People want to be changed but the cravings for anything do not allow them to change. And for this reason, when they start, they give up quickly. This is often the case during dieting, food cravings often trouble people. And people fall on their old habit because of this. I also realized this thing and found food craving to be the biggest obstacle in changing the habit of eating food. Food cravings are extremely common, with over 90% of people experiencing cravings.
Everyone wants to follow a healthy lifestyle. There is hardly anyone in the world who wishes he was sick and had to eat dirty food. Despite knowing that junk food or unhealthy food is very harmful to health, why people are still not able to control it? The only reason is food cravings.
To stop food cravings, first of all, it is important to know that how do you get Cravings?
How do you get Cravings?
You don’t get a craving, you make it, by the way, you let things present yourself. Granted, most of it is usually unconscious. However, for you to be in a state of feeling a strong urge for any type of food, you have to create a specific kind of internal representation. Remember, things don’t just happen. For every effect, there is a cause.
Understand this with an example, if you eat vegetarian food, then there will be no craving for non-vegetarian food. The simple reason for this is because you do not eat non-vegetarian food. But the person who eats non-vegetarian food, seeing non-vegetarian food, the craving will be very high. This is because everyone’s internal representation is different.
Basically, everyone’s craving is different for anything and it is not a natural process, you have programmed it in your mind. Feeling hungry after seeing anything, watering in the mouth is called triggering or anchoring in NLP. Meaning you have triggered any food, seeing which you start craving.
Effects of Food Cravings
Because of food cravings, you give up, this is the biggest effect. But do you know that because of this, there are many nasty effects on your body too? Suppose you put some sweet thing in front of a diabetic guy, which he likes, then he will have a craving for it. The chemical that the brain releases due to cravings will cause the same effect that will happen after eating.
This means whether you eat something or not, food craving does its job. For this reason, people do not get positive results even after dieting. No matter how much you control food, you will have to keep facing problems until you control food cravings.
You feel anxiety due to food cravings. You know what, there is no huge difference between cravings and addictions. In both cases, you feel anxiety if you don’t get it, and in both cases body release dopamine after getting it.
How to Reduce Cravings?
No matter how much willpower you use to control your cravings, it will be of no use unless you change your internal representation. And the only way to change the internal representation is to change the submodalities lying in your mind.
I had explained in my blog State of Mind that how our mind perceives anything. Our mind perceives anything with 5 senses. Any visual with the eyes, any sound with the ear, any smell with the nose, any feeling with the skin, and any taste with the tongue. Whatever memory is lying in your mind, it will have some quality out of the 5 qualities. It may be either all five qualities or some quality or a combination of some. Qualities associated with memory are known as submodalities.
Some possible submodalities of food:
Visual: movie, still frames, color or black and white, brightness, size of the picture, a distance of from self, the intensity of color, movement, 3D quality.
Auditory: The sound that comes into your mind while thinking and seeing the food. For example, “what a tasty food”, or “amazing”.
Kinesthetic or feeling: temperature, texture, pressure, vibration
Gustatory or Taste: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, savory
Smell: an aroma of food or foul smell of food
If I ask you to form an internal representation of eating your favorite food, you will be salivating. Now describe your visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and gustatory Sabmodalities of your internal representation in detail. Visual, where is the image? It is up or right. Auditory, whats your words while seeing it, “this is so good”. Kinesthetic, crunchy feeling, and warmth. Gustatory, savory taste, or sweet taste.
Now, form an internal representation of food you don’t like. Maybe submodalities will be lukewarm, mushy, rotten tasting. More chances you will not able to imagine that food. But don’t worry you can switch or replace the submodalities of food.
Switch the Submodalities
After finding the submodalities of food you have craving for but you want to quit and food that you don’t like but you want to make it part of your lifestyle switch each other. Or you can say replace the submodalities of both by each other.
How to practice?
You have nothing to do, just close your eyes and imagine the food you are craving. Look at his position, feel his texture and feel his taste. Take a pause for a few moments and now imagine the healthy food, see its position, feel its texture, feel its taste. Now interchange each other. Change the submodalities of healthy food with craving food and vice versa. Do this practice until you replace the submodalities.
Keep in mind one thing, your mind will stop you from doing this. When you feel that if you leave the food you like, then life will become boring. But believe me, when you make healthy food an important part of your life with this technique, then life will become more interesting. Keep one more thing in mind: you never crave that food that you do not even eat. Therefore, when you decide on any food, leave it forever, and seeing that food should not make any difference to your mind.
You can use this technique not only for food cravings but also for cravings for anything. Like cravings for cigarettes, alcohol, tobacco, mobile phone, TV, and many more, you can switch all the bad habits.
Saurabh Goel is the founder of Brain Soul & You. He is an Entrepreneur, Author, Brain Performance coach, NLP Wellness Coach, Life Coach, Brain Analyst, and Trainer for Education, Corporate, Entrepreneurship.