Ever have those moments when you are overcome with an urge to eat that is NOT physical? Meaning that the motivation is coming from your head or heart rather than from a physical need for food?
Maybe you had a rough day and could use a bowl of ice cream. Or maybe you’re feeling stressed and think that crunching away on chips will melt the anxiety away.
We’ve all been there. And while there is a time and place for mindful indulging, it is important to get a handle on eating that is emotional in nature, as this can become a hard habit to break long term.
In today’s video I propose a simple strategy that I employ and encourage our clients at MN to use whenever they are hit with a cravings. It’s called the 10-minute rule.
When to apply the 10-minute rule
- When you want a second helping of food at dinner. This often happens because we’ve eaten too fast. Waiting gives your brain the memo that you’re full.
- When you want something to munch on in front of the TV. This is a habit by association and waiting usually results in forgetting about the craving in the first place.
- When you’re at work reaching for your lunchbox for the second time before lunch. ProcrastinEATING is a thing. This is when we use food to delay the start of a project or work because we’re overwhelmed. The solution here is waiting before giving-in to the craving and just getting started on your to-do list instead. Once you tackle it and realize you’ve got it under control, you no longer will need food to ease the stress.
Want a second helping at dinner? Wait ten minutes and if you still want it, go for it.
How does the 10-minute rule work?
- Cravings, similar to emotions, often come in waves. This means that they start slow, build up to a peak and eventually subside.
- When you feel a craving or urge start to build, rather than trying to fight it with a restrictive mindset that will only make you want it MORE (No I really shouldn’t have that, I’ll gain weight for sure, it’s so bad for me!) give yourself PERMISSION to have it LATER if the desire is still there.
- Put 10-20 minutes on the clock and GET OUT OF THE KITCHEN.
- The idea is to give yourself the opportunity to ride out the discomfort of the craving, create space to determine whether you really want the food OR if you’re just using the food as a means to an emotional end. You can only give yourself a fair shot at this by stepping away from the food and doing something else (don’t just sit and stare at it with your phone timer next to you you).
Now I want to hear from you in the comments below:
Do you adopt a restriction mindset when it comes to food? Can you benefit from riding out the craving wave to see if it will pass?