Chocolate cravings can be quite intense and it seems like, especially when you tell yourself ‘I want to eat well and be healthy’. It’s like your cravings for cake or biscuits escalate to beyond your ability to control yourself. BOOM the biscuit packet is already open.
Hack to manage chocolate cravings
If this resonates, and you want to learn how to manage your cravings – read on. I will share a powerful hack that works incredibly well.
First, to understand the hack we need to have a solid understanding of the psychological concept of anticipated scarcity. I will explain this concept in some examples.
I have had clients say ‘When we were thinking there would be another Covid lockdown, I frantically bought ice cream and biscuits because I worried they would not be available’. Another client rushed out to eat as much MacDonalds as she could. Essentially, this panic buying is a psychological and behavioural response to feeling like food won’t be available. When we think something won’t be in abundance, we go into scarcity or survival mode. Essentially, we need it now, and as much as we can (just in case).
Another example is late-night commercials (remember those?). The announcer would be blaring at you that ‘there are only 100 left and these knives are limited edition’. They are using human psychology to make the product more tempting. Enticing us and generating appeal using scarcity. When we believe we might not be able to have it – we want it more!
Do you want what you can’t have?
Let’s be honest, we all want what we can’t have to a degree. Have you ever liked a guy or girl who was not interested in you? This has happened to me, and I became almost obsessive over them! I wanted his attention but he never noticed me. Years later he wanted to be my boyfriend. Funny enough… Once this happened and he was available, I was no longer interested. Again, anticipated scarcity. And the same thing happens with food.
Restricting food creates scarcity in the mind…
The same psychological premise as the above examples occurs with food. If we decide ‘no pasta, no chocolate, no sugar’. What will we suddenly desire more than anything? That is correct – pasta, chocolate, and sugar. Moreover, cravings will tend to be more powerful than before the restriction was imposed.
Understanding the HACK we need to use human psychology
The psychology behind binge eating is powerful. With my clients, I use a combination of psychology, neuroscience and nutrition. And it works 100%. Ultimately, we need to avoid scarcity mode. We do this by ensuring the trigger foods are available and abundant.
HACK: We integrate the trigger food on a daily basis in a controlled manner (not merely responding in an uncontrolled way). Let me explain further…
Chocolate cravings…is this you?
So for chocolate lovers who want to regain control. I recommended adding 2 squares to your diet every day. But decide when you will eat these 2 squares. Could be anytime. Just have a small amount every day. This next part might not make sense. But you NEED to eat it, even if you don’t feel like it. This is similar to the concept of reverse psychology. Remember the example I gave about the guy I lost interest in once he showed interest? The same will happen with chocolate. Your mind might even decide it is overrated after a few weeks of daily forced intake.
Do you crave hot chips, crisps and burgers?
Now these foods are a little different from chocolate and cookies. I do not suggest eating these highly addictive foods daily. These foods are enhanced with additives, flavouring agents, extra salt and fat which stimulate the reward system giving us a feel-good sensation in the brain that becomes addictive. We need to remove these foods from our diets, to allow our brain to relax from the constant high it gets from the food. But, we don’t want to go into scarcity mode. So there is a balancing act to achieve here.
I suggest having these foods once per week (at the beginning), until you are ready to reduce them even further. You decide when. In between, you need to focus on balancing your blood sugar. Add 3 main meals with snacks in between. Ensure to have protein and fat with every meal. Have regular wholesome carbohydrates. (Check out more on the Balanced Diet Framework here)
This is not a binge
Remember, when we decide to eat these foods once in a week – it is not a binge-fest. It is also certainly not a ‘cheat’ meal. It has nothing to do with this. Ultimately, we are training the brain to relax and ensure there is no anticipated scarcity.
Curb chocolate cravings
Try out this hack, and if you have any questions let me know. For my free Balanced Diet Framework, click here or see below. (I also have a free binge eating trigger guide you can download with immediate access).
The Balanced Diet Framework
Stop Dieting and Overeating – Easy to follow Framework for no more food cravings
The Balanced Diet Framework is for anyone who struggles with Food Cravings, Binge Eating, Yo-Yo Dieting and their Weight.
In this book I provide an easy to follow framework to reduce food cravings, end binge eating urges, increase energy levels and enjoy balanced, healthy and delicious meals.
Most importantly you will never need to follow another fad diet again.