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The Dr. Carolyn Coker Ross Show: Binge Eating Disorder, Stress Eating, Emotional Eating, Food Addiction

Jan 20, 2021

"Depriving yourself of foods you crave just sets you up for more cravings"

Are you struggling with food cravings?  Well, you're not alone.  At least 50% of people experience food cravings on a regular basis.  If you have binge eating, emotional eating, or food addiction, these cravings can threaten to overwhelm you and lead to unwanted behaviors. You may use food as a way to "self-medicate" your emotions. Essentially, the stress or unpleasant feelings are the “problem,” and eating is the “medicine” that makes you feel better. 

In this episode, you will learn:

>>Why food cravings come from a lack of dopamine in the brain
>>How to find out if you use food to help with your mood
>>What specific things you can do to conquer your food cravings

HOMEWORK-- Try one or more of these tips to help you conquer your cravings:

1.    Journal about your feelings. See if you can identify patterns associated with your cravings. If your journaling shows that you’re always hungry (emotionally) after stressful days at work, change your routine. Don’t go straight home and binge on peanut butter; stop at a local park and take a short walk, or call a friend to meet you for tea. 

2.   Here are some integrative medicine tips to help with cravings:

  • Eat bitter foods (ex. arugula, olives) to reduce sweet cravings
  • For salt cravings, look at how you're managing your stress and use "adaptogens" which are herbs that help your body deal with stress (ex. drink ginseng tea) or take a yoga class or take a nap
  • Take a chromium supplement to help keep your blood sugar stable to reduce cravings

3.   Even if you give in to the cravings, eat mindfully and pay attention to how your body is feeling, and don't judge yourself

4.   Get a good night's sleep (7-9 hours of sleep).  Studies show that cravings are worse when we are tired

Thanks for listening!

If you are struggling and need professional help to manage stress during the pandemic, you can find a list of resources:
Schedule a free consult to discuss your food and body image issues:
The Anchor Program is a 12-week non-diet program offering ONLINE group and individual sessions for the treatment of binge eating, emotional eating, food addiction, and compulsive overeating.  Want to learn more about the Anchor Program?
Where you can find me: