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Cravings Revisited

June 30, 2011

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post about the cravings that I’d been experiencing and I asked if you had any tips for overcoming them. You had some great advice which I’ve been following, along with some ideas of my own. I’ve been have cravings much less frequently now, so I guess something must be working.

So here are my (and your) top tips for beating cravings:

1. Reduce the amount of sugary stuff you eat

sulky kid with sweets


A lot of you mentioned that when you eat something sweet you crave more sugar. I think this is definitely true for me. When my cravings were at their worst I’d had several weekends where I’d eaten lots of cake and chocolate and other sweet stuff. I don’t think that you should deny yourself the good things in life, but think carefully about how eating sugar will make you feel later on. I have still been eating sweets occasionally, but in much smaller quantities (I’m getting nicely through my dark chocolate Lindt bunny!).

2. Cut down on salty food

Besides the health benefits of cutting down on salt, I think that salty foods have been contributing to my cravings. I’ve never been very fond of savoury foods, but I’ve found myself eating them more and more. I definitely notice that I want something sweet after eating a very savoury meal.

3. Consider whether something healthy would satisfy your craving

I think that my cravings are sometimes caused by the fact that chocolate, cakes and biscuits are always available at work and that they are kept right in front of my desk! If I think about eating something else, say a piece of fruit or a snack bar, I realise that I’m not actually hungry and don’t need to eat anything. If I still feel peckish I will eat the healthy snack. Now I always keep some of these in my drawer at work:


Nakd Cocoa Mint

4. If you’re bored, do something else

I was mainly getting cravings at work when I was bored, but it’s not easy to escape. I have been trying to get up from my desk more often to go for a wander around the building or make a cup of tea. If I’m at home it’s easier to distract myself, for example by having a bath or doing the washing up. Alison pointed out that even by eating something healthy after a meal I could be reinforcing a habit, so doing something completely different is a good tactic.

5. If you’re hungry … eat!

I believe that you should listen to your hunger signals and that battling with hunger is counter-productive and can lead to over-eating. Most of the time my cravings occurred soon after I’d eaten and would pass if I rode it out for 15 minutes or so … that’s a different matter.

Do you have any other tips to combat cravings?

5 Comments leave one →
  1. June 30, 2011 9:33 pm

    I have a big collection of tea which I will have, as I think I sometimes have something sweet for more of a habit than anything (or relaxing time after work).
    I also now plan snacks, as I used to find that I would be hungry at certain times, but try to tide myself over til lunch/dinner and it did not work! So now I plan snacks and I only find that I choose unhealthy stuff when I forget them.

  2. July 1, 2011 5:56 am

    Three of those definitely strike a chord with me. If I go out for a huge curry I almost invariably crave sweet stuff within an hour despite the fact I am still incredibly full. Boredom leads to absent minded eating of bread if I happen to be in the kitchen when it occurs too. Lastly, I’m not someone who can have just one sweet or biscuit and feel satisfied, instead that just triggers a voracious craving for more and more: its far better not to have them in the first place.

  3. July 1, 2011 8:36 am

    Great tips! Now I just really try and listen to my cravings to work out what my body might be needing or if it is just boredom or stress related. Like Maria, I’ll often have a cuppa and then see if the hunger subsides. I do think there’s a difference between hunger and cravings though – I get cravings for things which are more just like getting a fancy for something, not an urgent need to eat that thing immediately if that makes sense!

  4. July 1, 2011 8:46 am

    Every single one of those points ring true with me. I’m hoping eating clan will take away sweet cravings (although I have to read labels very carefully, you ‘d be surprised at what contains sugar).

    I do totally agree with point 5 and if you are truly hungry then eat something healthy and satisfying. I used to find myself aimlessly eating stating “I’m hungry” when in fact I was just bored.

    Great post 🙂

  5. Errign permalink
    July 1, 2011 5:28 pm

    My only other tip is to hydrate!

    I also find that somethings, I will be craving salty things and when I look back, I realize I really haven’t had a lot of salt in the last few days & have worked out a lot or something. 🙂 My neurologist actually told me to start eating more salty things to keep my blood pressure steady as it tends to drop when I go from lying to standing (I don’t notice a difference!) 🙂

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