I love ice cream. I love ice cream the way most people love their next breath of air. And I would eat ice cream morning, noon, and night if it weren’t for those pesky tens of thousands of accumulated calories. Even though I know it’s not the best food choice, I often get cravings for it that will last for days. Which is why I was probably thinking about ice cream when I read this story:
Two monks were walking down a muddy road after a heavy rainstorm. As they walked, they came upon a beautiful woman who was unable to cross the deep puddles to the other side of the road. The elder monk lifted her up and bore the beautiful woman across the road before continuing on his way to the monastery. Later that evening, the younger monk asked the elder monk, “Sir, isn’t it true that we monks may not touch a woman?” The elder monk responded, “Yes, that is true.” “Sir, then why did you carry that woman across the road?” The elder monk smiled, “I left her on the side of the road, but you are still carrying her.”
Luckily, ice cream is not a moral issue and I am not a monk. But as this ancient story illustrates, cravings are a part of life. They do not indicate that you’re weak or doing something wrong, instead cravings are simply proof that you’re human. And luckily, there is a very simple strategy to deal with what my mom calls, “wanting what you don’t want”—Give into it (a little). This works for three reasons:
1. Willpower is a limited resource According to the research of psychologist Roy Baumeister, we don’t have an endless supply of willpower. In the story, instead of obsessing over the woman, the younger monk could have spent all day in prayer and doing good for others. Similarly, the brain power you spend denying yourself ice cream is brain power you could be using to make lots of better food and lifestyle choices. In fact, experiments have shown willpower is linked to available glucose. So you might simply be low on willpower because your blood sugar is low, and giving into the craving (a little) will make it easier to resist and make better food choices in the long run.
2. Not doing something is harder than doing it Another major neurological factor in the success of giving in (a little) is that humans are really bad at not doing things. For example, don’t think of a pink elephant. Now don’t eat ice cream. See? If you tell yourself you can’t ever have something, you’re far more likely to want it—in psychology this is called “reactance.” Telling yourself you can have something, even just a little bit, actually makes us feel less controlled by the craving, and we’re more likely to be able to avoid it in the future.
3. Giving in a little bit trains your willpower By having a taste of what we want, we are teaching our brains that what we want is not a scarce resource and that there will be ice cream in the future. In 2012, scientists at the University of Rochester revisited the famous 1972 “marshmallow experiments, ” and demonstrated that children who were given reliable access to marshmallows could actually resist eating marshmallows 4 times longer than children who were given irregular access to marshmallows. Which means giving into cravings every now and then actually improves your ability to resist cravings in the future.
On a practical level, I have 3 tips:
1. Portion it out.
2. Enjoy it.
3. Put it away.
When I am desperate for ice cream, I make my patented “Stevo Sundae, ” vanilla ice cream with a shot of bourbon poured on top. I sit down and do nothing else but eat my sundae so I can enjoy it more. And when I’m done, I go through the ritual of cleaning my bowl and putting the pint away, which tells my brain, “Hey, I’m done!” And if I want more, I remind myself that if I really, really want it, I can have a little bit tomorrow.What does cervical dilation feel like? What time does the library open? How to know if you have low iron? What is coinsurance mean? What does fyp mean on tiktok? How to sew a shirt? How to get rid of dust mites? What does via mean? What time is it in seoul? What does bid mean? What does it mean when you have green discharge? How to sing? What does service esc mean? How to remove page breaks in word? How to treat chafing in groin area male? How to measure shoulders? How to remove sim card from iphone? In barbie groom and glam pups how do you unlock tricks? What angel number meaning you found your soulmate? How to tell what iphone i have? What does dumb mean? How to create a google form? What does ridges in fingernails mean? How to make pot roast? How to make a paper airplane? What is a function in algebra? What does an annotated bibliography look like? What is the meaning of swamped? What does couture mean? What does stu mean? How to play tft? Who wears the pants in a relationship meaning? What the amethyst stone meaning? Pro fishing crappie guide how pro tips? how to sqliteopen helper android What is open today? What does buttermilk taste like? why so many steam web helper Tips on how to sell a listing fast? How to cook sunny side up eggs? How to eat pussy? How to get an ein number? steam how to disable steam web helper When does instacart pay tips? How to replace key fob battery? How to make a chest in minecraft? How to watch netflix with friends? What is the meaning of yogesh name? What are wood burning tips made of? how to call a helper method in an action in the controller How to make a snowflake out of paper? How to calculate percentage? What does reparation mean? What is white gold? Tips when considering a video production agency? how do you write helper for main method c++ How do q tips cause toilet backups? How to make a fly trap? What is an ocean but a multitude of drops meaning? What does reps mean in exercise? What is antonym mean? How to make waffles with pancake mix? What math tricks were mentioned in the movie gifted? How to speed up computer? He who keepeth israel meaning? What does poverty mean? What is sexual intercourse meaning in urdu? What does moderator mean? Tips on how to tackle writing a master's thesis? What is the meaning of paul? What does factors mean? Chaturbate what are assending tips? What does haven mean? What is the meaning of weightlessness? What does elastic mean? How to know if you have a kidney infection? Addicted tricks mom what hit your head? Tips on budgeting when husband and wife dont share accounts? What does it mean to refinance a loan? What does chasing the dragon mean? What does it mean to be resilient? What size soccer ball for tricks? How to tell if yeezys are fake? What does bashful mean? What are the chances of getting struck by lightning? How to become a zookeeper? how much does a ups driver helper make 2017 What is the meaning of bellicose? Psychological tricks: how to tell someone is lying youtube? What does bear scat look like? What does willpower mean? What does the name nick mean? What is the spiritual meaning of lapis lazuli? How to cook beef tips in a crock pot? What does snooki mean? How to find the slope of an equation? what is a specific term for organic enezymes helper What does the universe look like? What does it mean if i dream about someone?