The Facts About Food Cravings
7 ways to deal with those irresistible urges
7 Tips About Food Cravings continued...
2. Make lower-calorie choices when possible
Will lower-calorie craving choices be as satisfying as the real deal? This
depends on how great tasting the alternate food or beverages are. If you make
lower-calorie, lower-fat brownies that taste just as yummy as regular brownies,
they'll probably satisfy your fudge brownie craving. If you crave soda and you
drink a glass of half diet soda and half real soda, chances are it will do the
When Barbara Rolls, PhD, and colleagues from Pennsylvania State University
fed 24 young women at their university laboratory, they found:
- Women who ate lower-calorie, slightly smaller dishes were no hungrier than
those who ate regular dishes.
- Dieters liked the taste of the lower-calorie dishes just as much as that of
the regular dishes.
3. Our environment is toxic
Everywhere we turn, our environment seems to be screaming at us to eat more
fast food and junk food. "Unhealthy food is highly accessible, it's
convenient, it's engineered to taste good, it's heavily promoted, and it's
inexpensive. If you wanted to engineer a good food environment, you'd have the
reverse of all that," says Kelly D. Brownell, PhD, director of the Yale
Center for Eating and Weight Disorders.
4. Don't let yourself get too hungry
What happens when you skip a meal, or refrain from eating when you're truly
hungry? Sooner or later, you get SO hungry that you end up overeating to
compensate. It's in this state of extreme hunger that we tend to crave
quick-fix foods like candy bars. Eating several meals through the day may help
to control cravings and binge-type eating.
5. Start a cravings journal
If you have a real problem with food cravings, keep a cravings journal for a
month. List the times of day you have cravings, the emotions you're feeling at
the time, the foods you crave, and what and how much you ate. When you look
back through your journal, ask yourself if there are any patterns, such as
certain times of day when you tend to experience food cravings. Are there
certain emotions or situations that tend to bring them on?