Updated: Jan 19
Why Do I Crave Sweets?!
At times, people turn to sweets to satisfy far more than just a craving, which signifies that the issue isn't just a demanding sweet tooth. Subconsciously, we turn to sweets for reasons that are both emotional and psychological: bad day at the office, problems with a significant other, financial stress, etc. Recognising these cravings for what they really are and understanding their catalysts, is the first step towards controlling them. By analysing feedback and making pointed observations, we have deduced from our clients that the beliefs, habits and behaviours that seem to result in cravings, can be traced back to the formative years of their childhood. Primary care-givers, friends, peers and relatives, all seem to contribute to this conditioning impact; however, in most cases, the most substantial contributors are, in fact, the primary care-givers. Below, we've provided a list that covers just a few of the many explanations we've compiled from our client cases, which outline how this early onset conditioning occurs and how it can have a lasting, long-term, effect. Please review:
"You're not going to get any sweets until you eat everything on your plate!"
In many of our client's households, this was a common discipline practiced by parents, grandparents, and even babysitters. Despite the intention to in still discipline, this tactic derived a negative result: they made sweets a special prize in the eyes of an easily influenced child and required that they stuff themselves to get it.
Long-term Conditioning Effect: What this tactic creates is a habit. Now, instead of putting down the fork when full, they will continue eating because of this habit.Once the meal is finished, they have a natural compulsion to finish the meal with a sweet. At times, even when they are no longer hungry, as it has merely become habit.
Some of our clients, as children, were also often given sweets as a reward for doing well in school, for good behaviour, for a sports achievement, or for any other special achievement. In the long run, providing them only a means for future justification.
Long-term Conditioning Effect: As an adult, the result was natural inclination towards eating sweets once they'd achieved a goal, or excelled in some way, shape, or form.
Unfortunately, in some of our clients' cases, their parents were huge culprits of negative conditioning when they offered sweets to them as a means to pacify them. In this instance, sweets were given to them when they were crying, feeling sad, or throwing a tantrum, in order to appease them.
Long-term Conditioning Effect: In a majority of cases, this conditioning resulted in our clients automatically turning to sweets to drown out negative feelings or uncomfortable emotions, as opposed to dealing with them.
In one case, a client plagued with weight issues had been a victim of a troublesome childhood. Her grandmother had tried to ease her suffering by spending time with her, often taking her out for fish n' chips. Naturally, this client considered these to be happy memories that were very special to her, that just so happened to directly correlate to... food.
Long-term Conditioning Effect: As a direct result of these unfortunate circumstances, whenever this client experienced any uncomfortable emotions, such as anger, sadness, disappointment or fear, she would find solace in the same way: by eating fish n' chips; subconsciously connecting to a positive memory to counteract the pain. This client was not aware of why she had these cravings, so once the conditioning response was explained, she then understood her behaviour. As mentioned before, this is often the first step towards recovery.
Another reason why some of our clients find that they have no boundaries in regards to sweets is that they were not allowed to eat sweets at all, and/or if they did eat sweets, and were caught, they were scolded.
Long-term Conditioning Effect : As a result, when sweets are placed in front of them, they subconsciously are drawn to eat as much as possible, out of a habit-forming natural compulsion. Lastly, for one of our clients, it was simply a normalcy to have sweets when growing up. This client presented us with what she called her "sugar addiction", and what we were able to establish as the "problem factor" was actually her own mother. We were able to discern that not only did her mother often consume sweets herself, but she also had the majority of their outings revolve around obtaining them.
Long-term Conditioning Effect : As a result, the client continually thought about sweets as part of her daily adult routine. In fact, she even admitted that she thought about sweets at work, when shopping, when driving home, when out with friends, etc.; basically, her thoughts constantly revolved around sweets and how she could obtain them. Naturally, this was becoming a major issue for her health and for her overall quality of life. Fortunately, after just one session of hypnotherapy, paired with a hypnotherapy take-home CD, the issue has now been resolved. As mentioned previously, there are many reasons for this emotional attraction to sweets, so please feel free to share your stories; we're eager to hear and help. The entire intention of this article is to bring awareness to those who are drawn to sweets, that it may be out of a behavioural response that is subconsciously psychological or habitual in nature. If you would like more information about the programs that we offer, please check out our products and programs.