Yoga to the Rescue for Combating Stress and Food Cravings
Food cravings can be very challenging – especially when you don't know where they come from or how to deal with them. We've all had them, and sometimes it simply seems easier to just give in and indulge than to fight a craving for hours at a time. Let's review what the cravings are actually about and then consider how yoga may be the answer you've been searching for.
What's In a Craving?
The brain has pleasure receptors that react to all sorts of stimuli. For example, sugary and high carbohydrate foods are a fast and simple way to feed these receptors. As a result, when they haven't been fed for a particular amount of time, then you will likely start craving these high sugar, high carbohydrate foods. The good news is that while this is what your body thinks you want, there are actually many other healthier ways you can alleviate yourself of a craving.
Replacing Treats – How to Get the Satisfaction Without the Calories
Believe it or not, exercise can actually relieve the craving and satisfy your pleasure receptors. Just ask someone who exercises on a regular basis how they feel if they take a day off. They're likely to tell you that they feel sluggish, tired, and that they start to crave sugary foods and carbohydrates. This is because those pleasure receptors want to be satisfied – and they don't care how it gets done.
Ideal Exercise to Kick the Cravings
You don't need to engage in an hour of high impact, intensive exercise every day just to kick the cravings. In fact, one of the best options is yoga. It may be a gentle exercise but it can pack a big punch when it comes to satisfying pleasure receptors. Many people do it first thing in the morning and report that it really gets their day started out right and can actually prevent them from craving sugary, starchy foods all day long.
Maximize Success – How to Stick to a Yoga Schedule
Many people find it easy to get started with yoga but find that it can be hard to keep it in their schedule in a consistent way. Here are a few tips to help you stay on track once you've gotten started.
- Marry the result with the action. Often we forget exactly why we're doing what we're doing. Instead of simply forcing yourself to do yoga on days you don't feel up to it, remind yourself that you're not just doing it for fun – though often it is a lot of fun. You're doing to reduce cravings and to have a better mental outlook.
- Set a specific schedule. Get used to doing yoga on certain days, and stick to the same time of day, and your body will begin to crave yoga. For example, make a decision to attend four classes per week on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, and on each day go to a class at around the same time as the other days.
- Find friends to indulge with. One of the easiest ways to achieve your goals is to work the buddy system. If you have a friend regularly attend yoga classes with you, then you'll be much more likely to stick with it. After all, it's much easier to wake up feeling lazy one morning and skip class on your own, compared to having to call a friend and tell them you won't keep your commitment to attend a class with them.
- Remember ALL the benefits. Yoga can help reduce cravings but it's packed with tons of other benefits too. From flexibility to more balanced hormones, and including a general feeling of well-being and calm, yoga is much more than an exercise option. It's a way to feel better about yourself and the world.
Yoga can be a solution to a number of different issues and can be just what you need to get healthy and stay that way.