What Factors Really Influence Cravings and What You Eat?

If you’re in a town you don’t know and see two restaurants, the one with noticeably more cars in it’s parking lot is the one where you’re likeliest to eat.

The same may go for food when it’s eaten with other people. According to a study published in 2008 by the American Psychological Association,

“…there are certain external factors (e.g., the behavior of others) that influence people’s food intake, but that people do not acknowledge. As long as such important influences on intake remain unacknowledged, making optimal food choices and maintaining a healthy diet will be a challenge, with long-term consequences for individuals’ health and well-being.”(1)

Michelle May, M.D. and founder of Am I Hungry?, and author of  “Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat: How to Break Your Eat-Repent-Repeat Cycle” says,

“…exposure to a specific food through advertising, seeing someone else eating, or even a conversation could plant a small seed of desire.”

The trick though, she suggests is acknowledging, then getting curious about the food desires we have, whether those are cravings or just figuring out what we want for dinner.

One way to begin acknowledging the factors that influence our eating is to use mindful eating.

What exactly is mindful eating?

According to May, it’s “eating with intention and attention”, yet it’s more than just that eating slowly without the distraction of television or some other activity.

It’s about

  • both physical and emotional cues
  • recognizing non-hunger eating triggers
  • identifying the needs behind the triggers
  • finding and meeting these needs in non-eating ways
  • eating for nourishment, enjoyment, satiation and optimal satisfaction
  • fueling the vibrant, healthy life you desire

How do you begin the journey into mindful eating?

First, create awareness of your eating patterns by taking the Eating Cycle Assessment.

You’ll be asked to enter your email address and then your scores will be displayed.

Be sure to copy your scores and then head to your email and look your report.

Once you have your report in hand, you’ll find action steps to address the issue, along with the sections of May’s book “Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat: How to Break Your Eat-Repent-Repeat Cycle”.

You can control the factors that influence your eating, even if they feel out of your control at the moment.





1. Are We Aware of the External Factors That Influence Our Food Intake?

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