This Saturday was a holiday here in the US. It was the 4th of July, full of family, friends, fireworks and (of course) fattening foods.
If I had to guess, I’d say that the vast majority of you did not maintain your raw food diet.
Sorry if I seem too harsh. But let’s face it, making *any* dietary changes is tough work! This is especially true for those of us known to binge eat.
While I no longer struggle with binge eating or cravings, I know how physically *and* mentally draining it can be. I also know what it takes to defeat these cravings for good.
On that note, here are the 3 most important steps you can take to combat your cooked food cravings and finally overcome binge eating.
#1: Don’t Beat Yourself Up
You have to put this little side-step, or any dieting “faux-paus,” in perspective. Just because you ate some food you have placed on your naughty list does not mean it’s the end of the world. It’s just food!
Think about it this way. You maintain a healthy raw vegan diet for 2 weeks straight…tons of fruit, nutritious veggies, limited fats, etc. Then, you attend a cookout for Independence Day. You are determined *not* to eat anything cooked. But, oh man, that cornbread looks sooooo good. You decide just a little nibble won’t kill you. A nibble becomes a mouthful, a mouthful becomes 3 face-fulls, etc.
Before you know it, you feel uncomfortably stuffed, piss offed, and guilty.
And all of this in the span of just a few minutes. Compare those minutes to the entire 2 weeks you stayed raw and healthy. Not much of a comparison, huh?
Always put things into perspective. Recognize your decision (you choose to overeat, it does not happen to you) for what it was, learn from it, and move on.
#2: Be Firm In Your Decisions
While it’s important to be easy on yourself when you stray from your diet, it’s also important to be firm in your decision to go raw to prevent further binges. You have to understand exactly why you are refraining from certain foods and be completely confident in your reasons.
Doing this from the get go will make it much more difficult to justify eating those forbidden foods.
An excellent way to facilitate this is to make a list of your raw reasons. Include only the reasons that are actually important to you, not ones that you think should be important.
If the *only* reason you want to go raw is to lose weight, that’s okay! That can be your one solid reason. Try to keep that reason in your mind at all times. Write it out on post it notes. Laminate it and paste it to your fridge.
Just make it real and unforgettable.
If someone asks you your reasons for going raw, you should practically scream at them, “I WANT TO LOSE WEIGHT!” without even thinking about it. It should be that solid in your mind.
#3: Analyze Your Cravings to Cooked Foods
It’s always important to understand why we long for “naughty” foods in the first place. To do this, you first must identify what type of craving you are experiencing:
Physical cravings are simply due to physical hunger. You are not getting enough calories from raw foods and so you are hungry. This puts you in a compromised position, especially when you are surrounded by all of your old cooked food favorites at family functions. Being hungry makes it very easy to justify eating these foods.
Luckily, erradicating physical cravings is very easy to do. Just eat more food! Simply add a couple more pieces of fruit to your fruit meals. You will know that you have eaten enough when you are satiated for 3-5 hours are eating and no longer crave other foods.
Emotional cravings are a whole different monster because, well…they’re emotional! You binge because of your feelings, not because of any physical hunger.
I know this type of craving all too well. There were times in which I was absolutely *stuffed* on sweet raw fruit, and yet I found myself in the pantry claiming any foods that I could get my hands on.
For me, overeating was usually a result of boredom. Each time I found myself with nothing to do, I would immediately think of food.
When I *finally* figured this out, I was able to gain control of and even destroy my cravings. I knew what would happen if I let myself become bored and restless and so I was able to keep myself from reaching this state in the first place.
Not only did I eradicate my cravings, but I became much more productive as well! 🙂
It’s a Process
To get started, I recommend you write down your raw reasons. It only takes a few minutes. Go ahead, get started!
Don’t worry, I’ll wait. 😉
From there, you can begin thinking about any emotional ties you may have to foods. Maybe you eat when you are sad, or angry, or just bored like me! Maybe you only eat when you are in the company of a certain person.
To help facilitate this analysis, I highly recommend you check out the Shrink Yourself Program by Dr. Roger Gould. The free session alone is enough to help you grasp your reasons for overeating.
Whatever you do, realize that overcoming binge eating is a progression. It will not happen overnight. If you find your current dietary guidelines too strict for you mentally, feel free to scale back a bit and work from there. The journey is just as important as the destination.
That’s why I offer The Fool Proof Transition to Raw when you sign up to my newsletter. If you have not subscribed, this is a free 5-week course that allows you to gradually make your way toward a 100% raw diet. I’ve found this to be much easier on the body, as well as the psyche, than going 100% raw right from the get-go.
To subscribe, be sure to visit Fit On Raw. 🙂