Riding the crave wave – a mindful eating strategy

Food cravings are tricky. Have you noticed that some just can’t be ignored? You know, when you crave something specific like a brownie, and you try to satisfy the craving with something else that’s a little healthier, let’s say yogurt or a granola bar because you are working so hard to stick to your goals. But then you still can’t stop thinking about that brownie. You might try several things to appease the desire, but nothing seems to work. Your craving remains and you finally give in.  In those cases, it’s just best to have that brownie in the first place instead of having several alternatives, only to eventually indulge in the brownie anyway. You end up eating more unnecessary calories when you try to ignore an intense craving like that.

But what about those less intense cravings?

Like those silly cookies in the breakroom that are only a distraction but look so tempting. If we gave into ALL our cravings ALL the time, we could be setting ourselves up for excessive weight gain or unbalanced eating, especially over the holiday season. Here is a technique called the CRAVE WAVE that can help you manage your urges.

Go through this exercise first and then decide if your craving needs to be satisfied or you can let it ride. 

  1. Acknowledge and name the craving: “Oooh chocolate…I definitely want that chocolate cake right now.”
  2. Visualize yourself riding the crave wave: Instead of letting the waves of the craving crash down on you and suck you in, picture yourself jumping on your surfboard, riding out the wave and safely coming back to shore. It might sound cheesy, but this imagery is a powerful thing.
  3. Refocus your attention: Walk away from the food, busy your hands, write down your current thoughts, slowly take five deep breaths or any other activity that can redirect your attention. Congrats. You just rode the crave wave!

If you need some more guidance on dealing with your cravings, let us know!

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