How to Handle Your Food Cravings

Food cravings are probably a major pitfall for you if you are trying to manage your weight. Denial of all the foods you crave will result in defeat because you will soon go on a huge binge to satisfy your cravings. Follow these strategies to cater occasionally to your cravings and still control your eating habits.

Wait!

When a craving strikes, wait. Instead of telling yourself that you may not eat the food you are craving, choose to wait. You are more likely to not give in if you know you may eat what you are craving, but just not right now. When you do give yourself permission to indulge, chances are that by then you will no longer be craving that particular food, and you may be willing to pass it by.

Watch Your Portions

The first bites of whatever you eat always taste the best. After awhile, you are not even aware of the taste. Stop eating while you are still tasting the food. Otherwise, you are just eating for the sake of chewing and swallowing, without enjoying the flavor.

Another easy way to watch your portions is to never eat right from the package or box. Instead, measure one serving into a dish and put away the remaining portion before sitting down to eat. You will eat slower, making the smaller portion last longer. You will not be as tempted to get a second helping because you won't feel like getting up again to refill the dish.

Eat at Regular Times

Stick to a schedule and eat at regular times. When you have waited too long to eat between meals, you are likely to make poor choices about what to eat because you are too hungry. You are also probably going to eat fast. You will eat too much food before your stomach and mind have a chance to register that you have had enough food and need to stop.

Be Realistic

Eat realistically. You know that if you are craving potato chips, eating an orange will not satisfy you. Go ahead and eat chips. Limit how many you eat and chew slowly, savoring every mouthful. Your craving will be satisfied, but you will not hate yourself five minutes later as you would if you had binged.

Substitute

It is often possible to substitute one food for another, satisfying your craving while you are eating healthier food. For example, if you cannot make it through the day without chocolate, eat dark chocolate which is healthier than milk chocolate. If you are craving salt, eat baked potato chips instead of fried, or try pretzels instead of chips.

Understand Your Eating Patterns

Keep a journal and write down what you are feeling when you are craving a particular food.  You may be surprised to realize that you are not hungry at all. You may be feeling bored or stressed.  If so, find another way to deal with boredom or stress other than eating.

Don't be defeated by food cravings. Follow these strategies to give yourself the best possible chance for successful, healthy eating.