People suffering from alcohol and drug addiction have a lot of similarities to people who chronically crave food. They are all mentally conditioned to abuse their substance of choice. Like any other substance, food cravings may result to addiction and rule your life.
Food has become the most convenient escape for many people suffering from emotional eating and food addiction. To conquer this type of behavior, we need to shift the focus on restructuring mental programs that triggers the cravings to resist the temptation to escape. After that everything will follow naturally, including healthy diet and lifestyle change.
Origin of Food Cravings
Food cravings are not independent mental patterns arising within the mind. When cravings become more than just occasional “need” to eat a particular type of food or in some cases, simply turning to any type of food for comfort, then the person is definitely suffering from deeper issues that requires a solution.
Often, turning food to food is a way of emotional eating. Emotional hunger is not the same as physical hunger, when the body is depleted of energy it will automatically trigger hunger, but only what the body requires to restore healthy functions. In case of emotional hunger, the person will continue to eat even if the amount of calories are not required by the body. It is also very noticeable that during emotional eating, a particular type of food is triggered by the mind as a “need” to consume.
Food cravings begin with its source, like all avoidance behavior, a person who chronically craves food is trying to escape reality. Emotional eating, is only the by product of an issue that is deeply rooted within the mind.
Escapeaholic: Overeating To Escape Reality
Escapeaholic is a term coined by Robert G. Smith when talking about common behavior or responses when facing a difficult situation or having to go through emotional confrontation. More often, an individual will try escape, form a behavior in which it will feel safe. In cases of emotional eating, it is turning to food for comfort, a form of escaping current reality.
The subconscious mind is free from logic or reason, and its primary purpose is to keep us safe. Keeping us safe is not only about triggering responses in times of danger, the mind, complex as it is, will also try to keep us safe from emotional pain or anything triggering mental suffering. In other words, when a memory carrying negative emotions is triggered, the mind will automatically produce responses to protect itself from dealing with pain. In cases of food addiction or emotional eating, food cravings becomes this temporary escape, even at the expense of physical wellness.
Ways to Conquer Emotional Eating
Eutaptics holds a great track record in resolving issues with addiction, including food addiction and unnecessary food cravings. In fact, Robert Smith’s FasterEFT/Eutaptics is an employed system in Habilitat Hawaii, a Long Term Addiction Treatment Center.
It may sound harsh to some when food cravings is compared to drug and alcohol addiction. But as mentioned at the beginning of this article, they have a lot in common. And resolving all issues related to EA, experiential avoidance, must take an approach with understanding on how it operates within a person’s mind and life. Finding the source of the issue is the only way to allow lasting resolution while narrowing recurrence of the behavior. In weight issues, what memory or imprint is producing this mental program of “food cravings”? The key is finding resistance, where resistance is, you have found the problem.
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Here are 5 tips to conquer food cravings:
1. Becoming aware of “weak” moments
When you bring your “weak” moments into the mind’s awareness, you will become more aware of emotions, events or persons that may be triggering food cravings. In time, you will find a way not to feel powerless over food cravings when you begin to notice the reasons giving it power.
This is because it is much easier to control food cravings when you know what triggers it. For example, when you have noticed that work tends to trigger food cravings, you may plan your after-work routine outside places where you often do your stress eating. If this is your home, then find use of your time over other activities after work that may help take your mind out of your food cravings.
2. Notice your emotional connection to the type of food
To improve your understanding of what triggers your food cravings, notice your emotional connection with the type of food. For example, chocolate. What is it about chocolate that makes you feel powerless over simply the thought of it? Notice memories of people and events from the earliest you can remember. Your emotional connection to the type of food you feel most powerless about holds the key to finding lasting resolution to your food cravings.
3. Begin setting boundaries where to eat
The number one problem with food cravings, binge eating or emotional eating, is when the urge is triggered, regardless of the place and time, the person will eat. When you begin to set boundaries where food should only be eaten, you train your mind to reduce the urge of eating out of schedule. You do not have to set strict boundaries at the beginning. You may begin one place at a time. For example, not eating in the car, or eating your meals when you watch TV. These are simple changes that you may start practicing will have positive impact in your life.
4. Prioritize sleep
Sleep improves our ability to handle stressful situations and also improve our metabolism. Sleep deprivation is among precursors of obesity or overeating among children and adults. To make sure that your mind builds healthy resilience to stress, The National Sleep Foundation recommends, 7 to 9 hours of sleep at night.
5. Mind your stress
Stress can make us lose control over cravings. Craving for food in times of stress is the easiest way of avoiding a stressful experience or myriad negative emotions it holds. Managing your stress solves so many issues simply because a mind resilient to stress can keep focus on things that matter. However, a mind easily stressed will find a way to escape and find comfort in behaviors or activities that may have negative effects on health and life.
Resolution To Cravings: Eutaptics – The A.R.T of Change
The ART of Change, ART stands for Aim, Release and Transform is a process developed by Robert G. Smith within Eutaptics system that breaks the cycle of addiction of whatever type. Cravings operates within an individuals mind and life in a cycle.
It is critical to understand this cycle to help a person’s recovery. Having the “food cravings” programming is a part of the individual’s coping mechanism. Meaning, like all mental programs, there has to be a source in which this structure is plugged in. The only way to truly break the cycle is to locate the internal turmoil or emotional conflicts produced by imprints within deeper consciousness. The ART of change is a process that enables an individual collapse the “food craving” structure without struggle and achieve fast results.
The ART of change process allows a person to overcome many life problems with the desired outcome in mind. In cases of cravings, it is difficult to identify the subcomponents of the problematic cycle in which the individual is trapped. As the cravings continue to operate within various mental programs and easily triggered by just about anything. The ART of Change ensures that we become aware of the problem without confusing it as part of our core identity.
Aim – Distributing the focus and attention of the mind towards a particular issue, components of the issue and awareness of how it exists.
Release – The phase of the process wherein the interlinked mental patterns forming the structure of the problem is collapsed and all emotional charge of memories and thoughts are released. Because food cravings may draw its roots from many memories, might be during childhood or early adult life experiences, it is important that the process is repeated to re-check whether it is cleared.
Transform – The phase in the process wherein the mind is influenced to create new connections regarding a particular memory to form a neutral or positive response instead. The memories fueling the structure of food cravings may be transformed and linked to another thought. In this way, the behavior of the person is changed naturally because the mind no longer identify a particular memory or imprint as a creator of a craving cycle or basis of experiential avoidance.
Practice of ART of Change, combined with persistence allows a person to rewrite their life stories by no longer feeling powerless over cravings evoked by experiential avoidance. The process may be applied to many life problems that creates immediate changes on how we experience and produce the quality of our lives.
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