You’ve been sticking to your healthy diet all day long. Superfoods, check. Green smoothies, check. Lean protein, check check. But the clock is about to strike 10 p.m. and you know what that means. Your snack cravings are going to kick into high gear and you can already see yourself throwing out an entire day of healthy nutrients, all in the name of Doritos.
But before you go clawing open that bag and stuffing your face full of cool ranch, try to remember that cravings are all in your head. And they can be conquered with a little mindful eating meditation. Not only that, but mindful eating meditation can actually help prevent cravings altogether. Mind over matter. It’s that powerful.
How mindful eating meditation works
Meditation is all about training the mind and achieving a deep sense of peace within. It’s about clearing cluttered thought patterns through deep breathing.
Mindful meditation is the same, except that it involves acknowledging wandering thoughts (ie. cravings), accepting, and fully experiencing them, rather than using willpower to suppress them. Instead of judging cravings or associating them with feelings of negativity and guilt, simply be aware of them and allow them to pass. They will if you let them!
The next time you’re craving something you know your body doesn’t really need, create some time and space for yourself (far from the pantry) to practice mindful eating meditation. With practice you’ll become increasingly aware of the patterns in your daily life that cause cravings and overeating and you'll begin to develop balance.
Meditating for as little as seven minutes a day has been proven to help reduce stress and anxiety and produce overall feelings of wellness. But if you find it difficult to do at first (many people do!), try starting with just two or three minutes and work your way up gradually.
Other methods for managing cravings include taking a brisk walk, drinking a glass of water, keeping junk food out of the house entirely, and simply asking yourself, “Am I really hungry?” And hey, if you're really just hungry, grab a healthy snack and check out our favorite top ten tips for mindful eating.