depends on the craving. if i want protein or salty, indulge. if it's sugar, try to ignore or redirect.
Fitness Minutes: (54,048)
3,151 1/4/13 12:47 A
Redirect... I eat cocoa beans instead of chocolate, passion fruit instead of candy
Fitness Minutes: (83,149)
108 1/3/13 11:52 P
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I have been indulging over the holiday period, and in my case, it's not a good thing, I have so little control when it comes to sweet things. Yesterday I noticed I was craving the chocolates in the IT room (which I brought in, to save me from scoffing them all at home!), and I knew that if I gave in to one, it would be so much harder to resist the second and third. So I gritted my teeth against the initial craving and it worked, it was much easier to put up with and I felt better about myself
Sometimes it is hard for me to indulge in a craving like for something sweet because I do not have much self-control to limit myself.
Fitness Minutes: (15,217)
1,704 1/3/13 9:05 P
My craving is usually for something salty or for chocolate. I try to save a few calories for the craving I know I will have sometime during the day. Then I have a small serving of the thing I am craving. If I try to eat something else, I am still not satisfied until I eat the thing I am actually craving. If the craving is for chocolate I drink a cup of no sugar added Swiss Miss. It comes in at 60 calories. Salty cravings usually are satisfied with a slice of salami eaten very slowly and savored to get every bit of enjoyment out of it. This costs 22 calories a slice, so both of these things fall into my "under 100 calories for snacks" plan.
Fitness Minutes: (936)
1/3/13 8:14 P
It depends on how often the cravings come - indulging every once in a while in a small and controlled way is (for me) the best way to keep the number of cravings down.
I used to indulge too much. Now when the craving strikes, I am sure that 1: I have enough calories available in my 'budget' to eat it without compromising another meal, and 2: I only eat one serving. I have noticed more and more that the first bite tastes the best, but as I keep eating it, it starts to taste like what it is: oil, salt, sugar, and artificial. I used to keep eating it because I either didn't notice, or hoped that somehow the next bite would taste better, but it never does.
Indulge, definitely. But CAREFULLY. I do it right away because if I wait I'll end up binging. If I acknowledge it and have a little taste right away, it's enough to satisfy the craving and not cause me any damage. This happens most often with chocolate and cookies.
my hot button item is french fries. i will typically have just a few fries so that i can move past the craving. however, i will only do this one time per week (cuz i can literally eat fries every day - lol).
Fitness Minutes: (29,390)
5,351 1/3/13 1:04 P
My biggest cravings come from: 1) Potato Chips or 2) Delicious homemade baked goods. I cannot keep them at the house for long. My best bet is to buy a small portion and have some. My husband (meaning well) will take advantage of BOGO sales and bring way too much of that stuff in the house. Sometimes I'm pretty good, but I know that I can't have too much of that stuff around on a regular bases.
At home, I try to ignore or redirect. If I am craving something sweet and chocolately, I make a hot cocoa with low fat milk; that usually works for me. And I DON'T keep any really great sweets in the house. I do indulge occasionally. I notice that the less that I indulge in a previously craved item (like Taco Bell or KFC grilled chicken and biscuit), the more the craving disappears.
My biggest problem continues to be social situations where wonderful goodiess are offered and combined with festive alcoholic beverages. I do MUCH better if I don't drink a cocktail!
I used to really crave fast food, especially mexican. I probably ate Taco Johns or Taco Bell at least twice a week and other fast food another one or two days.
For a while I made a concerted effort to go home and eat lunch there even though I really wanted to run through a drive through. Honestly, it didn't really have much impact on my weight, but definitely had positive effects on my wallet! The biggest benefit was that my cholesterol numbers dropped into normal ranges when I cut out my fast food lunch habit.
Now, I still drive home for lunch and think that I should stop and grab some nachos since I haven't had them in so long, but ultimately I don't stop. Something in me just keeps telling me to keep driving and eat at home and I don't even have to fight it!
I try to ignore them at first, because I'm very suggestible and want whatever I see or smell. If it's a true craving and I can't get it out of my head, eventually I will plan for the indulgence and just go ahead and enjoy it in moderation.
I dreamed about french toast for days. Not "diet" french toast, real, buttery eggy French toast with syrup. When I finally had some, it wasn't as awesome as I had it built up to be in my mind, but I did enjoy it, and when it was over, it was over.
I tell myself, "You can have that if you REALLY want it, but see if you want it again in a day. Often I don't.
1/3/13 11:14 A
I don't have a lot of specific cravings. I'll have a few 'passing' cravings, not too serious- those I ignore. If I have a real, lasting craving, I indulge it, a little; then it goes away. Otherwise, it gets worse! I only find myself indulging cravings once in about 2 or 3 months, though.
Fitness Minutes: (36,456)
8,182 1/3/13 11:11 A
GrizGirl, so true! I usually start with making a cup of tea and see if I can get the craving to go away. But if it does not I indulge. I have found that if I do not then I end up eating everything else.
Fitness Minutes: (261,535)
2,243 1/3/13 10:28 A
If I'm in "diet mode" I redirect or ignore my cravings...when it's "clicked" mentally I will do anything to lose!
However, when I'm in "who cares?" mode...I'll give in & indulge. After 5 years of SP and 70 lbs lost, I STILL struggle with cravings & a love of munchies.
Those people who say "I love eating healthy & don't even WANT junk food anymore"...hahahaha. That's not MOST of us. Most of us live on a constant food roller-coaster. Sometimes we do great--sometimes we struggle.
Even when I struggle I know what I have to do to change & improve. But if it hasn't "snapped" in my brain, I won't do what I need to. It is what it is...I still love myself either way--skinny or fat. :)
Congratulations CSROBSERTSON621 on your success! That is very inspirational and motivating! I've recently lost 50 pounds, struggled with the holidays by giving in to temptations, gained back 8 pounds, and now feel back on track. I have 30 pounds left to lose until I reach my goal. My ultimate goal however, is no longer about the pounds I have to lose, but keeping my main focus on maintaining this healthy and active life style. When I do that the weight seems to take care of itself. I hope by August of this year, I too can say I'm in maintenance and keep it that way. I found that having a cup of green tea takes my mind off the cravings that pop up from time to time. In the time it takes to sip a cup of tea, the craving is gone, thirst is quenched, and I'll make a better decision for a snack, like an apple with almond butter. Thank you again for the maintenance tips!
Interesting question - and one definately worth considering. I think the most dangerous thing is to ignore or supress, becasue that will just make me want to "break the rules" even more. I tend to crave either something sweet (candy, ice cream...) or something salty (chips, popcorn...) but I can sometimes redirect the craving for something sweet towards dried fruit (for example raisins or figs) and my craing for something salty towards fibre rich bread with salty topping (such as cripsbread with light philadelphia)... This is the only thing that works for me, because if I deny myself the craving completely I get stubborn about wanting to have it ... and if I give in and have a little of what I crave I dont stop!
Good question! I am beginning to redirect with determination. Mindful, loving, attentive, relaxed listening and eating really helps. Committing to a 200 day Binge-Free Challenge in another Sparkpeople group really focused my efforts right through New Year holidaying with family BBQ spreads of superb quality. I unobtrusively stuck to my guns, and applied reverse psychology. Choosing a New Year Resolution made me wonder "What if I believe it is really easy to not binge, instead of always having not eating on my mind?". Early days I acknowledge, but I feel so successful and contented, not battling at all, just enjoying applying what I've learnt as I select food at meal times.
Edited by: CANDO20K at: 1/3/2013 (02:39)
Fitness Minutes: (1,257)
1/3/13 1:36 A
Nevermind2010 I'm the exact same way! There is no one and done, I just keep on until its all gone or I feel incredibly guilty. Denial doesn't work, because I can't continue to say no. Probably one of my biggest struggles :(
Fitness Minutes: (12,675)
1/2/13 10:55 P
I am new to Sparkpeople, but not to dieting/ lifestyle changing. I think drinking water and focusing on some other activity is a great way to take your mind off of a craving. If I am looking for something salty I like to eat edamame in the pod with sea salt on top. It cooks in just a few minutes and the salt adds a little crunch. Not sure why I don't like the pre-shelled variety, but I don't. After a decent serving of these I am usually pretty satisfied. I love putting Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning on frozen vegetables too, it is a little salty and spicy. Still, sometimes nothing beats the real thing! I am still working on that part.
This is a huge problem for me. Ignore is the only thing that works - until it doesn't work anymore. I can't have one cookie, or one piece of candy, etc... I have had bitter arguments with people about this. They tell me, yes you can! Just eat one and stop. But I can't. Do alcoholics have to deal with people telling them, oh, just have one drink and stop? I don't know. I know that I have an extremely addictive personality, and food is my addiction. (Probably only because I was self-aware enough to not even try some of the other addictive substances out there!)
But ignore only works for so long. At some point, I break. And the, watch out. I will eat everything that isn't nailed down. So now I am working on re-directing. I think the best thing is to 1) drink water (because it's easy) and 2) do some exercise. At the very least, I will be well-hydrated and get some exercise from running to the bathroom!
I have only been a part of sparkpeople for a few days. Now that I am logging everything I eat, when I have a craving I ask myself is this food really worth it to have to log it. This has helped me to ignore my cravings.
Fitness Minutes: (100,580)
1/2/13 10:46 P
Like several other posters, it depends on the circumstances. I usually start with "ignore" -- and if that works, great. Re-direct is usually step 2 -- and is usually pretty successful if I choose well. If that's not working, I try to move to "indulge" pretty quickly, so that a moderate amount takes care of the craving. Since I'm in maintenance, I think it does help to occasionally (though it really does have to be "occasional") indulge to avoid feeling like I'm really being deprived to treats altogether.
Over time, I've actually come to appreciate treats MORE when I don't have them every day or even every week. I'd rather have one excellent dessert that I really enjoy than daily junk food "treats" that aren't even that good. For example, I used to indulge in M&Ms from the vending machine almost daily at work -- but I much prefer the coulpe of pieces of high quality hand crafted chocolate from the shop down the street that my husband and I indulge in once a month. (I bring a piece of fruit for my afternoon snack at work -- which I now genuinely prefer to those stupid stale M&Ms anyway.)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
129 1/2/13 9:52 P
When I have a craving, I drink a glass of water ot hot tea, then get on Spark, or play a Facebook game. Most of the time the craving goes away, but if I'm still craving that item, I allow myself a small amount.
I try to find substitutions or healthier options but I never try to ignore them. If I do that I will end up doing the opposite and obsessing/binging and that is never good. Instead for my sweet tooth's I replaced candy bars with south beach protein fit bars that have no artificial flavors or sweetners. They are around 130 - 140 cals, 3.5 - 5 grams of fat and 9 grams of protein which in my eyes is better then reaching for a snickers. I also keep 85% dark chocolate in single servings frozen in the freezer if I really want that chocolate. You can have a pretty decent size bar for 13grams of fat and I am not talking the miniatures, lol. If I am craving something like apple pie I will core and slice an apple and I have an actual core/slicer so my apple looks like a flower. I believe that if you make your food look better then you will be more satisfied. I put a few table spoons of water in a microwave safe bowl with my apple flower sprinkles with a little cinnamon and truvia for a few minutes until soft. When it comes out I sprinkle crushed graham cracker and a squirt of low fat whipped cream. Yum! I eat kale chips instead of potato chips and always weigh my food to acknowledge how much im eating.
Edited by: PINK_NEVAEH22 at: 1/2/2013 (21:53)
Fitness Minutes: (2,497)
1/2/13 9:45 P
Thanks for posting this; there are some good suggestions here! I myself try to redirect; I got into this body by indulging my cravings in the first place... and so, I have a cup of tea or a glass of water, wait 20 minutes or so, and see if I still want whatever I was craving. And I've found some good alternatives as well... crunchy carrots & celery, turkey jerky, or baked lentil chips help the salty-crunchy cravings I get...
Fitness Minutes: (29,004)
1/2/13 9:42 P
I definitely need to work on redirecting my cravings instead of giving in every time.
1/2/13 8:10 P
Good post! I satisfied a craving that my partner and I have had all year but one of us has told the other, "No!" when it's been brought up and so it hasn't been satisfied. But on New Year at about 1am as we were wondering back from the concert we'd been to, we decided to have a midnight Burger King raid. Often discussed yet never actually done! But New Year comes but once a year and we had shown restraint many times over the year (could explain our joint weight loss...). It was nice. I had a Whopper (and tracked it) but skipped the fries. I was a bit hungry but honestly I didn't need food. And though my calories were horrific that day the Whopper was perfect. I've stayed well with range since.
I have found to my amazement that I can eat small amounts of dessert if I have eaten plenty of dinner and I'm properly full. I can't eat trigger foods when hungry and expect to eat in moderation. And I always tracker my food.
Fitness Minutes: (8,510)
1/2/13 4:27 P
I either redirect or try my best to indulge in moderation. I have become smarter about finding healthier ways of indulging; simply sticking to portion size for example! :-)
Depends on the day and the circumstance. Today, I'm trying to ignore and eat only planned food. One day at a time.
1/2/13 2:57 P
I could do any of the three (indulge, ignore, or redirect) depending on how tired, how stressed I am from work, and availability of food available. Usually I redirect since I keep junk food out of my house (most of the time) and carry my own snacks to work to avoid overeating between meals when there.
It doesn't always work. There are times I have done any of the three above, but usually I have substitutes for the cravings I love, such as sugar!!
When I have a craving it's usually HUGE. I don't want just a small piece of candy or just one cookie. Those I can do without. The cravings that hit me are usually for a plate of nachos from my favorite Mexican restaurant or a fish and chips basket. I try to follow the 80/20 rule. I know that going out for fried fish is not the best for me but I also don't do it very often. I track it then the next day I go right back to my fruits an veggies. My cravings don't go away until they are satisfied, sometimes even lasting for months. I also don't want to completely take those foods out of my life either. I just eat them much more sparingly and they become a treat.
1/2/13 2:02 P
It depends, if it will fit in my calories. Then I indulge in a little. I find that when I ignore my cravings that usually sets me up for an all out binge.
Lately I have been craving a bacon cheeseburger, and it is all that I have wanted. I don't eat one of those everyday or even once a month, but I will work it into my calories on Sunday. Telling myself I can have it on Sunday keeps me from eating everything in sight trying to satisfy the craving for the grease burger.
This is what works for me. It may not work for everyone, but it works for me.
Fitness Minutes: (97,719)
1/2/13 12:48 P
Cravings, if I honestly need food I find something healthier. Otherwise I find something else to do to get my mind off of food altogether.
Fitness Minutes: (145)
1/2/13 12:04 P
Usually what I try to do is redirect....can I take my mind off the craving and gear it towards something non-food. I try to give myself some physical distance from food, the kitchen, vending machines at work, etc. If after 5 or 10 minutes, I'm still craving the same item, I'll give in...within reason. If not, then I go about my day. I try to only pack what I need (including snacks) and make trips to the cafeteria/vending machine as limited as possible.
Fitness Minutes: (48,676)
5,092 1/2/13 11:57 A
At this point, I make sure that everything that goes into my mouth is nutritious. In the past I would crave crackers or chips and let myself have "just one serving," which would turn into more than one serving, always. Once I start, I can't stop. Now I know better than to give in to my cravings because I know that I won't be able to stop no matter how hard I try. I try to find something to replace the not-so-good food that I crave often - for example, I looooove ice cream, and now I make my own version of ice cream by blending together one frozen banana, a tablespoon of peanut butter and 1/2 teaspoon cocoa powder. Finding healthy alternatives is what has worked for me.
No can't ignore my cravings, I redirect absolutely !! My favorite snack now is apple slices with peanut butter :P Love it. Cause if I smell a cookie, I want a cookie. If I smell a pie...well, you get the idea. No, I reach for something else that won't make me overdo. Do I ever indulge on something....yes I do. But I found that keeping that to the minimum really helps. Mind over matter works for me most of the time. Plus, my daily meditation and excercise.....
Have a Happy New Year everyone !
1/2/13 11:50 A
For me, it kind of depends on the craving.
Part of what I am working on is identifying the difference between real hunger, real cravings, and "kinda feel like it." There are times when a zillion and one crazy foods sound amazing to me - like, the thought of eating them is very appealing. But rarely is this an actual CRAVING.
The very first thing I always do is think about how much water I've had so far today. If it's afternoon and I've only had 1-2 cups, I'm probably thirsty. So I make myself have some water & wait 20 minutes.
Usually what I do is think carefully about WHY I am craving something, like what specifically do I want. If I feel like I want chips, it could be: I want something salty; I want something crunchy; I want something that is a lot of small pieces to bring to my mouth one at a time; I am bored and want something to do; I want something greasy; I want something to fiddle with with my hands.
Then I try to satisfy that desire with a different, better choice. For example, plain popcorn is good for I Want Crunchy. If I'm just bored, getting up to make a cup of tea and walking around a little usually does the trick. Or sometimes I do a puzzle at my desk if I'm just fidgety.
Getting up to make tea has reduced/replaced 99% of my afternoon snack "cravings" I get at work!
If I'm actually HUNGRY, I try to eat something that will fill me up first (veggies or a fiber bar or a big piece of fruit, bananas are good) and then maybe have a very small bit of something that "fits" the craving (salty, crunchy, whatever).
I do this with everything. Fries can mean salty, or just something hot. Ice cream can be sweet, creamy, or cold that I'm craving. I've discovered lots of ways to deal with these cravings other than eat a big serving of whatever it is that popped into my head.
If I really am craving a specific thing, I have some. But I check my tracker first to see what size serving I can "afford" in my calories/fat/whatever for the day, and then have that and only that. Some days I literally have 1 Tb of ice cream, or half a cookie, because I really want some but don't have enough calories for a full serving. No FOOD is off limits; just certain AMOUNTS of certain foods!
Fitness Minutes: (8,884)
1,667 1/2/13 11:38 A
I indulge within reason. Like the previous poster, you can't go overboard with indulgences, but for me, denial sets me up for failure. I am one of those who can eat just a few cookies and stop, or just a small snack candy bar. However, unlike the previous poster, a pudding snack would not have taken the place of a root beer float LOL...I would probably have had a scaled down version, like with fat free yogurt instead of ice cream or something.
I often laugh at some of the talk show people who say "if you are craving chocolate, grab some pineapple"...for me, that pineapple is so NOT going to cure my craving for chocolate!
Everyone is different and what works for me may not work for you (in fact, what works for me doesn't even work for my own sister LOL)....you just have to find the balance. Some people have to do the denial thing until they get those cravings under control.
In the past I would indulge it - but that's why I wasn't losing any weight lol! This time around, I'm choosing to ignore the cravings and hunger pangs. Or, if I have enough cushion left in my allotted caloric intake for the day, I'll choose a healthier/lighter option. For instance, my hubby made himself a root beer float last night. Instead of making one for myself, I just had a birthday cake flavored Jello pudding snack. I just reminded myself I've had many root beer floats before and that I wasn't really missing out on anything new. It seemed to work! So I either ignore the cravings or find a healthier/lighter substitution.
Today SparkCoach asked me to make a post in this forum about what I do with cravings, or ask about what you do. So I'm doing both! When I have a craving, usually for something sweet, I indulge and have a little bit...just enough to get the taste and enjoy it. What do you do? Ignore it? Indulge it? Or try to redirect your mind?