Ep 25: How to Handle Cravings

cravingsThe one where we talk about how to handle the cravings and desire and urges that our favorite foods seem to have on us when we try to lose weight.

To view the show notes, ask a question, or leave a comment, visit www.AmyLatta.com/BWLW25.

Episode Show Notes:

We have learned through years of dieting that the way to handle cravings is to resist them with willpower, or avoid them by never being new what we crave, or to divert our attention by replacing the craving with a “better choice.”
I want to offer you another way! You can learn to allow your cravings, and over time, you will actually reduce your desire for these craved foods in the first place!
Holy Cow! It’s amazing and it’s possible and it just takes repetition, and love, and a firm No.

What You Will Learn:

  1. A little brain science around how cravings are play out in our mind
  2. The ways we have always handled our cravings and why that doesn’t work
  3. 100 allowed urges and the actual process of the the best way to handle your cravings
  4. The importance and selection of the belief you want to have in the midst of a craving

Amy’s Favorite Things Giveaway:
Win a box of Amy’s favorite things to set you up for weight loss success in 2018!

  1. Leave a review for Business Women Losing Weight on iTunes.
  2. Leave a review for my business on Facebook at the Amy Latta page.
  3. Leave a recommendation for my business on LinkedIn. We must be a first-degree connection!

Action Item:

Put allowed urges into practice.
Make your decisions ahead of time. At least 24 hours in advance.
And start a file somewhere. Only you know the best place for you. But when those familiar cravings pop up – and they will – document them.
Describe what the craving was and what it felt like to allow it and how you managed it.
And create what you want to believe when you are having an urge.
Approach your cravings with love and a firm No.

Take the next step and download The Business Woman’s Quick-Start Guide to Losing Weight:

Building Community:

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Episode Transcription:

You are listening to Business Women Losing Weight with Amy Latta, episode 25 – The one where we talk about how to handle the cravings and desire and urges that all our favorite foods seem to have on us when we try to lose weight. Let’s Go!(Music) Welcome to Business Women Losing Weight, a community for fabulous women small business owners so laser focused on building their businesses….they have been sacrificing their health! Together we’re going to get back your time, get back your energy, and teach you to live naturally thin.
I’m your host, Amy Latta, and I’m all in! Are you comin’ with me? Let’s take care of you so you can take care of business!

Hello, hello, my sisters! How are you all doing today! I hope that life is fantastic in all its Life-ness! Ha! No matter what life is throwing at you, you can use these life coaching tools I share with you to feel better, no matter what!

Listen, it takes time. To learn to feel however you want to feel, no matter what is happening in your life. But guess what – we are on episode 25 here on the podcast. Like – wow! And Life has thrown some pretty crazy things my way this year – even this last week, a super nasty virus hit my big kid and we were both zombies for three straight days, right when I am working on something big. Like. It never seems to stop! But with each episode I share with you guys, we learn a little something new, I share a little nugget that just may be the piece you needed for it all to click in your brain!

I’m so excited to have come this far with you guys! I’m becoming a better host, I’m having fun, I’m getting so much feedback from you guys on how this work that I share with you – this life coaching approach to weight loss – is shifting your minds and holy cow, we get to do this together!

THANK YOU! Thank you for listening week after week and for sharing your stories with me! And before I dive into today’s topic – which is such a common question I get, how the heck to handle your cravings – I want to ask if you’ve left a podcast review yet?

Yeah, you’re gonna hear me ask for awhile, because it’s super important for us podcast hosts that we get subscribers and reviews so that our podcast communities can grow!
And I have a goal of 100 reviews! I’m giving y’all my goods, ladies! Ha! My friend May said just this week she cracks up every time I say that, so I have decided I must include it in all episodes. Giving you all my goods! Love you, May!
But for real, you can get all my tools, all my knowledge – FOR FREE – just by listening to Business Women Losing Weight. All I ask is that you take just a few minutes to leave a review and a star rating on iTunes.

I’m working on 2018 plans, and, as this podcast grows, how we can all connect as a Business Women Losing Weight, a Grown Ass Woman society! Oh my god. I have to use that! Someone trademark that for me! At least write it down so I remember! Haha!

But when the show grows, we all benefit because I can create new ways for us to connect!

So stick around till the end of the show when I tell you about a fabulous giveaway I have for those of you leaving reviews! Leaving a review on iTunes is ridiculously easy if you are listening on an iPhone. You just open your podcast app, click on the podcast artwork, make sure you are subscribed! Then scroll to the bottom where it will show you the reviews, select “Write a review.” Then tap out a few sentences on what you think of the show and why others should listen.

And if you are on an Android, it’s just a few minutes more. Go on your phone or your PC and download iTunes. It takes no time to set up an account with your email, then search for “Business Women Losing Weight” podcast, and then you can write your review!

It really means so much for us podcasters when you do that!

So last week we discussed one of my favorite tools for losing weight is making decisions ahead of time. Decide now what you will and won’t eat, at least for the next 24 hours. You know if you’re going to a party and there may be food that does not serve your goals at this time. Are you going to consciously choose to eat them, or not? Take the battle out of your brain and decide NOW!

So here’s what I hear from my clients on this. And what I have gone through myself. Ya’ll know that I have gone through all of this myself, right? Haha! I’m not keeping any secrets here, yours truly has done all this work – and continues to do all of this work!

So what happens when you decide – tomorrow I am going to eat a sweet potato loaded with veggies for lunch and then some roasted chicken, asparagus, and potatoes for dinner. If you downloaded my What to Eat This Week freebie I’ve talked about in previous episodes, you have my favorite recipe for roasted chicken. Yum Yum!

Anyway, so you make your plan, whatever it is, and then…a client brings a box of your favorite cookies from your favorite local bakery. Or you get invited out for a last minute cocktail hour, a must attend event for your business, and dinner plans are now out the window.
OR – and this is a real life situation I coached a client on just last week!
You’re having lunch with friends you haven’t seen in ages, at a place you’ve never been to before, and you know you should just order the salad with grilled chicken. But you’ve heard this place makes amazing tater tot nachos. For Real, tater tot nachos! That is a real thing here in St. Louis!
And you know what you should do, but when you get there, and get caught up in the moment, and you think, “Oh, it’s only one time, what’s it gonna hurt!” And in my clients case, what if she never makes it back to this restaurant and never gets to eat tater tot nachos ever again in her life and oh my Lord, just deliver them to me now!

No. Not dramatic at all! HA! Ya’ll know what that is, right? That’s the toddler in your brain playing with you!
I cannot drive this idea home strong enough. It’s an analogy everyone gets.
You have your front brain – your prefrontal cortex – that is the parent brain. It makes smart decisions. It uses logic and rational thought and weighs the hows and the whys of our choices. It sees our goals and says, these are the steps we need to take to get there.

And then you have your primitive brain. It’s in the back, tucked up behind your skull. The part of your brain that wants to automate as much of your thinking as possible. The part of your brain that is designed to keep you safe. To keep you out of harms way. Automate as many of your tasks as possible, so it can be on the alert to real danger.
And any change in your life, it perceives as danger. We are no longer living in primitive times, in the cave, when there may have been saber toothed tigers out there. We have eliminated so many real dangers, thanks to modern living, that our primitive brain now sees changes in behavior as detriments to your life!
It’s the toddler in a restaurant throwing a fit when you don’t give it the cookie – because you have always given it the cookie and when you stop giving in….you know. That toddler pitches a fit!

So you are not crazy when you think, “Change is hard!” Our primitive brains think change is potential danger and they are shouting at us, even when we have made the conscious decision to make a change.

But we are amazing beings and our brains are so stinking’ awesome! I want you to acknowledge how awesome your brain is! Ha! We never do that, but think about what our brain is so capable of. Your brain has allowed you to build your business, to take a dream you have and make it a reality. You have smarts and drive and hustle and gumption! Our brains are the greatest computers ever.

They can also be toddlers throwing tantrums in public over a freakin’ cookie.

I know. We are complex, diverse beings! Embrace that!

So what do you do when you are in the restaurant, and you decided ahead of time you were going to eat the chopped salad, and your brain is screaming, “Tater tot nachos! Me want tater tot nachos!”
Cause it’s gonna happen!
Or you’re at an unplanned business dinner and roasted chicken was your plan, and now it’s all tapas.
Or your client brings your favorite cookies and you are’t eating flour or sugar.

These are urges, right? Cravings. Your cravings might also hit your when you are feeling restless and you just gotta have some chocolate. Or maybe salty is more your thing. Or maybe it’s salty chocolate, I don’t judge.

But we all have them. And in the moment, they are all consuming. “I gotta have this. I can’t say no. I don’t want to say no! It will taste so good! It’s just one bite, or snack, or meal. You only live once! Life is too short not to eat the cake!”

So here’s the thing about cravings and urges. This is linked to your desire. And traditional weight loss has been about how to use willpower, or resistance, to get over your cravings. I want to teach you how to reduce the desire in the first place. So that tater tot nachos are just another thing on the menu and those cookies you love so much just become something else on the table.

Not everyone loves this idea. We are so emotionally attached to our cravings! I have told clients that I can help them no longer desire chocolate, and they stop in their tracks. “Wait. Well, I don’t want to not desire it, I just don’t want to eat it when I don’t want to eat it!”

Listen, sisters. You can still enjoy the foods you enjoy now, but they do not have to have that pull over you. That “I cannot live without” thing we so often have going on. I’m not talking about never eating those foods you crave ever again. I’m offering you that if we can reduce the desire for these foods in the first place, we can we reduce the cravings. And then you can make conscious, adult decisions about the foods you will and will not eat.

Listen. Moderation is not the key. Because there is so much grey area as to what moderation even means, and, as I have mentioned a few times before on this podcast, that doesn’t reduce the dopamine hit you give your brain every time you give into a craving. Even the smallest hit!

As a refresher or if it is your first time here, the reason change is so hard is our brain likes to automate our actions. If you do the same thing over and over again, you are hardwiring your brain to do that without thinking. This is generally good, unless you have hardwired a habit that no longer serves you. And, once it’s hard wired, your brain give you a little feel-good juice – or dopamine – every time you satisfy that automatic behavior. This is brain science! Super interesting stuff! If you want to change your habits, you have to pull back first, rewire your brain with a new habit, which is done through repetition, and stop doing the thing you don’t want to do so that you stop the dopamine hit. It doesn’t mean you’ll never do it again!

It doesn’t mean you can never have chocolate or your favorite cookie or tater tot nachos!
But, can you imagine not craving those things, and being able to make a conscious, adult decision on whether or not you will eat them.
So many of my clients come to me because they are obsessed with food and don’t want to be anymore.

Ladies, willpower is not going to get you there. Will power is resisting. And, what’s the quote, what you resist, persists? Yeah! It doesn’t work, not long term!
You can try to avoid it! But how has that worked for you? You can’t avoid all the food you no longer want to crave. You cannot control your environment like that, and do you even want to?

We need to use our brains for world domination, not constantly thinking about where food may or may not show up! That is so exhausting! This is where you throw out all the food you typically crave, clean out your fridge and pantry and say, “Never again am I going to buy ice cream! I can’t eat it if it’s not in the house!”
The second part of that sentence, that we don’t acknowledge, is, “And I must never leave the house again!”
It’s just not practical!

So I want to offer you a third option. Allowing your cravings. Say what?
Yes. Allow them. Bring them on, I say. If you truly want to be free from the power that food has over you, you need to face the cravings and the desires and the urges. Not with white knuckles and will power. But allow the cravings to happen, and process them.

How the heck do we do that? Remember what I said about hardwiring your brain. It happens through repetition. That means, you gotta do it and you gotta do it a lot. Many times over. Allow yourself to feel your cravings and not resist them and not give into them and not avoid them. You likely have never done this. It will feel weird. Uncomfortable. Your brain is going to be shouting, “what the hell are we doing!”

Here’s how this looks.
You make your decisions ahead of time, at least 24 hours in advance. These are decisions you are making with your conscious, adult brain, not your primitive, toddler brain! That was last episode, episode 24.
And then, when your craving comes for whatever it is…let’s go with chocolate, because that’s a super common one… you don’t do anything. You don’t eat the chocolate.
You don’t throw it away.
You don’t stare it in the face and tense up your body, repeating, “I will not eat you, I will not eat you.”
You don’t deflect, and say, “Well, maybe some berries instead!”
You will lean into the discomfort of wanting the chocolate, and not eating it. You will allow that craving to come over you, and feel the discomfort – anxiousness, restlessness, agitated, even?
And you will breathe through it, and remind yourself that everything is going to be just fine!

Somewhere in your life, have a piece of paper or an Evernote or a page in your journal or something, where you log your Allowed Urges. Yes, you are going to write them down. Collect them!
For each craving, write down what you were craving, what you were thinking or how you were feeling and how you managed it.
I bet if you collect 100 urges, 100 times that you had a craving and didn’t give into it and didn’t resist it and didn’t avoid it, and just allowed the craving to be there and to pass on its own, you will not experience cravings like that anymore. In fact, I know it.
Think back to the parent and the toddler.
What happens when they throw a fit for a cookie.
If you calmly and gently, with nothing but love, tell them no, they will throw their fit. And then the fit will pass.
And they will do it again and again, the fits get a little shorter, a little quieter. Because they are faced with love and a firm No. They won’t like it.
But eventually, they won’t throw a fit. Eventually, they may not even want the cookie anymore.
And eventually, you, the parent, will be able to offer a cookie when it is appropriate. And the toddler will still enjoy it.

But there won’t be a fit. It will just be a cookie.

Woah. Right? You can see the parallel. Our right brain is saying, that makes complete sense. Your brain is also saying, “But those toddler fits. They are awful in the beginning!”
And they can be. Part of our struggle is that we have convinced ourselves that our lives should be almost all positive stuff, either positive think our way through anything, or we often use food to make us happy again when Life throws crap at us. Crap, like a super sick kid and three unplanned days spent as Dr. Mom. But how we feel about anything in our life is all in our thinking! And we always have an option in what we choose to think, and food never ever has to enter the picture.

So when your brain is throwing that fit, when you are allowing the urge, but not giving in or running away or resisting, you don’t have to believe that this is so hard. That this feels impossible.
You can believe that you are rewiring your brain.
You can believe that you are creating a better relationship with food. A better relationship with yourself!
You can believe that you love yourself so much, you are willing to learn new things.
You are so loved, you are learning to lose weight permanently.
You are so worthy of learning to live like a naturally thin person.

So many things you can choose to believe in those moments.

And here’s the coolest thing. Once you realize there is no food you cannot live without, you will actually become free to eat whatever you want. Crazy. I know. But never forget that your host here, me, is a life-long foodie! For decades of my life, I said “Oh my God, I could never live without…” and insert a million different things! I love food, how food tastes, the fireworks that go off in my mouth when you put together amazing combinations.

But through doing this work of allowing urges and reducing my desire for these foods I couldn’t ever live without, I realize that I actually can live without them. And my life is more joyful and amazing and fulfilled because I no longer depend on these foods to make my life amazing. And the biggest benefit is that if I decide that I want some berry blast pie at Thanksgiving, using my conscious, adult brain, I can decide that. And then have a slice. And savor every single bite. My love of how food can taste and the different flavor combinations is still there. It just no longer has the hold over me that it used to. It’s just food. And depending on my goals, I can decide what food is best for me at the time.

Let’s do this thing, alright! So this week’s action item is to put allowed urges into practice. Make your decisions ahead of time. At least 24 hours in advance. And start a file somewhere. Only you know the best place for you. But when those familiar cravings pop up – and they will – document them. Describe what the craving was and what it felt like to allow it and how you managed it.
And the second part of this week’s action item is coming up with what you want to believe when you are having an urge. Some of the options I gave before are:
I am rewiring my brain.
I am creating a better relationship with food.
I am learning to lose weight permanently.
I am learning to live naturally thin.
Or I even like, “Everything is going to be okay. I am strong enough to handle this craving.”

Choose one of these or create your own. So you allow the urge, collect as many as you can, while remaining the loving parent with the gentle reminder of what you want to believe. Approach your cravings with a love and a firm No.
This is such powerful work. And with repetition, you will loosen the grip that food has over you.
And totally different than what we have learned from any other diet program, right!

Okay, so this week’s review of the week is from an amazing business owner, Hayley Sohn, who owns Basically IT ready-made meals here in St. Louis! She wrote, “As a nutritionist who works with a lot of weight loss clients, I know that the mental portion which Amy drives home in each podcast is the key to weight loss. In fact, I believe in Amy so much, I hired her to help me through some of my own issues! She’s awesome! Hire her!”

Ha! LOVE IT! Hayley is one of my favorite people, and she’s building an amazing business here in St. Louis, delivering healthy and delicious ready-made-meals right to your door. HELLO! For some super busy woman small business owners, that is the answer they’ve been looking for!
AND you are going to see one of Hayley’s brand spanking new products in my box of Amy’s Favorite Things!

Which is funny, since Hayley’s review has her entered into the drawing for Favorite Things!
Amy’s Favorite Things is a giant box of Treat Yo Self – things that any businesswoman trying to lose weight might need. A box of self-love. It’s like a FabFitFun box, but this one is curated by yours truly, of products I love, most of which are items from other badass women business owners such as yourself!
And – there will be only one box! Yes, only one box!
And you can win it! Here’s the deal. Right now, it is the first week of December 2017, and I am asking for iTunes reviews for the podcast, and business reviews on Facebook and LinkedIn.
I have big audacious goals – and you can help me and possibly win a surprise gift box full of all the Amy’s Favorite Things you need to start 2018! Sounds perfect, right?
Here’s what you do! I am tracking all the reviews I get for the podcast on iTunes and for my business on Facebook and Linkedin, from now until January 1st.
One review gets you one entry; leave a review in two places, you get five; and leave a review in all three places and you get TEN entries! That’s super fun math!
I am so excited about what is going into this box already! There are delectable treats and practical tools, and it’s just a giant box of self-love and compassion. Good stuff on so many levels!
I will leave the links to leave reviews in the show notes to make it easy, but you can easily knock this out in just a few minutes!
Leave a review here on iTunes, right from your iPhone.
And look up my Amy Latta business page on both Facebook and LinkedIn. I do believe you will need to connect with me on LinkedIn.
Please email me at amy@amylatta.com with your entries – your name, your review titles, email address – so I can keep track of entries. I have my spreadsheet all ready to go.
If you have already left an iTunes review, you already have one out of the three done, baby! Just email me so I can credit your entries.
So get your entries in! I will draw a winner on New Year’s Day, 2018.

And a side note of how important emailing me is. Someone just left an amazing review this week, and I have no idea who it is. About 1/3 of the reviews on iTunes, I don’t know who they are, because iTunes only gives me your AppleID! So Suellytiff, and KellyRH, and Anmasta, and so many more – Send me an email to claim which review is yours!

Alright, my Grown Ass Women! I believe in you. Are you ready to take the next step? Download your free Business Woman’s Jump Start to Weight Loss – yours completely free, just go to AmyLatta.com/quickstart.
And share this episode with someone who needs to hear this. Let them know that there is help, there’s another way, and we are a growing tribe of Grown Ass Women who have their back.

Alright, you have been listening to Business Women Losing Weight with life and weight coach Amy Latta. And until Next Week…let’s go do Epic Stuff.

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About Amy Latta

Amy Latta is a life coach helping female entrepreneurs lose weight. Some entrepreneurs struggle with not enough time and not enough energy, and are so laser focused on growing their businesses, they sacrifice their health – not realizing their personal health is imperative to the health of their business. Women hire Amy to help them get an extra hour or two back in their day while figureing out why they don’t do what they say they’re going to do.
The result being more time, more energy, and weight loss.
When she’s not building her own business, you can usually find Amy on her yoga mat or experimenting in the kitchen. When in doubt, bring her guacamole.

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