With Halloween coming up this weekend, I thought I’d share 2 quick and easy mental exercises you can do to reduce candy cravings, naturally. These techniques are hypnotic in essence because they’re not about using conscious willpower to stop yourself. Instead we’re looking to change the unconscious perceptions and associations you have to candy. Billions of dollars a year are spent on advertising to get you to feel that candy is “fun,” “youthful,” “exciting,” etc., but remember under all that marketing is just a mixture of ingredients.
Which brings us to our first exercise…
Read the ingredients for your favorite candy. But don’t just read through the ingredients, as you read them, think about what they are and what they do to your body.
I don’t eat much candy, but my favorite since I was a kid is Peanut Butter Cups, and I usually eat them during Halloween, so I’ll go first.
The ingredients are…
Milk chocolate (sugar, cocoa butter, chocolate, nonfat milk, milk fat, corn syrup solids, soy lecithin, TBHQ), peanuts, sugar, dextrose, cocoa butter, chocolate, nonfat milk, milk fat & contains 2% or less of partially hydrogenated vegetable oil (palm kernel and palm oil), salt, wheat flour, cornstarch, vegetable oil (cocoa butter, palm, palm kernel, shea, sunflower and/or safflower oil), whey, TBHQ, soy lecithin, leavening (sodium bicarbonate & sodium aluminum phosphate), vanillin.
What sticks out to me most are corn syrup solids, milk fat, sodium aluminum phosphate and TBHQ. I don’t really know what these are but on first glance they sound gross to me. Now, I’m not saying this will stop me from eating PB cups, but after reading that I’m definitely not craving them either.
OK, the second exercise…
The next time you eat a piece of candy, eat it like a gourmet. What I mean is really take time to appreciate the smell, flavor, texture, consistency. Be very mindful as you eat it. Pay attention to how it feels on your teeth as you chew it and how it feels when you swallow it. Remain aware through the whole process.
The point of these exercises isn’t to judge candy as bad, it is to become aware of what the actual experience of eating candy is without the emotional associations we’ve developed from childhood and marketing.
On a related note, I did a training this week for my PYT Weekly members where I cover…
- Why EATING candy at Halloween can actually help you maintain long term weight loss
- 2 Techniques for easily reducing candy cravings
- A Mental Programming Exercise to Automatically Eat Well during Halloween
You can access it here, ProgramYourselfThin.com/Halloween/
You’ll also see some pumpkins that I carved.