Reduce Food Cravings

Beat Food Addictions

Food cravings or being a food addict makes maintaining a healthy weight extremely difficult, particularly when served foods is typical of the holiday season. Often times you may not even be hungry, but seeing food that is tempting will cause you to eat, just because you know it is delicious. One of the keys to controlling your weight if you are going to eat some calorie laden food is to decide ahead of time the exact amount of the serving you will take, and stick with this plan. Of course, there are no second helpings.

Another way to maintain weight is to write down everything you eat each day. If you keep a food diary, your chances of success greatly increase.

Holiday Meal -Roasted Turkey

Source

Food Addictions and Food Cravings

Personally I do not have a problem with food addictions, but I would consider food cravings more of a problem, particularly during the holidays. A food addiction is difficult to overcome and takes consistent awareness on your part to change the old ingrained patterns.

Some of the things that can cause food cravings are blood sugar imbalances, emotional and hormonal factors and a few cravings may be due to a food allergy. It seems strange that you would crave a food you are allergic to, but it can happen according to the doctors.

Desserts

Flickr
Flickr

Plan Ahead

I decided to do a little research before the holidays to determine what I can do to avoid succumbing to food cravings this year. Of course, learning to eat in moderation is extremely helpful, as you want to enjoy the delicious holiday meals. I already eat several small meals a day, rather than 2 or 3 large ones. If you haven’t tried this, it might be helpful as eating at regular intervals is very helpful in avoiding cravings and it increases your metabolism. You don’t want to just eat diet foods during the holidays, but you can plan your meals to avoid the food which will increase your sugar cravings and still eat food that you enjoy in moderation.

There are some things I already knew were helpful, such as drinking several glasses of water throughout the day, as this will help decrease your hunger and putting a small slice of lemon in the water further decreases your appetite.

Tips to Decrease Food Cravings

These are some of the other things to help with food cravings, yet enjoy your life:

  • If you are preparing the holiday meal, buy what you need, but don’t buy other junk food that will tempt you.
  • Keep a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables on hand, so when you are hungry there will be something readily available to eat. By eating the vegetables and fruit you will also get plenty of vitamin and minerals.
  • Instead of candy or cookies, try frozen grapes, pineapple, etc. to meet that sugar craving.
  • Complex carbohydrates instead of simple carbohydrates will give you energy and increase your fiber intake. Simple carbohydrates contain sugar, which increases your desire to eat more items with sugar.
  • For a natural appetite suppressant, eating an ounce of nuts will take away your cravings within 20 minutes. Drink 2 glasses of water and eat 6 walnuts, 12 almonds or 20 peanuts. The craving you had will be gone, because this actually changes your body chemistry per Michael F. Roizen, MD.
  • Salmon, a high protein food, is a natural appetite suppressant. Spicy foods are also suppressants. Hot soups, in general, will help also.
  • Curb food cravings by exercising for 30 minutes at least 3 times a week, which will boost your metabolism and help burn calories.
  • Avoid dining out and take your lunch to work. Then, you have perfect control over what you eat and it won’t be fast food or calorie laden snacks.
  • While one cup of strong coffee in the morning will help you eat less, generally speaking you want to reduce the number of drinks that act as stimulants, such as coffee, tea, and caffeinated soft drinks. Replace them with herbal teas, spring water and fruit juices. Also, artificial sweeteners are 200 times sweeter than sugar, and they just increase your sugar cravings.

Healthy Fruit Basket

Source

6 Tips to Control Your Food Cravings

Emotional Eating

Some of the emotional causes of food cravings are boredom, stress and depression.

Stress is a major trigger as it can cause you to eat when you are not really that hungry. I have heard the term “comfort food” and that is what we are doing when we eat due to stress. It is an attempt to comfort ourselves.

Learning to deal with stress effectively is very helpful method to break the cycle of emotional eating. People do that in a variety of ways, such as calming meditation, exercise, yoga or a short nap can be helpful and learning to respond differently to a difficult co-worker can do wonders for your stress level. Take five deep breaths and feel your body down. I have been using that method for years and it works for me. Listening to music you enjoy can lower your stress level as well.

In Conclusion

I hope some of these tips are helpful to you if you are trying to beat food addictions or get food craving under control to lose weight or maintain your current weight. You still want to enjoy all the pleasures of holiday food, but do it in moderation versus eating the calorie laden food numerous days in a row. I hope you enjoy a very happy holiday time!

Holiday Weight Gain

Do you have a problem with holiday weight gain?

  • Yes, I always battle the cravings and then I end up dieting after the holidays.
  • I have a great metabolism and weight gain is never a problem.
  • I gain a little weight but I don't care.
  • I am careful to eat less around the holidays so I can enjoy the holiday meals.
  • I exercise, and eat in moderation so weight gain is not a problem.
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© 2010 Pamela Oglesby

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Comments 37 comments

prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 6 years ago from malang-indonesia

Very informative hub. I really enjoy all your tips here. I am so happy to know this from you. Thank you very much, my friend. I'll bookmark this one. Rating up!

Prasetio


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

Prasetio, I always am glad to hear your comments and I am glad you liked the hub.


rpalulis profile image

rpalulis 6 years ago from NY

I am very guilty for over indulging during the holidays, it is so hard not to. These are great tips, and yes I have noticed that eating several times throughout the day rather that three large meals a day does help reduce the cravings.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

rpalulis, I think most people overeat during the holidays as food is part of the fun and one of the things we look forward to each year. Thanks for your comments. Happy Thanksgiving.


akirchner profile image

akirchner 6 years ago from Central Oregon

Great points, Pamela - the swim aerobics really help curb our appetites that's for sure, tire us out and keep us fit. All good things - if you can just forget the fact that it is -5 degrees outside - yikes!


brandrocker profile image

brandrocker 6 years ago

Yup! You have spotted out rightly. I tend to gain a few extra pounds during holidays. But it is okay as it does not take too long for me to shred off.


JY3502 profile image

JY3502 6 years ago from Florence, South Carolina

Some good information Pam. I didn't know that about artificial sweeteners!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

Audry, Swimming is a great aerobic exercise. -5 degrees does not sound good to me! Thanks for your comments.

bamdrocker, You are probably one of those lucky people with a high metabolism. Thanks for your comments.

JY, I'm glad you liked the hub. Thanks for your comments.


KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

KoffeeKlatch Gals 6 years ago from Sunny Florida

Great tips and advice. I am one of those people that try to eat a smaller amount of the food I am craving. At least I get a taste and don't feel that I am doing without.


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 6 years ago from Northern, California

I have found that a nice walk after the big meal helps, and it gives us time to actually talk with whoever tags along. Good stuff here Pam.

K9


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

KK Gals, That helps me also. Thanks for your comment.

K9keystrokes, That is a good way to burn some calories and you are right that having time to talk with someone is a nice pleasure. Thanks for your comment.


carolina muscle profile image

carolina muscle 6 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

Some really good tips here, Pamela.. I like the nuts one myself, and use it often!


Kanav profile image

Kanav 6 years ago from Matrix

In india the festive season start as early as October and goes uptil 13 January (Hindu new year). This makes it really important for me to watch my waist rather than weight. I am amongst lucky few to have good digestion and take time to exercise. Recently I had lower backache that disrupted my exercise regime. This prompted me to find an alternative way to control my waist n weight so that I donot go from fit to fat as I carve my way through all the delicacies my wife and mother dish out for me. Kindly visit my blog http://organicayurveda.bloodspot.com as I discuss the same.

Have a great festive season.


oceansnsunsets profile image

oceansnsunsets 6 years ago from The Midwest, USA

Great hub Pamela, and good reminders for us all as these days are upon us! If we are thinking about triggers, then we can avoid some of the extra eating.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

Chris, I like that one also. Thanks for your comment.

Kanav, Your comment is very interesting. I didn't know the celebration in India went on for so long. It sounds like you really work to maintain your desired weight. I'll check our your site. Thanks for your comment.

oceansnsunsets, Thanks so much for your comments.


lctodd1947 profile image

lctodd1947 6 years ago from USA

Pamela, as always very useful and something we all need at times. I am the person who needs the exercise but do not make myself do it. I go in intervals but I need to get some pounds down!!!!

thanks for sharing.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

IcTodd, I go in intervals also. I am trying to be more consistent with exercise recently and I hope it lasts. Thanks for your comment.


fucsia profile image

fucsia 6 years ago

Here are many useful tips ... Certain to follow all year round!

Thanks


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

Thank you so much for your comments.


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia

Wow! These are great tips, Pam! Voted up and useful!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

Habee, Thanks so much for your comments.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

I don't think you missed anything with regard to these wonderful tips on how to avoid food cravings during the holidays. Now...if I would just pay attention!!! Ha! Voting up and very useful.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

Peggy, Paying attention is the hard part! Thanks for your comments.


De Greek profile image

De Greek 6 years ago from UK

Really wonderful advice Pamela, but I am married to a great woman who cannot cook and life sometimes depends on sandwiches and biscuits. It is really hard (and I am glad she is not reading this) ...


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

DeGreek, Sandwiches aren't so bad. Just a small price to pay for a wonderful woman. Thanks for your comment.


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

Full marks for this great, informative hub. Thank you.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

Hello, I appreciate your comments. Thanks.


sagebrush_mama profile image

sagebrush_mama 6 years ago from The Shadow of Death Valley...Snow Covered Mountain Views Abound!

Great hub...I do best when I keep a reign on sugar products, but I generally loosen up during the holidays, and start fresh in January!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

sagebrush, I think that is what most people do. Thanks for your comments.


kaltopsyd profile image

kaltopsyd 6 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

Luckily, I don't have food cravings... much. Rather, I eat too little. hehe. Great hub with great tips once again!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

kaltopsyd, Thanks for your comments.


Darlene Sabella profile image

Darlene Sabella 5 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

Pam, another important and timely hub, I always crave sugar, it is my only pleasure left in life, I just lost twenty pounds eating nothing but a vegan meals and have enjoyed it very much. But, no matter what I do, I can't seem to go below that twenty. The holiday's are not really an issue for me, I don't buy holiday sweets, I do tht all year long LOL great hub, rate up, your friend and greatest fan, love & peace darski


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

Darsky, That sugar craving is tough as I deal with that also. Thanks so much for your comments. Love and peace for your Darsky


daydreamer13 profile image

daydreamer13 5 years ago

Thanks for the advice!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

daydreamer, Thanks for your comment.


Support Med. profile image

Support Med. 5 years ago from Michigan

Eating in portions is great advice. Holidays and its foods can be so tempting. Voted and rated.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

Support Med, I like eating in portions with of keep few small meals instead of one large one. And yes I am tempted during the holidays. Thanks a lot for your comments.

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