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Food Cravings: Tips to Manage

The following tips can help you manage food cravings:

Three Balanced Meals
Eat at least three well-balanced meals a day. Do not skip meals -- you will just make yourself hungrier for the next meal, causing you probably to overeat.
Do not beat yourself up if you slip. Everyone overeats at times. Consider trying to live by the philosophy "everything in moderation."

Mood or Situation
Accept food cravings as a normal part of living in a food-oriented society. Food is all around us. You sometimes cannot control the cravings, but you can control your reaction. Try to understand your cravings in relation to your mood or situation.

Healthful Choices
Think "management" instead of "control." It is impossible to control every situation of your life. Take responsibility for making healthful choices in each eating circumstance, and stop when you are satisfied.

Suggestions, Not Commands
Look at cravings as suggestions to eat and not as commands to overindulge. When you feel a craving, decide how you want to deal with it. You do not have to overeat. You may decide to wait a while and see if the craving passes.

Believe that cravings will pass. Cravings are not hunger. They usually will go away if you distract yourself with other thoughts and activities.

The 5 D's
Disarm your cravings with the 5 D's:
.....1. Delay - wait 10 minutes
.... 2. Distract - concentrate on something else
.....3. Distance - do not keep temptation on hand; make
......................... yourself leave your to get the food
.... 4. Determine - think about how much your really want it
.....5. Decide - know how much to eat; if you choose to eat
....................... something you crave, remember to enjoy it

Bad Foods
Stop labeling foods as "bad" or "forbidden." It is not the food that is the problem; it is the quantities you choose to consume. Allow yourself a little of your favorite foods once in a while and make them special.

Moderation vs. Abstinence
Aim for moderation instead of abstinence. Your favorite foods make you feel great. Enjoy them every once in a while.

Stay active. Moving is a great way to keep your from eating, and it is essential to good health.

Suggestions for Managing Food Cravings

If You Crave Try Eating More Try Eating Less Instead, Try Eating
Whole grains, squash, apples, and cooked fruit
Meat, salt, and dairy products
Fresh and frozen fruit, whole fruit ice pops, agave, stevia, and honey
Vegetables and salad
Meat, sugar, flour, and salt
Decaffeinated teas, water, and seltzer
Seaweed, black beans, and vegetables
Sweets, fats, alcohol, meats, grains, and processed foods
Natural soy sauce, miso, herbs, and spices
Dairy Products
Leafy greens, whole grains, beans, and fish
Sugar, baked goods, meats, and processed fruit
Tofu, soy milk, rice milk, nut milk, and sorbet
Fats & Sweets
Protein foods, beans, fish, eggs, and chicken
Processed grains, refined flours, processed fruits, and jellies
Healthful granola bars, olive oil or canola oil in place of other oils, fresh fruit, and lowe-fat or lower-calorie versions of dressings, dairy products, and treats

Review Date 11/11

*This article is from the Nutrition 411 website and used with permission. We recommend you visit their website at www.nutrition411.com or click on the logo below.

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