The Solution To Food Cravings: A 4-Step Process

solution to food cravingsAs part of my free and online community, you get trained in the 4 step process to eliminate emotional eating as a solution to food cravings. It’s an essential part of the Going Beyond The Food Method. 

My education about food cravings comes from my own journey with obesity and my education in the psychology of nutrition. Up until a few years ago, I believed the same as you regarding food cravings – that it’s all about self-discipline and determination. I thought it was all about killing my appetite…does this sound familiar? Little did I know, food cravings had nothing to do with discipline but rather it was all about emotions.

Update: This post was so popular that I created a free 1 page checklist to guide you on how to overcome your food Cravings. You can download for free by clicking the button below.


Homeostasis is the process that the body goes through to maintain a comfortable and healthy balance in both the body and the mind. Simply said – our body is wired/programmed to be in a state of balance. An example of homeostasis is the body shivering at night when it’s too cold, makes you yawn at night when its time to go to sleep or makes you thirsty when you are dehydrated.

The same situation will occur when you lose your peace of mind. Your body directs you to take action to correct your state of mind otherwise you may experience depression. Your appetite delivers you a food cravinchocolateocolate. This means you need to correct your emotional state of mind of insecurity which needs to be balanced.

Physical versus emotional hunger

The first step in the solution to your food cravings is to first learn the difference between physical hunger and emotional hunger. The chart below should be of great help. I suggest that you print it and post it somewhere to quickly refer to it as you begin your journey to solve your food cravings.

You must become really comfortable in distinguishing physical versus emotional hunger. Here’s my quick way: physical hunger is in your stomach and you can feel it. Emotional eating is sudden, in your head and most of the time associated with guilt and shame.

solution to food cravingsWhy do you crave chocolate instead of chips?

Scientific studies have demonstrated the link between a specific food want and the need for certain micronutrients. These micronutrients are used by the body to regulate our emotions, mood or physical conditions. Chocolate contains the chemical called phenylethylamine (PEA) which is the same chemical that our brain creates when we are feeling the emotion of romantic love.

PEA is so powerful in altering moods that it was a prescribed as a medication up until the 1980’s when it was declared illegal but now can be found on the street as drug name “Ecstasy”.

The craving for chocolate is an actual cry for love, intimacy and romance. Most people will say “It’s not true! I’m happy”. It’s difficult to admit that our love life is not fulfilling and with an admission comes a need to make a change. We all naturally resist change out of fear that our life may get worse. Instead of making changes, we repress our emotions and medicate ourselves with food.

Chips have always been my craving which I now understand represents my emotion of stress and anxiety. The hormone cortisol is produced when we feel the emotions of stress, anxiety or anger, it not only helps the body prepare for stressful situations but also affects the level of sodium in the body hence why I crave salty chips.
solution to food cravings

Solution to food cravings: The 4 step process

  1. Impose a 15 minute cooling off period. Ask yourself if this is an actual real physical hunger signal or an emotional craving. In most cases, it will be an emotional craving so you will need to be present to what is going on in your life. If you still crave it after the 15 minutes cooling off period, go for it.
  2. Get away from food. Simple but effective. If you are driving home from work and crave chips, do not stop at the corner store. Drink water as sometimes the need for water gets confused with hunger.
  3. Breath and feel.Take time to breathe deeply during the cooling off period and feel what is going on in your life, gut and heart. Ask yourself what emotions are being triggered. Admit to yourself what is happening and that admittance is usually enough to relieve most cravings.
  4. Replace the negative emotion (fear) with love. Remind yourself of a happy situation where you felt love, happiness or joy and attempt to feel the positive emotion in your gut. Fill yourself up with the positive emotion. A negative and positive emotion cannot occupy the same place. You can also use an affirmation such as “ I forgive, accept and trust myself”.

Update: This post was so popular that I created a free 1 page checklist to guide you on how to overcome your food Cravings. You can download for free by clicking the button below.

Get started today!

To get started on this journey I would suggest you review the first in the Going Beyond The Food Method – Claim Your Food Freedom Program. This is our 21 days program that will guide you to understand the connection between your emotions and your cravings. 

If you would like to read more about food cravings you can read my fascinating article 5 signs that you are emotionally eating.

Share your thoughts: Do you have a different perspective on your food cravings? Do you believe you can use the 4-step process in your life?

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Stephanie Dodier

Hello! I'm Stephanie, Clinical Nutritionist, author and host of The Beyond The Food Show and founder of The Beyond The Food Academy . I'm help women become intuitive eaters & body confident!. Get started now with my free Audio Training.

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