I so often hear from new clients that they feel stuck craving something sweet after a meal. I grew up always having dessert and it was quite a learning process for me to become aware of how finishing dinner had become an automatic trigger for what I wanted next – something sweet. Many beat themselves up for falling into the sweet-craving trap after meals… especially at night. Here are some tools to shift your habits.
First there are the basic physical reasons why we crave something sweet after a meal.
- The meal was too salty
- We ate too fast and did not chew
- Our mind was elsewhere and our body did not realize we were actually eating, so the digestive system is struggling with the food and something sweet to trigger the digestive juices to be released ( the anti-dote is not to eat something sweet but to be more mindful of the eating process).
- Dehydration and we need water after the meal. Avoid drinking water with the meal since that can cause you to not digest the meal as well, and with that you end up with sweet cravings.
We set up habits based on triggers and it does not take much for a habit to become a mindless automatic behavior. To “get out of it” and choose another action is a practice of not only mindfulness, but also resilience and commitment. Many think of getting rid of a habit, but we are actually retraining ourselves. Learning about the triggers is the first step. What happens before the craving is the clue to what happens that turns to unconscious reactionary patterns, which basically means you being stuck in habits where you realize afterwards that “you did it again”. Becoming mindful of our triggers is a fantastic opportunity to get to know yourself better, so think of it as being curious rather than critical. Think of it as learning instead of catching yourself, and think of it as moving forward and through your current habits, instead of getting rid of.
When we focus on getting rid of a habit it tends to be a constant struggle with control and will-power and it simply does not work. Because will-power is the first to fail under stress, both physical stress and emotional stress. We are each different and there is not one way that is right or wrong – the point is to find yours.
How to make a healthy change
The Path for Life 9-Step Program is designed to not only teach you how to know food, but also how to become mindful of your triggers so you can change your eating habits. We think of habits as good and bad and we judge ourselves. To make a healthy change, and especially one that can be a change for good, we need to change our mind and our way of thinking so it becomes about how they support us and how they don’t. This way it feels like a positive and motivating process to shift the habits and live nourished and it is something we can enjoy and look forward to as the person we are becoming as we make new choices along the way. The Path for Life Program is a step-by-step process, so that changes becomes a new you, thriving.
To learn more about how to change the way you eat, your relationship with food and create new habits that nourish you, go to the Online Path for Life 9-step Program or visit jeanettebronee.com to learn about how to work with me one-on-one.