How to Comfort your Cravings

About 8:00 pm the other night, I suddenly had a craving for peanut butter. I wasn’t hungry though. Just wanted the taste of peanut butter for some reason.

It felt uncomfortable, as if I couldn’t stand it.

In the middle of that discomfort, a question came to me. It was a simple question, but it gave me a new angle to comfort my cravings that surprised me.

This 1 question can help you comfort your cravings too.

Here was the question I asked myself:

Is there anything else I can do to make myself more comfortable at this moment?”

You see, many of us think of food whenever we feel uncomfortable in our bodies out of habit.

But the truth is that we are really just craving comfort. And there are many ways to obtain comfort besides eating.

Here is how I walked through managing my craving with the comfort strategy:

After I asked the question and checked where my body was uncomfortable, I realized that I had a sour taste in my mouth.

So I went to brush my teeth to get rid of the sour taste.

Then I asked myself a follow-up question: “Did that help?”

I answered myself, “Yes, it did.”

Next, I went back to the original question: “Is there anything else I can do to make myself more comfortable?”

After checking in with my body, I found that I was also hot. So I got a washcloth and wet it with cool water. Then I wiped off my face, ears and the back of my neck to cool myself off.

I asked myself again, “Did that help?”

“Yes, it did.”

Finally, I asked myself the comfort question again: “What else would make me more comfortable at this moment?”

I realized that my bra was feeling restrictive. So I took it off.

I asked myself, “Did that help?”

“Yes, it did.”

The funny thing was, after I made myself more physically comfortable through exploring the real sources of my discomfort, I did not crave the peanut butter anymore!

Remember that you have 5 senses, not just taste. So whenever you have a craving but are not hungry, do not grab for food immediately.

Instead, ensure that the problem is not discomfort arising from another sense, such as your smell, touch, vision, or hearing.

Here are various things that you can do to implement the comfort strategy, along with the discomfort they can resolve:

  • Brush your teeth – taste discomfort
  • Drink a glass of water – taste discomfort (dry mouth)
  • Sniff aromatherapy oils – smell discomfort
  • Wipe yourself off with a cool or warm washcloth – skin discomfort
  • Take a shower or bath – skin discomfort
  • Remove bra, shoes, or tight clothing – skin discomfort
  • Clip your fingernails or toenails – skin discomfort
  • Shave – skin discomfort
  • Wash your hair – (itchy scalp) skin discomfort
  • Lotion your skin – (itchy skin) skin discomfort
  • Massage your feet or sore muscles – muscle discomfort
  • Stretching – muscle discomfort
  • Change your sitting or standing position – general body discomfort
  • Get a hug or hug yourself – general body discomfort
  • Go to a quiet place – hearing discomfort
  • Listen to relaxing music – hearing discomfort
  • Close your eyes – visual discomfort
  • Watching video of relaxing scenes – visual discomfort
  • Use eye drops – eye discomfort (dry eyes)
  • Use nose spray – nose discomfort (sinus or allergy issues)

If you are unsure of the  discomfort source, you can always ask the Lord in prayer. He promises:

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him (James 1:5).

Try the comfort cravings strategy the next time you have a craving without hunger. Be willing to keep asking the question and address the source rather than covering it up with food.

Your body will thank you!

Be blessed in health, healing, and wholeness,

Kimberly Taylor

Creator of the Take Back Your Temple program

P.S. Are you tired of always losing weight, but then gaining it back? The source of the problem is likely not solely your diet and exercise, but listening to the wrong voice!

But you can experience a life-changing turnaround in your weight when you learn how to listen to the right voice. Let the Take Back Your Program be your guide to reaching your ideal weight and maintain it for life.

Click here to learn more about the Take Back Your Temple program

  • Karen says:

    I have a lifetime of learning NOT to listen to my legit needs……This truly struck me. Praise God!

  • Kennifer says:

    This is truly amazing! I have never thought to check in with myself to figure out why I am uncomfortable. My thoughts just run straight to food, but the good news is, i don’t give in to it like I use too. God has help me to recognize what’s going on through prayer and all of the sources and wealth of information you have provided to is. Kim you are truly a blessing in my life! Thank you for sharing a new strategy with us! Can’t wait to try it. As you pour out the wisdom of God to us, may He fill you with more of His spirit and allow someone to pour into your life!

  • Bob says:

    I never really thought about it that way. I always felt that if I was craving food then I must be hungry but thinking back, there have been times that I started eating what I was craving yet wasn’t hungry at all and after eating, still had the craving! Thank you for this insight and the verse from the Book of James.

  • Phelicia says:

    I wish I would have read this before going out for frozen yogurt with toppings.

  • Angie says:

    I read this. I did not get distracted. It is so practical. Thank You, Abba, for giving me a new tool. Thank you, Kimberly, for being an available vessel for the Holy Spirit’s nudgings and fillings. I believe I will recall this during “trying” times. And I believe it will help me make healthy choices. THANK YOU FOR SHARING. : )

  • Cherish says:

    Genius. Sometimes the simplest things are the most profound. I agree with Angie….Great new tool that I am excited to use.

  • Karen Stoeger says:

    I can’t wait to utilize these tools! Probably in the next few minutes! Thanks for the words of wisdom that you share! I agree, you are a blessing!

  • Virginia Davis Key says:

    Thank you Kim!!! Such an insight..

  • Ronnie says:

    Thank you. Night craving is a real problem for me. This is a great reminder, that I have other senses and eating is not the only way to resolve my cravings. This is a coping skills I will use.

  • Kathy says:

    I never even thought about those being a possibility of my discomfort. I always turn ti food to make me feel better. It has always been the one thing that never let me down. Until i realizes what it was doing to my body as a whole. Thank you for the extra strategy to find the real me that God wants me to be.

  • Gail says:

    My cravings are mid afternoon , someone told me that’s when our blood sugar is low, I just need to eat a little fruit but it’s not the crunch im looking for in that a cookie gives . I do fine for a couple weeks then I just have to have a choc. Chip cookie or brownie, I’d covert you prayers to get through.
    I’m soo blessed to know others struggle & I’ m not alone.
    Sometimes it’s I’m tired when I get the cravings . Thank y’all for your encouraging thoughts .

    • Hi Gail – you have my prayers. Here are a couple of things to consider about your cravings, based on what you told me:

      * You said you “have to have” a chocolate cookie or brownie. “Have to have” implies a fear that something bad will happen if you don’t. Is that really true? If so, what bad thing do you believe will happen if you don’t?

      * You said that you often have cravings when you are tired. So that means that your body needs rest. Are there other ways that would help your body get rest?

      As I mentioned in the article, sometimes we train ourselves to reach for food whenever our body feels uncomfortable without thinking if there are alternatives to make ourselves feel better.

      • Beverley says:

        Kimberley you are always ON POINT and your articles are an effective blessing and way back to right living. I have a typed out sheet(s) of bible verses specific for my own weight loss underlying issues which, as I declare every night/day is helping me to change. Thank you very much for listening to the Holy Spirit.

        I have a struggle with late night eating. I hate to go to bed hungry. I can eat well all through the day but not eating when I get home (sometimes after 7:00 or 8:00 p.m.) is hard. How can I overcome this late night eating habit that tends to sabotage all my good efforts during the day? Is there a recommendation for what I could eat that would not do any real damage at night?

        • Thank you so much for your kind comments, Beverly! I give all glory to the Lord. Regarding night time eating, you are NOT alone! That is one of the most common issues I hear with TBYT. I struggled with it myself.

          I’ve been reviewing scientific studies about our natural body rhythms and how we can use them to our advantage. For example, here are something I’ve learned about recently that relates to night time eating:

          The body is hungriest at 8:00 pm for most people. The theory is that since our ancestors faced many times of famine, our genes want us to eat big meals late so that we can go to sleep on it and store fat for survival in case of a famine.

          Thank the Lord that famine isn’t likely for most of us these days though so it’s good to know strategies to deal with this natural urge since the calories from large food intake are not needed late in the day.

          The body starts preparing itself for sleep around 9:00 pm with Melatonin release. During the night hours, the body becomes more insulin resistant – which means that it is less able to process sugar so what it can’t use is stored as fat more easily.

          You may be thinking – this is good knowledge Kim, but what do I do about it? Well, for me I also save enough room in my eating plan to have a small protein-rich snack at 7:00 pm. That is my last meal of the day. Studies have shown that protein helps curb hunger most effectively. I usually drink a plant-based protein smoothie (affiliate link), which is chocolate flavored. I blend it with 1/2 frozen banana and 1 cup of almond milk. It satisfies my sweet tooth.

          Other ideas could be plain Greek yogurt with a 1/4 cup of your favorite fruit or 1 TBSP nuts mixed in (you could use Stevia for sweetness) or make your own protein snack pack of 1 oz cheese, plus 1 TBSP of dried fruit (like raisins or cranberries) and 1 TBSP nuts. If you keep your snack reasonable and protein-rich, you will be in control and not open yourself up for food binges.

          Since you are working on changing habits, then it’s going to feel weird not to eat out of control in the evening at first. Check out my article on night-time eating for ideas on what to do instead. Be willing to test them out until you discover what works for you. I am praying for you!

  • I believe with you, Becky! The Lord tells us that we can call upon Him for any reason (Deuteronomy 4:7). So take Him at His word. God bless you!

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