There are 3 main challenges that most people (and my clients) have when they set out to lose weight, so let’s talk about them.
Today we’re going to look at the first challenge – food cravings (make sure to come back next week to look at challenge #2).
Have you ever wondered why the heck you have crazy cravings for all the “wrong food” as soon as you go on a diet, why those cravings feel out of control, and what to do about it?
Let’s solve that mystery now, shall we? Let’s talk about why we have cravings in the first place. Traditional nutritionists think of food in calories and grams of fat. In my coaching practice I look at food in a different way. I work with energetics of food.
An easy way to think about the ‘energy’ of food is to think about the age-old concept of Yin & Yang, which is the Chinese system of opposites. Click here to download the Energetics Of Food handout for more information.
The concept is pretty simple – it’s looking at the world in pairs: dark, light, night, day, hot, cold, etc.
YIN: The yin is the female energy, the night, the moon, the dark. In food, yin energy is represented in alcohol, sugar, and fruits.
These foods are considered expansive; they make you feel light, relaxed and happy. Sometimes they are referred to as “bliss” foods. But when you eat too many yin – or “bliss” – foods you start to feel spacey, perhaps even a little forgetful.
YANG: Yang refers to masculine energy, heat and light. Yang foods are very contracting (versus the expansive Yin foods). Examples of yang foods are salt, meat and eggs.
These are the kinds of foods that put “meat on your bones”. They make you feel grounded, focused, aggressive, but when you eat too many you start to feel tight, agitated and perhaps even angry.
So that’s all fine and good, but how does the concept of Yin and Yang relate to your food cravings?
I’m glad you asked! If life is a system of opposites and your body is always trying to balance itself out, what do you think happens if you are having too many yang foods, like salt, meat, and eggs? What do you think your body might start craving to balance itself out? It will crave the opposite of yang foods – it will crave sweet, expansive yin foods!
Do you find that if you have something salty like potato chips, you crave something sweet afterwards?
That’s the challenge; if we have too many yang foods we’ll crave the yin. If we have too many yin foods, we’ll crave the yang. So what many people don’t realize – and I didn’t realize this myself either – is that we’re often times CREATING our cravings, unknowingly. Cool right?
You can even look at activities in your life through the lens of yin and yang.
There are things that happen in your life that are a little more yang – they create more tension. And then there are things that are more yin – they create more relaxation.
You can look at the examples of Yang activities are on your handout: running, working too much, partying, staying up late, stress. When you have too many Yang activities, you’re going to crave more Yin foods, because you need relaxation.
If you don’t allow yourself to relax, then you’ll find yourself bingeing on wine, chocolate, bread, desserts….your body is begging for a break, like sleep, reading, meditation, walking, taking a bath.
If you’ve been driving in awful traffic or your toddler was a nightmare or you had a really stressful day at work – what do you going to crave? Sweets or a martini – expansive, yin foods. That craving is your body trying to balance itself out again.
That’s why when I’m working with clients to deconstruct their cravings, we look at not just the foods they’re eating, but also their lifestyle.
Next week we will look at challenge #2 when it comes to losing weight so stay tuned.
Would you like help deconstruction your specific cravings, learning what they mean and what to do to find the balance naturally? Just imagine how good would it feel to let go of that afternoon sugar binge… I have a handful of complimentary calls available this week and one of them has your name on it. Use this link to access my diary and let’s talk: www.fiminska.com/apply