Have you ever thought:
I know what to eat and what not to eat and I am motivated AF, I manage to stick to diet and lose weight, but then I go off rail, overeat and weight returns. This is all because I can’t resist cravings.
This technique can help you lose weight by taming your cravings.
Most of us know these days that we often eat emotionally – we overeat. Our thoughts and emotions are the triggers to overeat. We also have environmental triggers. For example, a colleague sharing a chocolate box and stress of the project’s deadline.
Can we avoid all triggers?
So you feel stressed and tired and you are reaching for another piece of chocolate. Below average quality chocolate, tbf. You know exactly: this eating is emotional. As you already had a portion. So what. You are still reaching for more chocolate. How to manage these cravings?
Here is what the latest research advises: R.A.I.N
R – recognize the craving that is arising, and relax into it.
A – accept this moment. Allow it to be. Don’t ignore it, distract yourself, or try to do something about it.
I – investigate the experience as it builds. Ask yourself, “What is happening in my body right now?”
N – note what is happening. As you note pressure, dullness, tightness, or whatever, it becomes clear that these are nothing more than body sensations. You don’t have to act on them. You can simply ride out the sensations until they subside.
For example, before reaching for that extra serving of cake, I’d Pause. I’d recognize craving for extra chocolate and accept it: “I crave more chocolate – ok’. Then I’d investigate: where exactly do I feel it? And note it. For example, my cravings are normally in the throat and chest, some itching and discomfort. Then I keep observing what happens to that physical feeling moment by moment. It will subside faster than I could ever think.
Cravings do not last if managed correctly. No resistance, no substitutions, no will-power, only mindfulness.
Try using it as often as possible and do not judge yourself when you forget to use this tool or give in to cravings. This is perfectly normal as this is how your brain is wired. To re-wire it, we need to keep using new ways of thinking when craving arises until it becomes your second nature. Training your mind is like training your body.
And finally, only with self-compassion, you can achieve the power of the mind and beat overeating.
Fat loss expert, elite group fitness instructor and personal trainer based in Sheffield.