“Give up french fries!?”
My client says.
“I don’t think I could give them up forever.”
Sound familiar? What we have here is a classic case of ‘MM’ or the Missing Misconception. Can you imagine living your life without Heroin? Assuming you’re not into that of course… Of course you can, it’s easy right, you won’t miss it because you don’t have it. Yes I am aware this is an extreme example but it’s really true for everything. you see…
Your body wants what it most consistently gets
So if you consistently give it chocolate, it will want, crave and resist the attempt to stop eating it. I personally NEVER miss chocolate, simply because I can’t remember the last time I ate some… I actually get the same cravings for lean proteins, healthy fats and vegetables now. (Yes, I can here your laughter – but it’s true).
How to give something bad up for good and trick your brain into thinking it’s for the best
I had a client a few years ago with a weight concern. I re-wrote her diet plan and saw her twice per week for personal training. In her diet plan I scheduled 1 ‘cheat’ meal at the end of each month as a form of mental gratification for the hard work. I told her she could have anything her heart desired.
Over the course of the month she lost weight (Around 8-10 lbs if memory serves) and true to the plan she had her cheat meal (if truth be told she literally couldn’t wait for the day to come fast enough). Her hard work had paid off and she ordered a Pizza Hut takeaway deal on the Saturday night.
Monday morning came (which was our personal training time slot) and she looked awful. I thought she was getting sick. She told me that after her pizza she was up all night back and forth to the toilet whilst the Pizza made an uncomfortable exit (from both ends).
“Interesting” I said, “how do you feel?”
She told me she couldn’t believe that eating something she’d loved for years could have such an effect on her body. “That’s what happens when your body feels it’s getting poisoned” I told her.
From that moment on my client continued to look forward to her reward meals each month but reigned them back to a little of what she fancied and not an all out binge (not because she was resisting the urge to splurge but because her cravings just weren’t that strong.
She now rarely craves the junk food that was such a big part of her life and enjoys a range of foods regularly whilst maintaining her new figure. She had successfully re-programmed her brain to associate poor food choices with pain and no longer felt the need to shove them in her mouth.
Before you can beat your cravings you have to attack them at the source of the problem. Will power will always run out eventually but if the cravings aren’t there to begin with, nothing can stop you.