Ready To Conquer Unwanted Cravings? Unlock Your Power With Mindful Eating Strategies!
Discover how to break free from food cravings with mindful eating strategies! Learn 3 steps to gain control over unhealthy habits and empower yourself. With practice and dedication, start mindful eating today and find lasting freedom from food cravings!
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Ready To Conquer Unwanted Cravings? Unlock Your Power With Mindful Eating Strategies!

By Mary Sheila Gonnella NC, BCHN

Understanding Your Cravings and How to Beat Them

A few years ago, I had the pleasure of meeting a few Brazilian women and their families during the pandemic. We were all working remotely, and we were neighbors for about 1 month. 

I remember when we were talking about social media, and one of the women said, “No, I can’t do it because it’s stronger than me.”

I feel the same way when it comes to food and cravings. Sometimes those chips in the cupboard, the chocolate in my purse, or the ice cream in the frozen aisle  are stronger than me. 

However those foods can negate our goals, and keep us stuck, whether it’s our weight loss goals, or tapping into how we want to feel, because those foods, especially if we overeat them, don’t always leave us feeling very good and vital. 

I’d like to share 3 strategies I use to conquer my cravings and you can use to reclaim your power. 


1 – Have An Alternate Plan In Place

First off, and I know this sounds simple, but getting those foods out of your house is the first step. When those foods are not in your home, it’s much easier not to think about them, or eat them. You may find that they don’t come into focus until the afternoon or after dinner. This is because serotonin drops in the afternoon, and lower serotonin can increase our cravings.  

Having an alternate plan, like fruit for sweet, or olives, nuts, and pickles for savory, can really help to shift our habits of daily chocolate, or afternoon chips and salsa. Seriously, you can get satisfied beyond chips and chocolate, and if you don’t believe me, the next time you want chocolate, have a bite of pickle, and see what happens in your mouth, and to your cravings!! 


2 – Use the 10-Minute Rule To Change Your Scenery

Give yourself 10 minutes, and change your scenery. 

Go for a walk, step outside, and allow your senses to come alive. Look at the nature outside your door (even if you’ve seen it a million times), walk around and get up close and personal to what’s around you. Look for something new, like an  insect, a flower, a bud, or a fallen leaf. Allow yourself to experience the moment around you. Listen to the sounds around you, birds in the trees, or maybe just passing cars, just allow your ears to hear, your nose to smell, and just take it all in. 


3 – Take Deep Breaths To Calm Yourself Down

And finally, try taking some deep breaths. This can be helpful even if you can’t leave your space and go outside. Take a few deep breaths, as this will help you to experience your parasympathetic nervous system, which will help you to be calm, and lower cortisol (high cortisol increases our cravings). 


By choosing to wait 10 minutes, you’re actually lowering your dopamine levels in the body that are “screaming” for the sweet or salty treats. Wanting or needing a sweet or salty fix, is usually a sign of elevated dopamine levels, and your body may be used to getting what it wants when it wants it, because of dopamine. 

So by giving yourself 10 minutes, and changing your scenery, you will divert the dopamine, and in 10 minutes there will be less of it, which means the craving will be less. 


Infuse Mindfulness Into Your Eating Habits

Now, you may still want the “treat”, but check yourself and your cravings. If you want less and eat less, that’s a win right there. And after 10 minutes if you still give into the treat maybe you’ll enjoy it more, and as a result eat less of it more mindfully. 

Or perhaps you’ll decide you can live without it, and move on to other things. I often tell myself, “Mary Sheila, you can have that treat later.” Either way, you are infusing mindfulness into the situation, rather than just doing what you’ve always done.

Awareness is often the first step to a more mindful relationship with our food. It’s the first step that can give us pause with what and how we are going to eat, and ultimately what we end up choosing, because, we always have a choice, and over time, we can own that choice with our whole self. 


To your vital life,

Mary Sheila Gonnella NC, BCHN

Founder, Occidental Nutrition

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  • Emma Dugal
    Posted at 07:06h, 11 June Reply

    Thank you Mary Sheila. . As always your suggestions are timely, powerful and helpful. This advice has helped me get through some difficult moments in my recovery. The 29 minute pause really works for me.

  • Mary Burrell
    Posted at 10:45h, 16 June Reply

    Thank you for sending these helpful hints, eating a pickle , who knew, can be so satisfying!!! As always you share so many treasure troves of wisdom so unselfishly . You are so appreciated by me and so many others. Your friend Mary Burrell

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