7 Ways to Handle Food Cravings

Food cravings can hurt a healthy diet, but there are ways to manage them

(RxWiki News) When food cravings strike, the temptation can be hard to resist. But with these methods, it's possible.

Read on to learn seven ways to handle food cravings.

1. Keep Your Guilty Pleasure on Hand

If you're trying to eat less chocolate, you may think you should get rid of all of your chocolate. But that might actually hurt your progress in the long run.

That's because you may be more likely to overdo it the next time you do get ahold of some chocolate.

Instead, keep a little bit of your guilty pleasure food on hand, and eat it in small amounts. Be conscious of when you eat it and how much.

2. Distract Yourself

Sometimes, the only way to beat a food craving is to do something else. For example, if you're working at your desk and can't stop thinking about that cake in the break room, break the thought process with a distraction.

Your distraction could be a brisk, 10-minute walk, a few minutes playing a mobile game of choice or anything — it just needs to get your mind off of the food you're craving but can't have.

3. Schedule It Out

Make a schedule for your snacks and meals, and stick to it. That way, when food cravings hit you, you don't have to wonder when you'll eat next. You know exactly when your next snack or meal will be.

This can be helpful in keeping you to an eating schedule and preventing feelings of being deprived. When you know it's only a half hour until your next snack, that food craving will be easier to beat.

4. Write It Down

When you have a food craving, write it down. Why? Because writing it down helps you understand the context. The context — such as what happened right before the food craving — can help you understand what triggers your cravings and, hopefully, avoid those triggers.

For example, if you start craving sweets every time you interact with a difficult coworker or family member, a cravings journal can help you realize that. Then, you might remember to keep a healthy snack on hand when you're about to encounter the trigger you've identified.

5. Cut Some Snacks for a While

If there is a food you simply can't say no to when you crave it, you may have to go cold turkey on it — just for a while. Taking a complete break from a particularly alluring snack can help you break the habit of eating it. Then, if you choose to, you can slowly incorporate it back into your diet in small amounts.

6. Put the Food Out of Sight

"Out of sight, out of mind" applies heavily when you're talking about food cravings. Simply moving your tempting snack foods into the back of cabinet instead of leaving them out on the counter can prevent you from reaching for them every time you walk into the kitchen.

7. Don't Go Hungry

When you get too hungry, you might be more likely to eat whatever you can get your hands on — instead of the healthy, intentional snacks and meals you would prefer to eat over the long term. To avoid that, of course, you have to make sure you aren't letting yourself get too hungry. Plan regular snacks and meals with filling, healthy foods like grains and lean protein.

If you are concerned about your weight or health or are considering a change in your diet, reach out to your health care provider.

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Review Date: 
April 25, 2022