I wrote this piece originally in 2017 and gave it an airing again in 2019 and 2020. Here we go again…

I've had a number of messages this week about breaking food cycles and really making positive change with eating behaviour. I think the Innocent Smoothie post has got people thinking so maybe that was it. Maybe it's Christmas and the thought of New Year and resolutions. You don't need to make resolutions, they don't tend to work as they don't tend to be anything more than whimsical ideas. Anyway, have a read and remember this was written in the summer. I am not sat on a sun lounger sadly...

I had a private message when I got back from this morning's run regarding cravings and was it as simple as just grabbing a bin liner and throwing away the crap processed foods.

Another difficult day on a sun lounger beckons so I thought I'd share some thoughts...

So cravings...I've got a plan for attacking this which I will share in part with you but before I do I think it's important you get a real understanding how all this works in your body.

Food cravings that can't be overcome will stop you getting to where you want to be with your health. That is I think a fact. Good things in life come at a price. So the simple question for me is, "do you want to destroy your health for the sake of poor food choices?"

But the bin liner and the "new beginnings" mantras never really work do they. If they did, we'd all eat healthy all the time.

So what causes cravings and how do emotions play a part?

It's not rocket science but here you go. What happens is that we become attached to and obsessed with substances, behaviours and people in life due to simple chemical and psychological imbalances.

The key is that food is no different.

Langreth and Stanford in their book "Fatty Foods as Addictive as Cocaine in Growing Body of Science" found that for some people the sight of ice cream stimulated the same pleasure centres in the brain that images of crack pipes did for heroin addicts.

If allowed, over time patterns emerge and we automatically associate certain situations and emotions with a particular type of food. These associations then become pathway cemented in the brain. Breaking these pathways can then seem impossible.

Something goes wrong at work or in your personal life and the food pathway kicks in and you are taken out of that painful moment. Willpower is pointless. You are too entrenched.

So what to do?

Firstly, you need to get honest with yourself. Just what are the motivations behind your unhealthy food choices?

This is tough. You'll need to sit down with a pen and paper and really explore what makes you want to escape reality. A lot of you know I don't drink. I was never someone who got drunk everyday but I didn't like my relationship with alcohol. I made changes.

Not ready to do the self-diagnosing therapy bit?