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Food Cravings

“If you’re not hungry enough to eat an apple, you’re not hungry.”

One of my athletes recently asked me about my thoughts on how to stop food cravings.

I have quite a few, so thought it would be best to put it into writing.

How to deal with cravings:

1) Eat what you crave.
This is simple. If you want to run, you run. If you want to eat cheese, you eat cheese. Of course, we all wish we were like my guinea pig Gary, who won’t eat the guinea pig treats but goes crazy if he hears lettuce snap in half.

2) Eat something else.
Having healthier options available is a great way to avoid poor food choices.

3) Mindfulness
This has been the biggest tool in my box for overcoming my past bingeing and purging. Being aware enough to sometimes literally tell myself “you may like this oreo for a few minutes, but afterwards you will regret you ate it” or when I have that first feeling “I’m done eating” during a meal, I stop eating instead of continue and clean the plate.

4) Are you really hungry?
This ties in to mindfulness. Am I hungry or am I bored? Maybe I’m just thirsty?

5) Have other options
Don’t like eating white bread? Buy Dave’s Killer Bread. Don’t want to eat sweets, don’t have them in the house. We very very rarely have non meal items in our house. This means if I do want something like that, I either have to make the effort to leave the house and get it or simply not eat it.

In my own life, I’ve experimented with many dietary practices. Low carb, intermittent fasting, vegan, raw vegan. I’ve suffered from bingeing and purging episodes for years. I’m happy to say I’ve not had any eating disorder practices in over a year and over the last half year I’ve basically stopped any dietary practice other than mindfulness. Being mindful of if I’m satisfied or full during a meal, having the willpower to put the fork down, being willing to recognize that my craving is not helpful and I’ll regret eating it. Being able to have 3 oreos instead of a full package.

My current diet and for the last half year has been vegetarian plus some seafood. I basically eat whatever I want whenever I want it. I do this in part because over the last 4 months I’m averaging 10-15 miles more weekly than I did last year as a whole. You gotta fuel the engine!

Something else I want to touch are on diet fads or types of diets. I’ve tried so many different eating patterns and I’m far happiest on the one I currently am on, which is no real pattern what so ever. I don’t believe I have any poor reactions to certain types of foods, so I basically can eat whatever I wish.

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