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Cravings come in every flavor from salty to fatty or from sweet to sour. Chocolate tops the list of cravings. These cravings are not only the dieters’ downfall, but they also start this vicious cycle of unhealthy living. There are two basic root causes for cravings – physical need and emotional need. Almost all of us can relate to emotional need and why we eat certain things for certain moods and feelings. Few of us can relate to cravings that rise out of actual physical need. Generally, we choose unhealthy foods when responding to the cravings, physical or emotional.

  • Be sure to take vitamin supplements or consume a well balanced diet so that your body will receive all the nutrients.
  • Narrow down the type of foods you are choosing to satisfy your cravings. Are they sweet, salty, fatty foods or chocolate. Once you narrow this down, you can have a strategy for attacking the craving back.

Sweet and Chocolate Cravings

When you have sweet cravings you automatically turn to foods such as cakes, cookies or pies. But you could satisfy your sweet craving with anything sweet – such as fruits. Add some fat free whipped cream to your favorite fruit and treat it like the real dessert it is. Have fruits like strawberries, grapes or apple handy. They are filling and will satisfy your sweet tooth.

Cinnamon is another good weapon to beat sweet cravings. Sprinkle some cinnamon on toast and watch the sugar cravings being controlled for few hours. Cinnamon also gives you an energy boost. So add cinnamon to your daily meal plan. Sugar free choice is another option. But be sure to pay close attention to the serving size and you stick to it.

A sugar free chocolate pudding with a dollop of light whipped topping can satisfy your craving for chocolate and it is about 1/3 calories of a regular candy bar. When choosing chocolate, go for quality rather than quantity. Choose a small piece of a really good quality chocolate rather than the king size version of the lesser quality chocolate. Your palate will be satisfied with the small piece but your hips will be a lot happier. Schedule the chocolate treats, so you actually savor. Put chocolate in your luxury item list and not in your comfort list.

Salty Cravings

May be sugar is not your thing. All you need is a bag of potato chips and you are happy as a clam. One way to control salt intake is to use other spices such as rosemary or garlic when cooking. These increase flavor without causing risk to your heart.

For salty chips and pretzels, try a serving of nuts. Nuts are more filling and are packed with nutrients. Although they are salty, they provide other things as well. Just be sure to stick to one serving a day.

If it is the texture, then go for some crunchy carrots or celery sticks. These with fat free, low sodium dips are heavenly.

Fried Foods

If steak is your thing, go for lean cuts. Trim the fat off the meat and you are good to go. If you like butter on your toast or muffin, you can easily switch to a butter substitute. Instead of deep frying, try baking them. Use broth to sauté instead of oil. Use applesauce or flaxseed instead of fat for baking. For cheeses, always choose part skim and you have lowered your calorie intake.

Additional Tips

  • Plan small meals or snacks. Eat 4 to 6 times a day regularly
  • Chew gum
  • Brush your teeth after each meal
  • Pay close attention to what triggers your emotional eating and work on coping with it differently instead of using foods
  • Stock healthier options in your pantry
  • Drink plenty of water. Sometimes your thirst mechanism is misinterpreted for hunger. Drinking water first will help with that.
  • Wait sometime before reaching for food. If it is true physical hunger, you will still be hungry. If it is emotional hunger, you may forget it and move on.
  • Think of calories in terms of money and put yourself on a calorie budget
  • Get enough sleep
  • Develop a routine and stick to it.
Category : Weight Loss Guides

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