I can honestly admit–based upon humbling personal experiences–that overwhelming
food cravings can turn a good diet day into a disaster.
For example, there was the time I proved that “Bet you can’t eat just one” is
the perfect slogan for my favorite brand of potato chips.
One greasy, salty chip led to another and before I knew it I had eaten the entire
I had ferocious a ferocious craving for salt and oil and I just couldn’t stop myself.
Of course, the pleasure of that binge was short-lived.
I had a huge case of guilt and the heavy taste of oil lingered in my digestive tract.
But the cravings monster was unleashed.
And I couldn’t seem to eat enough.
To make matters worse, the potato chips triggered a powerful craving for more–
this time, I craved something wet and sweet.
I frantically scoured the kitchen for something to drink and rapidly guzzled a glass
of a semi-sweet red wine.
Unfortunately, wine didn’t soothe my cravings–in fact, they triggered a new craving:
a powerful desire for wheat like whole wheat bread, crackers or pretzels!
I was rapidly spiralling out of control.
What was I going to eat next?
Dieting disaster was near.
I had just ruined 10 days of healthy food choices and portion control.
And this was just one instance…
There are many more sob stories where that one came from.
One thing was for sure.
I needed to get a handle on controlling my cravings ASAP.
Cravings can make a normally healthy diet day a real challenge!
What Causes Cravings?
Cravings are caused by a number of things.
You can have cravings when your blood sugar is low.
Hormones can cause cravings.
Additionally, you may have cravings based on the emotions you’re feeling.
For example, if you just got yelled at by your boss, you may find yourself
Depending on the cause of the craving, you can beat it.
Here are a few ideas to help you overcome your cravings.
Cravings Buster #1: Keep a healthy snack with you
Keep a healthy snack with you at all times.
One of the most common causes for cravings is low blood sugar.
It’s caused by eating a food high in sugar.
Your blood sugar spikes; an hour later it is back at rock bottom.
The result is a craving for more sweets.
Keeping a healthy snack in your purse, drawer, car or pocket will help you
fend off cravings.
Good snacks include nuts, rice crackers, vegetables, fruit, or seeds.
Natural snack bars are also an easy way to grab a healthy snack.
Make sure the bar doesn’t have any added sugar.
Cravings Buster #2: Protein
Protein is a great way to help fend off cravings.
It helps balance your blood sugar and keeps your metabolism level.
It also helps you stay full longer.
Add lean protein to your meals and snacks to ban cravings.
Cravings Buster #3: Drink something first
Drink something first.
We often misinterpret the signals our body is sending us.
We may think we’re hungry when in fact we’re actually dehydrated.
When you feel hungry or are having a craving, have a glass of water instead of
sugary juice or soft drinks.
Water fills you up, it helps balance your metabolism, and it may banish that craving
Cravings Buster #4: Learn to manage stress
Learn to manage stress.
Stress is what often causes emotional eating.
When we’re stressed it’s much more difficult to manage depression, fear, and even
anger and frustration.
These are the emotions that lead to emotional eating.
Take a B-Complex vitamin, get plenty of rest and consider adopting some stress
Meditation, exercise and a balanced diet help manage stress.
Cravings Buster #5: Cut yourself some slack
Cut yourself some slack.
Eliminating your favorite foods from your diet can also cause cravings.
Instead of eliminating your favorite foods, make room for them.
Moderation is key.
If, for example, your favorite food is chocolate then consider letting yourself have
a small bit of chocolate each day or on Fridays at the end of the work week.
Be prepared for cravings and you can nip them in the bud. Have snacks on hand,
and eat well and often to keep blood sugar balanced.
Stay hydrated and take good care of yourself.
Cravings are a part of life.
Learn to manage them and you won’t have to worry about them sabotaging your
Have you been plagued by food cravings?
What are your most common cravings?
Share your “cravings buster tips” with us.