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TCANNO SparkPoints: (360,460)
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9/28/12 6:40 P

So far I have not had any.


Fitness Minutes: (923)
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9/28/12 3:45 P

It really is great to read all these ideas and advice on overcoming cravings. My cravings are my undoing, and I'm understanding that it was so much easier to quit smoking, than to quit over-eating carbs and sugar!!
On a similar line, does anyone have any recommendations for on-the-go craving fixes? When I work it's easily 8-10 hours straight, and there is no time for fixing anything to eat (i do bring food with me every day) but i'm surrounded by my craving food all the time, there is candy and carbs all over the store that are available to me cheap! Any ideas?

TOMWAMP SparkPoints: (35,730)
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9/28/12 3:42 P

I have somewhat identified what my cravings are, i crave chocolate a lot of times, so what I have done is work it into my diet plan. so at night after supper I will have 2 mini bars of chocolate (dark chocolate is the best) This satisfies me and I don't go overboard on it.

GRIZ1GIRL SparkPoints: (199,577)
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9/28/12 2:52 P

I never have overcome them! In 5 years I've managed to beat back the cravings sometimes, and found myself indulging the cravings other times. Life is a roller coaster--all you can is hang on, and try your best each day to live healthy.

KITTYF54 Posts: 7,833
9/28/12 2:51 P

I try to remember to check if I've had a salad and drunk enough water or other drinks that day.
if not, then I eat my salad and/or drink some water or a cup of tea.

2009BETH Posts: 11
9/28/12 12:26 P

I drink a cup of hot mint tea that usually satifies the craving.

ABBIE_JAS SparkPoints: (0)
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9/28/12 10:53 A

I drink a lot of water in those moments...or distract myself with reading... Usually, when I drink a lot of water, I'll feel a bit unwell initially, and this will break the hunger.

LADYTEEGA SparkPoints: (0)
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9/28/12 10:46 A


I enjoyed reading your response, I am also trying to recover from emotional eating after losing both parents 2 yrs ago. I am doing the same thing as far as my cravings are concerned. I am a proud foodie, so the idea of different food creations on a regular basis can work for me. Thanks for your post! :-0

WILSONWR Posts: 10,116
9/28/12 9:34 A

Thanks for all the good advice!

HFAYE81 SparkPoints: (21,822)
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Posts: 287
9/28/12 9:32 A

I've noticed it helps if I don't let myself get to the point of "starving". Also, if I want to order pizza or grab some fried something I make myself eat a healthy snack first...that usually gets me back on track!

9/28/12 7:41 A

Tons of good advice here. I've also noticed that, since I've made eating a decent breakfast a priority, that my cravings have dropped off dramatically, and that they're easier to manage when I get them. As a former "whole-bucket-of-chicken" girl, this has been a great relief lol. emoticon

9/28/12 3:23 A

I realised also that I am all or nothing where it comes to my empty calorie food so that's what I remind myself "empty calories " emoticon

Edited by: HALLOWJAYS at: 9/28/2012 (03:24)
9/28/12 12:27 A

Sometimes I eat it...but share it or have a half portion (depending on what it is) I have a few go to's for all the regular cravings crunchy/creamy/salty/sweet etc....takes a little time to prepare and in the mean time I drink a glass of water or tea seems to keep me focused so I dont eat mindlessly..sometimes with the water the craving goes away

crunchy air popped popcorn with brewers yeast or plain with raisins and a few nuts or dark chocolate chips mixed in
plain greek yogurt with honey and nuts
sweet fruit like pineapple with cottage cheese
a cup of coffee with dark chocolate

DJONES3423 Posts: 99
9/27/12 9:45 P

It's all about portion control. You can eat anything that you want, within reason. If you want pizza, buy a personal-sized one, or better yet, make one yourself using an English muffin or a hamburger bun for the crust. Then you can control what goes on it and how much is available. Eat it slowly, savoring every bite, to help your taste buds get the idea that they're getting what they were after. If you're craving potato chips or something similar, don't buy a huge bag. Get a single-serving size bag (not a jumbo size one!) and enjoy it slowly.

You're right about not buying too much of certain foods because, if they are there, they are too tempting. It's best to surround yourself with a variety of healthy choices so that you don't find yourself hungry for a snack but with nothing but carrots to eat, so you get burned out on them. Keep some nuts on hand, some dried fruits, some fresh fruits and veggies, pretzels (any shape), maybe some flavored sunflower seeds (for when you're craving something salty), and light microwave or home-popped popcorn. That covers a wide range of tastes and textures.

Be careful what you eat if you're eating more frequently. You don't want to be eating mostly carbohydrates while doing this, or you'll be setting yourself up for insulin resistance and potentially diabetes in the future (been there, done that). Your meals and snacks should be balanced with protein, fats, and carbohydrates. Although snacking on fruits and pretzels can be good, those alone are nothing but carbohydrates, and your body will react to them as if you were eating nothing but sugar. Have a piece of cheese or a spoonful of peanut butter with them, and you'll be able to go longer between meals without your pancreas having to work at full blast all the time.

OJ_2_OK SparkPoints: (20,167)
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9/27/12 8:46 P

I try to keep track of what I call "Trigger" foods. These are foods that will most definitely cause me to binge. For instance, I can't buy pizza because I can't contain myself and eat only one slice, I have to have the rest of the pizza. So pizza is out.

Then I try to not buy too many "bad" foods, but if they are around and I can't completely avoid them, I will try to offer myself an alternative.

If there is no alternative I may enjoy the "bad" food but limit the portion.

BUT I found that If I eat on a more frequent basis, smaller meals,and drink water, it keeps my blood sugar level more stable and then I don't have strong cravings as much.

9/27/12 8:39 P

I try not to buy those "bad foods" that I have a hard time controlling portions with... even a bag of baked cheddar potato chips... they're great - in the right proportion... but for right now, I won't eat them. After each full week, I will re-evaluate my cravings during that period and decide what to do about it. I can't just deprive myself entirely, so I will wait it out and decide which one to give in to at the end of each week. For the most part, it narrows itself down by that point. I will allow myself to indulge for one meal each week... for now... until I have a solid handle on it. I feel that if I give in to every single craving I have, I'll just keep craving more and more! However, if I limit my indulgences, I'll really get to the heart of the matter... emotional eating... portion control... whatever is really bothering me will shine through. This week I might make my indulgence an order of real-deal fried mozzarella sticks!

9/27/12 5:26 P

As I've been eating less sugar & salt I've had fewer cravings, which is nice! When I do get one I usually try to identify the craving more specifically.

Sometimes I think I'm craving "ice cream," but why? Do I really just want cold? Creamy? Sweet? So I can have frozen fruit, or make a quick "milkshake" out of unsweetened almond milk, a little frozen banana. This doesn't mean I never eat ice cream, but it helps with moderation. Sometimes it's a particular sensation I want, rather than specifically ice cream. This also helps me pick the right sub: if I'm super craving cold, low fat ice cream or sorbet or something are fine; if I'm craving creamy, sorbet is no help. Low fat pudding to the rescue!

Same thing with chips: do I want crunchy, salty, or both? Pumpkin seeds are great for crunchy, and other nuts too. I've been packing 1/2 to 1 ounce of different raw seeds or nuts with my lunch, and I have them for an afternoon snack. Really satisfies crunchy snack cravings! If it's salty I want, I'll have plain air popped popcorn + salt.

The only thing I haven't been able to deconstruct is the freshly baked chocolate chip cookie. That's a stumper. Those I just avoid having around too much. emoticon

2009GETINLINE SparkPoints: (17,691)
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9/27/12 4:01 P

I eat steak or 98% grass fed ground beef.
Other than that I eat everything. I eat meat 1xper week. I eat egg/egg whites 3x per week.
Sometimes I eat chocolate to cut the feeling but the whole bag of REISEN? na..
So I eat a piece of meat..nothing on/in it just plain meat.

9/27/12 3:44 P

i don't. i don't consider anything a "bad food" if eaten in proper moderation and balance with healthy foods as well. it becomes "bad" when one eats more than is necessary. i simply limit the portions and or have the food with a fruit or veggie such as carrots or cucumbers, since these foods are usually snack foods. if it's a certain meal from a restaurant i order a veggie side substitute instead of the fries or whatever (unless i'm really craving those too :P)
i just keep everything in balance. Moderation is key. there is no such thing as overcoming a craving for me. if i want something, i will find a way to allow it in a way i don't feel guilty OR deprived.

9/27/12 3:09 P

That's a great one! It helps me when I catch myself grazing.

9/27/12 3:07 P

I've learned which "naughty" foods I love are the better choice. I am an emotional eater. My 'cheapest' calorie blanket is coffee with 1tbs of hazelnut coffeemate. It's only 40 calories and lasts much longer than a cookie or a scone or a hunk of chocolate.

I'm also a very new mom and the hand-to-mouth foods in the house can be very tempting. My love of coffee (half decaf now) helps me fight the giving in to the healthiest one I can.

Does that make sense? emoticon

Educate yourself. Take a few minutes to type in all your favorite "cheats" and see which is best or the baddies !!

Good Luck! emoticon

KKARENKM Posts: 1,259
9/27/12 3:04 P

brush and floss my teeth- signal to myself that i'm done eating

NITTINNANA Posts: 3,233
9/27/12 2:56 P

I'm working to eliminate "white" from my diet: sugar, rice, bread, white potatoes, flour. Of course, I'll still eat cauliflower when I'm in the mood for it.

MRGIBBS2 SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 43
9/27/12 2:45 P

I just dont have it in the house and i have my hub to do the shoping and i make a list for him so he is in and out and he just gets whats on the list he dosent like to shop but because of my health he dose it for me and so i eat a lot of fresh fruit that i have him get for snakes. emoticon

BBTRAN SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 19
9/27/12 10:49 A

I don't buy "bad foods" just because it is too convenient. If I want something bad enough, I have to get in my car, drive to the store, and buy it & rarely does that happen. LOL. Laziness helps me overcome my cravings...

When I am around friends eating bad foods, it's harder to resist. I try to have only a small portion & control myself. I also drink a lot of water, & eat healthier to keep hunger pangs away.

NMWELSH SparkPoints: (19,779)
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9/27/12 10:42 A

I realized that I can't cut out chocolate cold turkey, so to speak, so I only keep things that can be eaten in small reported doses around... and as soon as I think about eating it I log on my phone and enter it first. If I still feel I REALLY need it after seeing the calories it costs, then I indulge in one serving! So far it has worked!

N16351D Posts: 2,349
9/27/12 10:42 A

Ice cream is my top number one favorite food. I have to go "cold-turkey" or I will eat a few servings (one serving is 1/2 cup) every day.

All other sugar treats (cake, donut, candy, pie, etc.) I can say 'no' to, but ice cream is my "bad food" I love.

Anne's suggestion to substitute with greek yogurt and fruit is a good one. I also like " vanilla soy delicious" frozen desert with fruit (but not plain).

9/27/12 10:25 A

I eat a few chocolate chips. I keep a bag of them in the freezer. Just a few usually does the trick, they are really rich when eaten alone.


NTIANI SparkPoints: (0)
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9/27/12 10:16 A

I find healthy alternatives. One of my favorites is a chocolate torte that uses dates, pecans, water, and hersheys dark cacao (just a pinch) - tastes like a total guilt trip but is actually harmless :)

N8TVCA5 SparkPoints: (0)
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9/27/12 10:13 A

Thats the question isnt it? Overcoming...I am trying to find something else to do. I am so good all day low carb healthy choices then dinner trolls around (yea, I said trolls) and I completely lose my senses. I have to have to find a way to not going to bed with regret. Developed a nice running habit at 5k per day and stuck with 1200 calories - Im gaining more weight now then I did without watching....I decided this week to switch to low carb as this worked years ago. I really need to disappear from 5pm to bedtime.... :(

DEBBS29 Posts: 24
9/27/12 8:59 A

I'm also an all or nothing person, which can be pretty scary at times. First thing I do is have a cup of tea. Chai tea wiith pumpkin spice and almond milk will usually fill that craving and fill my belly. If that doesn't work I have one of my allowable snacks, usually a 100 cal pack or a fruit. Sometimes the craving is so strong I make the big mistake of jumping right in and eating it, which leads to the binge of a life time. I then sit down and meditate and try to find my healthy place again. I love the way I look and feel now, I try and remember that too. I've come to the realization that I'm a food addict and if I'm not careful I can return back to that original weight.

GOOGYSPO Posts: 28
9/27/12 8:08 A

Planning ahead: I don't keep stuff in the house that will tempt me.

During the craving (it has to be pretty intense for me to cave in): I eat what I crave, but practice major portion control

Afterwards: I make a note of how I feel. I have noticed that some of my strong craving foods leave me feeling less than stellar after consumption (for example, pizza). Makes it easier to not cave the next time, despite the craving.

Special mention: No pudge brownies have been a blessing and have totally saved me with regard to chocolate cravings.


MIAMIVT SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 244
9/27/12 8:01 A

I think it was Anne Lammott that wrote about her struggle with food cravings. To sum it up she said that when she wants an oreo. She sits down. No distractions. And eats an oreo. If she wants 2 she eats 2.

I think there can be a balancing act between restriction and over indulgence. I think mindful eating will help you eat less of what you are craving but still enjoy it.

IMHEALTHY8 SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 203
9/27/12 7:25 A

This is me. If I just take "one piece" of something that isn't good for me I end up eating a whole bag of chips and/or a pint of ice cream. It's true that you "can't eat just one" . For me that's true anyway.

9/27/12 12:57 A

I'm an all or nothing person, so if I let myself have "just a taste," it ends up being the whole bag of cookies, or half the pie, etc. I really watch my sodium intake...if it gets to a certain point, then I continually crave chips and pizza and it's hard to get past a salt binge. Same with sugar.

WINNIE-POOH SparkPoints: (164,076)
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9/27/12 12:51 A

I just got off a sugar binge. I have been avoiding it now for 6 days. I really want some ice-cream. The yogurt has been satisfying that cool taste. The longer I stay off of sugar, the my cravings get better. Sugar also affect my joints, so it's not just about the calories for me. emoticon

9/26/12 6:32 P

I'm just getting back on the eating healthy wagon after what can basically be summed up as a year of binge eating. Tch.

I try to distract myself from cravings via recipes; if I really fancy a treat I try and think of a way to minimise the damage, or find a new exciting idea to try out instead; its helped replace the focus of the craving onto a general love of food and good ingredients.

Edited by: VAPIDWENCH at: 9/26/2012 (18:32)
SYLLASSTORM SparkPoints: (0)
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9/26/12 6:12 P

I don't bother to try to overcome them. I simply tell myself to eat something healthy first. I love chips, and I love sweets, but before I can have them I make myself eat an apple, or a few dates, or carrots, etc. and wait for about 15 minutes. If I still want whatever the junk food was, I then have it in a reasonable amount - ie, 1 serving. I don't feel bad about it, and I tend to eat less of the junk food, because I've put something good into my body first.

As far as I'm concerned, a little spoiling is okay. It's when I spoil myself all the time that I get into trouble.

9/26/12 4:58 P

There are a few things that have worked for me. I hope some of them are useful for you all too. Firstly I just don't keep any food that I am likely to crave in the house. I realise that if you have others in your house this can be really hard, but as I live alone it works for me. Secondly, if a craving hits I track it before I eat it - often when I realise just how many calories are in something I realise I can do without. Also, coming on to this website helps! I just keep on reading different articles/blogs/message boards until the craving goes. I also make sure that I plan in treats to my daily/weekly calorie allowance. Saying to myself "You can have some of that at the weekend" really helps.
However - these things said, now I've been Sparking for 6 months my cravings really have calmed down. Stick with it - you can do it.

PEGGIE0203 Posts: 780
9/26/12 4:17 P

Sometimes I just can't forgo the snacks that haunt my imagination. I indulge and feel horrible afterwards. But, that one setback can actually help me remember the next time I have a craving, why I should avoid the food completely, or cautiously portion out a bit to satisfy the craving without breaking the calorie bank.
Actually, I've been struggling the past 2 weeks with cravings, so this topic is very timely for me.
emoticon emoticon

ANDREAG89 SparkPoints: (27,515)
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Posts: 552
9/26/12 4:00 P

I have some success and some failures in this regard.

When feeling strong, I focus on my goal and decide if I have it what that will mean for my weigh-in on Friday morning. That usually makes me stop to think long enough to walk by it and find something else to do.

When not quite as strong and when I feel like I REALLY have to have it, I will have one true serving of this "bad" food. For example, if I want popcorn with butter, I'll measure it out to have my allotted calories so I don't binge on an entire bucket, which I could easily do. I may also go to an ice cream shop have a the smallest ice cream cone or cup so I still have what I want, but I don't have too much of it. The bonus to getting that food when I'm out means it isn't in the house.

What DOESN'T work for me (aka last week's episode with a lot of chocolate chip cookies) is having the items in the freezer. All that means for me is that they are there, they need to be conquered, and I will do so whether they are frozen or not. This means it just takes me longer to gnaw through them.

Edited by: ANDREAG89 at: 9/26/2012 (16:01)
HFAYE81 SparkPoints: (21,822)
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9/26/12 3:31 P

I am so thankful for the great advice you guys are giving. Most of all, I am relieved to find out that I'm not the only one who will eat a stomach-bursting amount of a specific food, whether or not I'm hungry.

HEIDI251 Posts: 7
9/26/12 3:09 P

When I get a strong craving, I've found that none of the typical diversion techniques work for me... I don't feel satisfied until I've eaten two and a half chocolate bars, or half a carton of ice cream, etc. Substitutes don't work and neither does only eating a small taste of whatever I'm craving. But, when I started focusing on living healthy rather than just cutting calories, I found that my cravings for sugary snacks went away almost entirely. I've been exercising regularly and eating at least two servings of fruit and two servings of veggies a day (yes, I know that's not quite up to the recommended amount, but I'm in college so it's the best I can do), and I haven't had a chocolate binge in weeks. I do indulge in small serving of some of my favorite treats once or twice a week, but I no longer have intense cravings followed by sickening binges. So for me, it seems that preventing cravings works best, rather than attempting to divert a craving once it hits. And I've found that regular exercise and eating lots of fruits and veggies really does eliminate my strong cravings for sugary foods.

CHICCHANTAL Posts: 2,135
9/26/12 2:21 P

I eat some 'good' food and it takes the edge off. I also try not to let myself go too long between meals (says the woman who went 7 hours from lunch to dinner today).

And I do not keep bread in. I cannot control myself near it.

9/26/12 1:59 P

Depends. I have "trigger" foods, that so far I haven't been able to control my portion sizes for. I simply avoid those foods. Ie. Soft caramel popcorn. But, if I want some chocolate... I plan it into my tracker for the day and have some. I pretty much eat a little dark chocolate every day. I still stay well within my calorie range, and I don't feel deprived. Win. Win.

ANNE007 Posts: 153
9/26/12 1:57 P

I agree with the posters who said they find a substitute. For example, one of my favorite things is ice cream. My substitute is vanilla greek yogurt with frozen blueberries. The blueberries start to freeze the yogurt and, really, it's just like blueberry ice cream!

That being said, once in awhile I just indulge in the ice cream. As long as I track it and make it fit in my day, no problems.

I also agree with the posters who say they don't keep some foods in the house if they know it's difficult to limit the portion sizes to something reasonable. If you want that food, go out and get a small portion of it somewhere. Don't bring it home and you won't be tempted :-)

CABIT1977 Posts: 76
9/26/12 10:53 A

I still get cravings for salty crunch snacks, and I know that I have very little control if I have them around the house so I stock the pantry with tasty, healthy snacks. Edimame or nuts can be a healty alternative and low fat popcorn if your craving salty. If your craving sweet? Fruit is a good alternative I like to put grapes in the freezer if I want something frozen and delicious. Good luck!

9/26/12 10:48 A

We don't keep things in the house that are unhealthy if you were to eat it. Since indulging is what got me to this place.. LOL
I have a weakness for Mexican Food. But, since going Primal, it limits our eating out options. so, when the desire for Mexican food gets unbearable, I go to the store to get the stuff to make at home, minus the tortilla chips/tortillas/beans.

CORTNEY-LEE SparkPoints: (67,852)
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Posts: 3,526
9/26/12 10:35 A

I just do something else.

I find that I am having less and less cravings, and a lot of the time when I do have them, they aren't for junk type foods --

GIGI4AUSTIN SparkPoints: (67,244)
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9/26/12 10:27 A

I like to drink a bottle of water, wait 15 minutes while doing something else to distract me, and then see if I'm still hungry. If I still feel hungry or that particular craving, I eat only a 1/4 serving portion of that "bad food" (i.e. chocolate, cake, etc.). It helps eliminate the craving and I also don't feel deprived. Usually, it doesn't end up tasting as good as I imagined anyway.

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