Dealing with Cravings for Sweets

by nina on August 11, 2013

A very common challenge when recovering from an eating disorder is about how to deal with cravings…

This question comes from Sofia and it is about how to deal with cravings for sweets when trying to recover from an eating disorder and practice intuitive eating.

Have you experienced this challenge? Please share with us all in the comments!

My experience was that the more I tried to restrict, diet and ban certain food, the more I experienced cravings and an obsession.

Once I allowed myself to eat what I wanted, there was a relief from the painful and frustrating cravings. I started to trust my body and realized that my body DID know how much it wanted to eat and that I could stop eating when I was full.

Thank you Sofia for your question!

Hey Nina!

I’m working on my recovery from a eating disorder and with the help
from you and your material such as your book, videos and all that, I’m
really making progress.

Now. I’m getting so much better on letting go with the food that I eat
but I’m having a hard time with the sweets and I feel like that’s the
last part of the puzzle that’s holding me back from full recovery.

When I see some kind of sweet I get really nervous, mostly because I
don’t know if I should take it or not. I know that I should eat what
my body wants but I have no idea if it’s my body talking or if it’s my
brain (emotional eating).

So my question to you is, if I get offered a, let’s say cupcake, that
I want to eat, should I eat it? Cause I crave sweets and candy like
all the time. Once I accepted bread, potatoes and pasta as food
instead of good/bad foods, my cravings disappeared.

But I don’t know how I should face the sweets. They’re my fear foods
and I don’t know how I should do to really be ok with them. If I eat
them for as long as my body wants them, I’m afraid that I’m just going
to binge. It’s hard for me to know the difference between a binge and
a harmless craving.

Can you please help me, I’m feeling so confused and helpless right

With gratefulness and love
Sofia from Sweden


Hi Sofia!

Great question and one that presents itself very quickly after embarking on the intuitive eating and recovery journey.

I think you pretty much answered the question yourself!

You said yourself that:

“Once I accepted bread, potatoes and pasta as food
instead of good/bad foods, my cravings disappeared”

I believe that this “acceptance” is what leads to relief in the form of freedom from the fear of any food and the ability to deal with any cravings.

Once you accept that no food is “good’ or “bad” in itself – it is just the guilt that makes it “bad” in our minds, the cravings drop off and you are able to eat whatever you like in quantities that feel “right” for your own body. At that point I think you will find that the cravings stop by themselves because essentially the craving that you feel is more mental than physical and is the result of the labeling of food as good vs bad, right vs wrong…

This all stems from the diet driven society that we live in and even focusing on food as being ‘healthy” or “unhealthy” contributes to the problematic cravings.

From my personal experience, I truly found freedom when I accepted all food as being equal and ate exactly what my body wanted. In the beginning it is normal to want certain food more that you had previously “banned”, but it becomes normal and stabilizes after your body and mind can see that there will no longer be any deprivation.

The most important thing is to stay consistent and keep feeding your body the message that you are no longer dieting or restricting and that ALL food is available.

To full recovery and an end to deprivation and cravings

Nina 🙂

Nina Vucetic

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Hattie October 25, 2013 at 1:18 am

I just found you on the Net, Nina. What a pleasure to read your wise words. I’m 70 years old and am finally having some good success with intuitive eating. It’s not easy, but it isn’t as hard as I imagined. When I tried to end my binge eating in the past, I always dieted. That didn’t work, I am lucky because I’ve been able to balancing bingeing with restricting and therefore have been at normal weights. Now I try not to restrict but rather eat to a comfortable fullness. I like eating real meals now, rather than bingeing and then eating very small amounts. I still worry about gaining weight, and I’m not as pleased about my body shape as I’d like to be. But I have a taste of freedom after many decades, and I don’t ever want to go back.


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