Think-Feel-Eat Episode #9: 10 Ways to Sit With/Process Food Urges
Hi! I’m Donna Reish, IF teacher, weight loss coach, blogger, and half of “The Minus 220 Pound Pair” as my husband and I have lost over 200 pounds together (160 of that in the past couple of years through the Weight Loss Lifestyle habits and strategies I teach!).
In this episode, I present Part I of two parts about Urges and Feeling Feelings—really good stuff!
This episode digs into sitting with or processing food urges.
Earlier (Episodes 7 and 8), I taught that we have three main choices with urges. The first two choices aren’t ideal and both have net negative consequences. We can give in to food urges (obviously many net negative consequences!). We can white knuckle our way through them—try to use willpower. (Find out tons of deets about willpower in Weight Loss Lifestyle 60 and 61!) That also gives a net negative consequence because it isn’t sustainable, and we don’t learn to deal with our feelings/urges.
Of course to begin with, we must remember that food urges are any of those times that we want to eat something that is:
(1) a type that isn’t on our plan for that day;
(2) an amount that isn’t on our plan that day;
(3) a time that isn’t on our plan that day.
If we believe that a food urge is a desire to eat off of one of those—a desire to buffer with food rather than feeling our feelings in that moment—we can look at food urges for what they are—feelings/urges/unctions/desires to do something other than what we planned or truly wanted to do.
This episode details ten ways we can sit with/process those urges rather than fighting against them. They all work at various times—and they can also work for other urges that we don’t want to give in to!
I hope this is a help and a blessing to you as it has been to me. I am gradually learning to do this—and the control and peace I feel around it is utterly amazing!
Find all of my episodes, outlines, and articles for my two weekly broadcasts:
(1) Weight Loss Lifestyle broadcast (formerly Donna’s Intermittent Fasting Broadcast) and
(2) Think-Feel-Eat broadcast at donnareish.com
Sign up for my free webinar: intermittentfastingwebinar.com
I want so many good things for you!
Think Feel Eat #9: Learning to Sit With Food Urges (Not “Resist” or “White Knuckle”)
A. Review of Episodes 7 and 8
1. Urge is eating off protocol food
2. Urge is eating off protocol amount
3. Urge is eating off protocol time
B. Buffer Review
1. The reason we buffer is because we don’t want to feel the feelings of the unmet urge
2. Buffering is when we do something to avoid a feeling—like the pads we put on dining room chairs to keep them from scratching against the flooring
3. Buffering isn’t always because of a deep emotional need
4. Sometimes we buffer/give in to urges not because we have feelings from something horrible in our past—sometimes we just don’t want the feelings we would have from saying no to the urge—the restlessness, boredom, deprivation, etc.
5. We have to get to the point where we believe that a feeling is just a feeling—and we can feel any feeling….they won’t hurt us long or for a long time.
6. When we are afraid to feel our feelings, we will continually look for buffers between us and those feelings—including giving in to urges for foods that are off our protocol, time, or amount.
C. Three Choices With Urges
1. Give in
2. White knuckle—try to use willpower
3. Sit with/process them
D. Ten Ways to Sit With/Process Urges
1. Make our WHY stronger. Our why can be whatever will motivate us the most at the time. It doesn’t have to be lofty or noble—it can be what will actually lead us to learn to sit with/process urges.
2. Set a timer for ten minutes every single time. Tell yourself at the end of the ten minutes if you still want it, you can have it. This period of time gives us enough time to look at our thoughts and feelings more closely.
3. Set timer for 90 seconds—count backwards from 90. I like to walk and count.
4. Write about urges—journal, sticky note, white board, index card.
5. Have an Urge Chat with accountability partners or partner. Write to each other when Urges are very strong. Talk through the Thoughts and Feelings leading to the Urges and what better Thoughts you can develop.
6. Talk to YOURSELF about the feelings of urges. “This is nothing more than a feeling. I can sit here with this feeling. Nothing bad is happening if I don’t eat. Feelings don’t hurt.” (I like to sit in an empty room or put my head in my arms on my desk.)
7. Talk to the URGE itself. Like my granddaughter does when she is afraid of her uncle acting like a tiger. “Hi there, Tiger! You’re not going to hurt me, Tiger!” Here are some scripts:
a. “Hi there, urge. I knew you would be here soon. Have a seat with me. It’s going to be a while until I eat again…so just make yourself at home.”
b. “Hello, Urge. I can feel any feeling you bring with you. An urge is a feeling that can’t hurt me. You can’t hurt me.”
c. “Hi, Urge. I see you’re back. I’m not eating that right now, but you’re welcome to stay if you’d like.”
d. “Welcome, urge. You here to try to get me to eat something not on my plan again? I’m really finished, but make yourself at home if you’d like!”
8. Three deep breaths. Equal inhale and exhale.
9. When you have sat with/allowed/processed an urge, use an Urge Jar to put beads in. When you have allowed 100 urges, see how much weight you have lost and how much better you are at allowing urges.
10. When you have sat with/allowed/processed an urge, use Urge Rings to move from one hand to another (if you aren’t at home to put beads in; put beads in when you get back home).
1. Every time we sit with/allow/process an urge instead of white knuckling or giving in, we build our urge muscle on a thought/psychological level.
2. Every time we sit with/allow/process an urge instead of white knuckling or giving in, we stretch out the time between hyper palatable foods—and our dopamine spikes are decreased, so we have fewer urges eventually.
4. Watch or listen to the two pre-quels to this one: Episode #7: What is an Urge/Introducing the Urge Map; Episode #8: The Urge Map/Three Responses to Urges.
5. And….Weight Loss Lifestyle Willpower episodes 60 and 61.
6. Free Intermittent Fasting Webinar sessions available now for April!!! Intermittentfastingwebinar.com