ME
Julie Fearey, C.H.N.C.
Oats and Honey Nutrition