Conquer Your Food Cravings
Find the best, research-proven ways to keep chocolate and cookies and chips from wrecking your diet.
That switch is powered in part by dopamine, a brain chemical linked to both
drug addiction and food cravings. Studies suggest that once you experience
something pleasurable, your brain produces dopamine, which makes you want to
have more of the treat. Later, if you see or smell the food that gave you the
high, you want it again.
As to whose advice you should follow, it really comes down to your "cravings
personality" — how well you can spot danger and keep it from derailing your
weight-loss goals. Are you someone who can satisfy your urges with just a
little smidgen of brain delight — in the form of chocolate or Cheez-Its — or is
having even just a taste inevitably the first step on the road to diet
To find out, follow the experts' "Give In" or "Give It Up" tips to help you
stay in control. And don't be alarmed if you fall into the "give it up" group:
We've found a way you can learn to eat your favorites again and still lose
What's your craving personality? Take our quiz and find out!
1. A friend gives you a small box of exquisite chocolates. You count them
and think, I can make these last for two weeks if I have one a day. Then
- a. Set aside a few minutes every evening to sit in your favorite chair and
enjoy one piece of chocolate. It's a great two weeks.
- b. Eat one, then later in the day, another couple. The box lasts a
- c. Have one, then another...whoops, it's 10 minutes later and they're
2. At the last big cookout, your hosts served all kinds of salty goodness in
great big salad bowls. You:
- a. Scooped some guacamole onto a plate, counted out 15 chips, and really
- b. Realized, after your third handful, that you'd put away so many calories
you were already into the next day's allotment, so you got yourself a glass of
- c. Were so engrossed in conversation, you're really not sure how many you
3. You're at the mall, where the air is infused with the scent of baking
cinnamon buns. You're finding it very hard to resist, so you:
- a. Enjoy the smell, but hurry on to the kitchenware store.
- b. Buy one, cut it in half, and share with your shopping companion (or, if
you're alone, save it for breakfast the next morning).
- c. Buy one and try to eat half, but before you've reached the kids'
clothing outlet, you've eaten the whole thing.