Monday, November 10, 2008

How Do I Know if I Have a Food Craving?

Food Cravings are very common, so common in fact, that many of us think they're normal and we just have to put up with them. A food craving becomes a problem when it bothers us, and when we're not in control.

For example, I crave tea, but it doesn't bother me, as I drink it once a day, enjoy it, and am easily able to stop at one cup. I have had patients that craved tea and would drink it all day long. They felt wired, and it was a real problem for them before they came to see me. See the difference?

Ask yourself, 'Am I in charge of my eating, or is the food I crave more in charge? How is this affecting my peace of mind or body?'

Here are some common signs of food cravings. If you answer YES to any of these, you may be able to find more peace with food than you're currently experiencing:

  1. Do you think about specific foods you'd like to eat when you are not truly hungry?
  2. Do you have specific cravings, that bother you, like sweets, chocolate or starches?
  3. If you eat the craved food, are you left feeling less than happy with yourself?
  4. If you avoid the craved food, do you still think about it or have to distract yourself?
  5. Do you have little or no control over your behavior when you have a craving for a specific food?
Food cravings are so prevalent, but they don't have to be. I have worked with many patients and helped them be free of their food cravings. Most often 1-2 sessions is all that is needed.

Being in charge of your eating is such a good feeling. Once you feel that feeling, you'll wonder how you tolerated food cravings.

How would it feel to be in charge of your eating? And remember, you don't have to give up your craved food, just the craving!


Ann Evanston said...

Thank you Kara, this was very informative and a way for me to think about if I have cravings or not! I'd love to know how you know when a craving is a problem too - sometimes they are fine right?

Ann Evanston

Kara Sorensen, MS, LAc said...

Ann, Thank you for your comment!

You're right, food cravings are fine, until they are a problem for you. If they're not affecting you mentally, physically or emotionally, then they are not a problem.

If someone has diabetes and craves sweets, then that could be a problem for him/her. If a woman has occasional cravings for chocolate, and is able to enjoy it and stop at a reasonable amount, that's probably not a problem for her. It's all about what bothers you, or not.

I will write another post to answer your question at greater length.