Combating Food Cravings

Food cravings can sabotage your weight loss efforts. Experts indicate that the most commonly craved foods are those with a high sugar and fat content, such as:

  • Chocolate
  • Ice Cream
  • Pizza
  • Potato Chips
  • Alcohol
Sugar has numerous detrimental effects on the body. Nancy Appleton, Ph.D. and author of LICK THE SUGAR HABIT has outlined 146 reasons why sugar is ruining your health.

Foods with high saturated fat and trans fats have a detrimental effect on the health. But not all fats are bad.

To learn more about the both healthy and unhealthy fats, CLICK HERE.

Medical News Today believes that sugar "addiction" is a sign of hunger, NOT a lack of control.

Tips for Dealing with Cravings

1. Eat small meals at regular intervals.

Eating smaller amounts of food more frequently (every 2-4 hours) will often stop cravings.

2. Eat protein and a little fat.

Protein and fat slow the release of carbohydrates into your bloodstream, thereby stabilizing your energy levels. Try to incorporate lean meats, low-fat dairy, or create a complete protein by properly combining legumes and rice etc. Healthy fats and oils improve nutrient absorption, boost immunity, and increase satiety at meals.

3. Reduce the stress in your life.

UCSF researchers have found that comfort food cravings are related to chronic stress.

4. Exercise.

Lack of exercise can contribute to stress. When you exercise your mood is elevated and you are less likely to crave foods. So if your cravings occur at specific times of the day or month, organize your exercise to coincide with these times.

5. Don't skip meals or restrict calories.

Restricting calories too much or skipping meals will put your body into a state of starvation, thereby causing you to crave starchy or sugary foods for quick energy.

6. Be sure to get enough quality sleep.

People who are chronically tired often overeat sugars and carbs for that quick boost.

7. Choose low glycemic load carbohydrates for optimum blood sugar control.

Diets with high glycemic loads (such as refined white flour and heavily processed foods or high sugar foods) cause your blood sugar levels to spike and then drop below normal. This yo-yo effect causes all sorts of problems for your mood and appetite - the perfect recipe for cravings.

8. Cut back on caffeine.

Caffeine seems to make cravings for sugar worse. Be aware of the caffeine content in such beverages as coffee, tea, and sodas. If you indulge, try cutting back.

9. Limit your salt and sugar intake.

Both salt and sugar can make your cravings worse. Limit the amount of sugar and salt that you consume. Beware of "hidden" salts and sugars found in processed or refined foods such as canned soup, breakfast cereal, soy sauce, candy sweets, cakes, cookies, ice cream, and regular soda.

10. Brush your teeth after eating.

Brushing your teeth after eating signals your brain that eating has stopped. Many foods don't taste good after brushing your teeth. This strategy will help you eat less and keep that beautiful smile.

Related Links

What prevents weight loss? The physiology of food cravings

The psychology of food cravings


This page was last updated on 10/4/06.