logo
Best 13 ways to deal with food cravings
gabit-image
Team Gabit
2 months ago | 5 mins

Best 13 ways to deal with food cravings


Learn effective strategies on how to stop food cravings. Explore mindful adjustments, nutritious choices, and a supportive network to curb cravings and achieve your health goals successfully.

Managing food cravings is a common challenge in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. These irresistible urges, often driven by emotional triggers or habitual patterns, can undermine our dietary goals. Understanding the psychological and physiological factors behind cravings is crucial to learn how to stop food cravings. By identifying specific triggers, such as stress or boredom, one can develop targeted strategies to address the root cause. 

Adopting mindful eating practices, like savouring each bite and recognising genuine hunger, aids in curbing compulsive overeating. Prioritising a balanced diet with adequate nutrients, including protein and fibre, helps stabilise blood sugar levels and diminish the intensity of cravings. 

Establishing a supportive environment with accessible nutritious snacks further fortifies one's ability to make wholesome food choices and successfully navigate and overcome food cravings.

know and learn about how to stop food cravings

What is food craving?

Food cravings are a powerful, intense desire for a specific type of food, often triggered by emotional, hormonal, or environmental factors. Unlike normal hunger, cravings are driven by psychological cues, such as stress, boredom, or nostalgia. The targeted food is typically high in sugar, fat, or salt, providing a temporary sense of pleasure or relief. Cravings can disrupt dietary goals and lead to impulsive, often unhealthy, eating choices. 

Understanding the triggers behind cravings and adopting mindful eating practices are key strategies to manage and overcome these intense urges for specific foods. 

know and learn about how to stop food cravings

What is the impact of cravings?

Food cravings can have various impacts on physical and mental well-being, often influencing dietary choices and overall health. The key impacts include:

Nutritional imbalance: Food cravings often lead individuals to consume foods high in sugar, fat, or salt, contributing to nutritional imbalances and potential health issues like obesity, diabetes, or heart disease.

Weight management: Frequent succumbing to cravings may contribute to weight gain and difficulty in maintaining a healthy weight, as individuals may consume excessive calories from indulgent food choices.

Emotional well-being: Food cravings are often linked to emotional states, such as stress or boredom. Succumbing to cravings may provide temporary relief, but it doesn't address the root emotional issues and can lead to a cycle of emotional eating.

Blood sugar fluctuations: Craving sugary foods can lead to rapid spikes and crashes in blood sugar levels, affecting energy levels, mood, and concentration.

Dietary goals: Food cravings can interfere with dietary goals, making it challenging to adhere to specific eating plans, such as those aimed at weight loss, fitness, or managing health conditions.

Guilt and shame: Yielding to intense food cravings may evoke feelings of guilt or shame, impacting mental well-being and self-esteem.

13 ways to manage food cravings

know and learn about how to stop food cravings

Hydration, not hunger

Ensure you're adequately hydrated throughout the day; thirst can often masquerade as hunger, leading to unnecessary cravings. Sip water consistently to maintain hydration levels and reduce the likelihood of mistaking thirst for a desire for specific foods.

know and learn about how to stop food cravings

Balance

Craft meals with a mix of protein, fibre, and healthy fats to keep you feeling satisfied and maintain stable blood sugar levels. A well-rounded diet minimises the risk of sudden cravings and supports overall nutritional health, preventing the urge to indulge in unhealthy snacks.

know and learn about how to stop food cravings

Mindful eating

Practise the art of mindful eating by slowing down during meals, savouring each bite, and paying attention to your body's hunger and fullness cues. This intentional approach fosters a greater connection with your food, reducing the likelihood of overeating driven by impulsive cravings.

know and learn about how to stop food cravings

Identifying triggers

Take note of emotional or situational triggers that prompt specific cravings. Understanding the root cause allows you to address the underlying issues, empowering you to make healthier choices and manage the desire for certain foods more effectively.

know and learn about how to stop food cravings

Planning

Establish a consistent meal schedule to regulate your eating patterns. Regular meals help stabilise energy levels, reducing the likelihood of intense food cravings between meals. A structured routine supports overall dietary goals and promotes mindful eating habits.

know and learn about how to stop food cravings

Snacking

Keep wholesome snacks like fruits, nuts, or yoghurt readily available. These nutrient-dense options not only satisfy cravings but also contribute to your daily nutritional requirements. Having healthy alternatives on hand makes it easier to make nourishing choices when hunger strikes.

know and learn about how to stop food cravings

Sleep

Prioritise a good night's sleep as insufficient rest can disrupt hunger hormones, leading to increased cravings for unhealthy foods. A well-rested body and mind contribute to better appetite regulation and support overall health and well-being.

Move your body

Incorporate regular physical activity into your routine, as exercise helps regulate appetite and reduces stress levels. Both factors play a crucial role in managing food cravings and promoting a healthier relationship with food.

know and learn about how to stop food cravings

Stress

Adopt stress-management techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or mindfulness practices. Managing stress effectively prevents emotional eating triggered by heightened stress levels, reducing the reliance on food as a coping mechanism.

Distraction

Engage in activities that divert your attention away from food cravings. Whether it's going for a walk, reading a book, or pursuing a hobby, finding alternative focuses helps break the cycle of craving and promotes healthier habits.

Alternatives

When specific cravings arise, seek out healthier alternatives that align with your nutritional goals. Substituting with nutritious options allows you to satisfy your cravings without compromising your overall well-being.

 

Food journal

Maintain a food journal to track eating habits and emotions. This self-reflection helps identify patterns and triggers, empowering you to make informed choices and better understand the relationship between your mood and food.

Support

Share health goals with friends or family for support. A supportive network provides encouragement, accountability, and assistance in overcoming cravings.

know and learn about how to stop food cravings

Why are cravings so tempting at night?

Food cravings at night are often heightened due to a combination of factors. In the evening, fatigue and lower willpower from decision fatigue throughout the day may make it harder to resist temptations. Additionally, nighttime often symbolises relaxation and reward, creating a psychological association between indulging in cravings and unwinding. Hormonal fluctuations, particularly in ghrelin (hunger hormone) levels, may also increase appetite during nighttime hours. The lack of external distractions at night further intensifies the focus on desires. 

Lifestyle adjustments to follow

To suppress food cravings, consider making specific changes to your environment:

  1. Ensure that nutritious snacks like fruits, nuts, or yoghurt are readily available, making them more convenient and visible than unhealthy options. 
  2. Store tempting treats out of sight and keep kitchen countertops clear to reduce visual cues that may trigger cravings. 
  3. Arrange your pantry with healthy choices at eye level, making them more accessible and appealing than less nutritious alternatives. 
  4. Use smaller plates and bowls to encourage mindful portion control, preventing overeating and unnecessary cravings. 
  5. Minimise buying high-calorie or sugary snacks, reducing their availability in your home and making healthier choices more appealing. 
  6. Store leftovers in opaque containers, making them less visually enticing and reducing the likelihood of impulsive eating. 
  7. Designate a specific area for meals to promote mindful eating, discouraging consumption in front of the TV or computer. 
  8. Keep a water bottle within reach as a reminder to stay hydrated, helping distinguish between thirst and hunger. 
  9. Use scents like peppermint or vanilla, known for their appetite-suppressing properties, to create a more supportive environment. 
  10. Plan and prepare balanced meals in advance, ensuring you have nutritious options readily available and reducing the temptation for unhealthy choices. 
  11. Communicate dietary goals with friends and family, encouraging a supportive environment that aligns with your healthier choices. 
  12. Display motivational quotes or images related to your health goals in prominent areas to reinforce positive habits and discourage cravings. 
  13. Create a calming environment with soothing colours, lighting, or background music to reduce stress, a common trigger for cravings. 
know and learn about how to stop food cravings

Conclusion

Incorporating mindful adjustments to your environment can significantly impact your understanding on how to stop food cravings. Strategically place nutritious snacks, organise your kitchen for healthy choices, and create a mindful eating space to support well-being. Combine with hydration reminders and stress reduction for a holistic approach in curbing cravings.

know and learn about how to stop food cravings

Frequently Asked Questions

What causes food cravings?

Food cravings can be triggered by emotional factors, such as stress or boredom, hormonal fluctuations, and habit formation. Psychological cues, memories, and external stimuli can also play a role, influencing the desire for specific foods.

How can I differentiate between hunger and cravings?

Hunger is a physical sensation accompanied by stomach growls and a general feeling of emptiness, while cravings are often sudden and specific desires for certain foods. Listening to your body's signals and considering the timing of your last meal can help differentiate between true hunger and cravings.

Are there specific foods that can help curb cravings?

Incorporating nutrient-dense foods into your diet, such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains, can help curb cravings. These foods provide sustained energy and contribute to a feeling of fullness, reducing the likelihood of impulsive snacking on less nutritious options.

How can I stay hydrated to manage cravings?

Drinking an adequate amount of water throughout the day is crucial in managing cravings. Thirst can often be mistaken for hunger, so staying hydrated helps distinguish between the two. Carry a water bottle, set reminders, and incorporate hydrating foods like water-rich fruits and vegetables into your diet to support overall hydration and curb unnecessary cravings.

Download the Gabit app

for the complete experience

play store iconapple store icon