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How to stop cravings: Five tips

Posted Feb 20 2010 5:00am

When one thinks of the word ‘cravings’, it brings to mind the movie ‘Requiem for a dream’ which deals with the subject of drug addiction and the shocking lives that these people lead with all their efforts drained as if by a black hole that involves satiating their desire for drugs. At least connotatively, this word is normally used to describe moments of desperation or unbridled desire.

On the other hand, craving does not only pertain to drugs but to any substance or person (read: debauchery/ lust) that one feels a constant need for.

However when it comes to the craving for food, it isn’t perhaps looked at with that much seriousness in my experience, with the numerous ‘plump and jolly’ compliments that I have received in the past.

Sooner or later, as this leads to obesity, one finds out that an unhealthy craving for food is just that: unhealthy.

Reasons for Food Craving
So why do people have this craving for food, especially junk food? But before we get into that, it’s a known fact that women experience this kind of craving more than men.

And before we (men, of all people) begin to call it an ‘eating disorder’, it’s actually a hormonal imbalance (serotonin is the culprit!!!) caused by unhealthy nutrition such as a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet. And that’s when the craving for alcohol and foods with high sugar and carbohydrate content begins to kick in, which occurs right after women experience mood swings.

However, this does not mean that it does not affect men, but we’re not going to get into details except for saying that foods that you are allergic to have an allure while some cravings also occur due to certain mineral deficiencies in the body as well.

But for whatever reason food craving occurs, what does stand out is the need for moderation, for even too much of a good thing can turn sour.

How to stop cravings
So here are five tips that one can abide by to stop food cravings:

Tip #1: In order to stop cravings, one should find a pattern as to when these cravings occur and make a note of it. This time chart will help you foresee, and thus prevent giving in to the craving with healthier options

Tip #2: Much like smokers who try to quit cold turkey, and fail miserably… one cannot completely stop cravings, so the a smart way to get stop these cravings once and for all is to reduce the amount of junk food you eat over a period of seven to fourteen days.  The key here is ‘portion control’.

Tip #3: During these moments of food craving, substitute the junk food with healthier options until you have completely eliminated the former from your diet. Hydration can play an important role in controlling these urges.

Tip #4: Another excellent tip is to eat several small meals or snacks throughout the day as opposed to three heavy meals. Not only will this alleviate you from food cravings but is also known to be an important element of successful dieting.

Tip #5: Build a support system of friends and family who can encourage you to continue the diet, especially when the cravings get the better of you sometimes. Remember to keep at it.

As simple as these tips sound, it does take a bit of effort as most of us wish we had days with 36 hours instead of the normal 24 hours. And it really pays off leaving you feeling much better, fitter and ready to meet the day ahead. No wonder they say ‘health is wealth’ but remember not to go overboard!

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