08/30/2012 07:38 am ET Updated Oct 30, 2012

When You Fight a Food Craving... It's Already Too Late!

Nothing is associated more closely with weight loss than food cravings. You know that the battle will come a few times a day. Like two warring titans staring each other down before a grand battle: you versus the food.

Regardless of what does or does not end up in your mouth, if you are fighting these cravings, you will lose. Don't waste your time and energy. You are outsmarted by an entity that can control what you think, what you see, and most importantly, what you eat.

Your battle is against your subconscious, and you have no chance.

How It Works

Somewhere along the line you heard, read, or were told that you have to fight your food cravings to prove your resolve to lose weight. This doesn't seem doable, especially not in the long term. But if fighting cravings is impossible, then what else is there to do?

To start, fighting your subconscious on anything is always a losing battle. You are outmatched. You may have temporary gains, but over the long term the odds are against you.

There is, however, one facet to your relationship with your subconscious that will flip the struggle for supremacy on its head. While the subconscious doesn't care what you want, no matter how much you want it, it is perfectly tuned in at all times to exactly what it is you believe. Not what you tell yourself you believe, but rather what it is you believe deep down.

The subconscious has no imagination. It can't create original things. It can't play pretend. It can't dream. Our conscious mind, on the other hand, can do all of those things incredibly well.

For example, imagine you are an airplane pilot. You have just created a brand new, never-before-seen scenario. Now let's try another more familiar one: Think about the last episode of anxiety you had. Recall the future situation you imagined that makes you anxious. This situation was created by your subconscious based on beliefs that you hold. It is not original, but more importantly, it is not reality.

Your automatic thoughts, anxious or not, have no hold on reality, but they are intertwined with it in two ways:

  1. They can seem as if they are rooted in reality
  2. They reaffirm your belief, therefore affecting your reality

A dolphin can swim underwater for a long time, not because it was born a marine mammal, but rather because it comes up for air once in a while. Similarly, your anxiety, thoughts, and eating habits are not the result of some old trauma or childhood event; rather, they are the result of your thoughts, self-talk and reactions yesterday, last week, and last month. When you hang onto negative thoughts, you continue reaffirming them as truth, and those thoughts therefore become beliefs. Your subconscious, which largely controls your life, listens to those beliefs and acts based on them. Your subconscious is the producer, and your beliefs are the script.

Source of Struggle

If you were okay with being overweight, then there would be no struggle. The struggle comes from the fact that you would rather not be. It's a choice. If you drop your desire to be fit, the struggle is over. That would be giving up, though, which is not an option.

This means that we need another way to eliminate the struggle from that equation.

Once you change your core beliefs to match what you want, your subconscious will change its habit of taunting you with unhealthy food. It's that simple.

Changing your beliefs, however, is far from simple. However, if done slowly, it is doable. The simple method for resolving, which can possibly make some impact, is the use of affirmations and visualizations. If, for a month, you tell yourself that you are fit and healthy, things can start to shift.

While affirmations seem straightforward, you should know that there are right and wrong ways of going about it.


It is not so much the words you use, but rather the emotion behind those words. If you say "I am fit and healthy," but that brings on a wave of shame and self- loathing, then it is having the opposite effect. If you say the affirmation but get discouraged by what you see in the mirror, the negative sentiment will win every time. This is where it gets problematic. You may need help changing your beliefs. Emotional freedom techniques (EFT) may be helpful, as may hypnosis and other similar techniques.

Nothing should stop you from picking up some healthy affirmations and repeating them with as much clear joy as you can muster several times every day.

Try This:

Sit down, close your eyes, slap on a convincing smile, and repeat the following:

"I am fit and healthy. I eat just what my body needs, and I feel better than ever!"

Didn't that feel good? You're on the right track!

Note: Please know that there are many ways to deal with obesity, and this is just one. It is not "the way," but it may be the way for you. Regardless if you have tried it or not, it is worth another look.

For more by Hanaan Rosenthal, click here.

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