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Coach Cravings

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>> Welcome back. We're gonna round out this module by covering some general guideposts for helping clients navigate cravings. Imagine you have a client named Sean. No matter how hard Sean tries, he can't kick his cravings for salty and crunchy foods. If he's traveling for work, which is often, he always opts for the salty and crunchy options in the airport and on the plane. Sean knows that eating so many of these snack foods has contributed to his weight gain, which makes him self-conscious. He tries to avoid eating these foods with others because he can't stop once he starts. And he doesn't want his friends and family to comment anymore on how he could stand to lose a few pounds. However, his cravings are strong, and he often feels that he needs snacks like these in the evenings when he's home alone. Sean doesn't want to give up his favorite foods, but he's struggling because, no matter his intention or approach, he always ends up eating the entire package. Feeling powerless over one's cravings can lead to feelings of guilt and shame as well as binge eating and other unhelpful eating habits. As a Health Coach, it's helpful to think about cravings as information. They signify some sort of need, either physical or emotional, or both. As such, they present opportunities to tune in and identify areas in your client's diet or life that need nourishing. Always go back to the idea that your clients know intuitively what to eat, at least their bio-computers do. Cravings might indicate some sort of imbalance. So go back to the roots. You can help clients approach cravings as detectives by analyzing contributing factors and big picture imbalances that might contribute to cravings. This means supporting clients by helping them listen to and trust their bodies, explore the why behind cravings with curiosity versus judgment. For example, why do they reach for certain foods when they feel stressed or might the cravings have something to do with pregnancy, cultural messages, or the current season? Focus on the big picture to reduce imbalances in both secondary and primary food. Empower themselves by connecting eating habits with emotions. And find the healthiest options for them. One way to help clients decode specific physical cravings is to focus on food qualities such as flavor, texture, temperature, and density. For example, some cravings might be due to a monotonous diet. Ayurveda suggests including all six tastes in each meal. This proactive approach can help clients curb cravings rather than suppressing them. Some clients might benefit from healthy food swaps based on food qualities. For example, eating root vegetables like carrots and sweet potatoes can help curb cravings for sweets. Eating nutrient-dense foods can help curb salt and sugar cravings by giving the body energy it can actually use. It's also important to consider that the swap approach might not work for all clients. Quality swaps don't always do the trick. For some clients, swaps might not reduce cravings for the original foods and might even lead to overeating the swaps. Swapping can means suppressing cravings rather than exploring them or satisfying them mindfully. If that's the case, it might be a sign that the craving is emotional and it goes beyond food itself. The goal is to help clients enjoy and even indulge mindfully by helping them explore the root causes of cravings and maintain a sense of empowerment rather than feeling guilty. We included a done-for-you handout called Reduce Cravings that you can use with clients as well as a taste bud challenge for you to try. One interesting factor to consider is that some of us are supertasters, which means that we're very sensitive to a flavor and, as a result, can be picky about foods we eat. Some of us are non-tasters, which means that we might overseason or overeat because we're less sensitive to flavor. Some of us are medium-tasters. We fall somewhere in the middle. Again, this is just another piece of the puzzle. There are so many ways to help clients navigate specific cravings, and we included a handout to help you. We've already covered a lot of material, and many of the coaching strategies that we will cover in the second half of this course relate to cravings. For now, here are six basic guideposts to empower clients around this topic. Before we begin, have your journal handy as we're going to use Sean as an example to explore how you might use these yourself. Number one, identify what drives the reward. We explored the habit loop earlier in this course and how it can contribute to emotional eating habits, which include cravings. And as we discussed in this module, food can serve as a reward. Help clients figure out the physical and emotional triggers behind specific cravings. Again, curiosity is key. Breaking habits requires continual practice and a bio-individual lens. We'll cover some helpful strategies in part two of this course. A good place to start is by asking yourself what you really want. What does that particular craving represent? When do you find your cravings as strongest? Number two, find a personal middle ground. This includes crowding out rather than cutting out. In other words, you might help clients find healthy swaps that work for them. You might help them move toward healthier habits by exploring factors that keep them stuck. Finding a personal middle ground can inhibit physical cravings due to extreme hunger and overeating, lack of nutrients, and yin yang imbalances. It can also help with seasonal cravings. Finally, it can inhibit emotional cravings due to self-sabotage and limiting beliefs as well as rigid lifestyles. Can you think of some healthy swaps that might help Sean curb his cravings? Pause the video here to write down a few ideas. Okay, on we go. Number three, focus on self-care. This includes creating space for you time rather than always having to be a superhuman. It means getting enough sleep, reducing stress, exercising in ways that feel good, and reframing self-judgment into self-compassion and self-empowerment. One very simple form of self-care is deep breathing. It's difficult to feel anxious when you slow down and focus on your breath. It's also a very simple way to curb cravings. Studies show that aroma therapy might also decrease cravings. The olfactory sense, the sense of smell, can be a very powerful motivator of behavior. Finally, a fun fact. Exercise can help reduce cravings. What do these things have in common? They're all alternate coping strategies. Number four, hydrate. This is another component of self-care, but it deserves its own bullet point. Dehydration can decrease energy, trick the mind into cravings, fuel unhealthy eating habits, and decrease mood. Someone wants told me to drink a glass of water when I feel angry, and it really helps. And again, thirst is often mistaken for hunger. By the time you're thirsty, you're already dehydrated. So when you crave a certain food, it might just be your body telling you it needs hydration. It's a simple quick and easy way to curb cravings. Number five, turn inward. Help clients tune in, trust their bodies, and figure out which foods make them feel good in body and mind? Which foods give them energy? Which foods create more cravings? For example, if your client often feel scattered, or spacey, or craves meat, or salt, maybe try more grounding or yin foods and activities. If your client often feels uptight or stressed out or crave sugar, maybe try lighter foods and more relaxing activities like yoga or tai chi. Experiment and see what helps. Would you guess that Sean has a more yin or more yang lifestyle overall and how so? Write down your thoughts as well as what might help him find greater balance. And finally, number six, think big, and nourish with primary food. Think big picture that is, help clients focus on their values and how food affects their overall quality of life. For some clients, food is a primary source of joy and excitement, but it can also be a primary source of pain and sadness. What primary foods are they disconnected from? And how can they start adding those in to bring more balance? For clients who struggle with self-imposed food rules, does restricting lead to cravings, emotional eating habits, and disconnection? Do their eating habits fuel them toward or away from the future they want for themselves? A more flexitarian approach, one that leaves space for both nutrition and pleasure, can help align clients with their greater values. Cravings often derive from a feeling of lack in life. A few helpful high-mileage questions you can ask are: Does your career fulfill you? Can you tell me about any nourishing relationships in your life? What role does movement play in your life? To recap, you can empower clients around cravings by helping them identify what drives the reward, finding a personal middle ground, focusing on self-care, hydrating, turning inward, and trusting the body, and thinking big picture, and nourishing with primary food. Let's wrap this up. This week, try practicing this material with a coaching partner. We included a handout called Reduce Cravings that explores food qualities in greater detail. It's a great opportunity to focus on mindful eating. How can you help clients satisfy physical cravings with food qualities while also addressing emotional cravings? Send out your thoughts in the Facebook group. And as always, share this material with someone in your life who you think could benefit from it.

Video Details

Duration: 10 minutes and 56 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
License: Dotsub - Standard License
Genre: None
Views: 5
Posted by: integrativenutrition on Mar 14, 2019

Coach Cravings

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