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How to Avoid Cravings for Junk Food

Updated on June 15, 2010

Junk food cravings. We all get them. Some of us give in to them without a second thought. Some of us exercise massive restraint and self-control and almost never give in to them. Either way, we experience them and most of us would prefer to have more control over them than we do. Luckily, there are many different things that we can do to assist us in avoid cravings for foods that aren't good for us.

Here's a look at some simple tips for avoiding junk food cravings (and even reducing how often they occur!)

  • Eat a healthy diet. One of the most common reasons that we experience junk food cravings in the first place is because we aren't getting the right nutrition on a regular basis. By eating three healthy meals each day and drinking all of the water that we are supposed to be drinking, we can actually reduce the number of unhealthy cravings that we experience.
  • Learn about the meanings behind the cravings. You might get a craving for really salty foods or really sugary foods but salt and sugar are probably not the things that your body really wants. Instead, your body seeks a specific nutrient. For example, a craving for sugar usually means that you're lacking in fatty acids which can be resolved by taking a tablespoon of flaxseed oil instead of eating a gallon of ice cream. If you know what the cravings indicate that you need then you can get what you need without resorting to the specific foods that your body feels like it is craving.
  • Learn about healthy substitutes for cravings. There are times when you want a certain kind of food and getting the right nutrients doesn't curb the craving. In these cases, you may be able to trick your taste buds by eating foods that are similar to what you're craving but less unhealthy. For example, you might eat fruit instead of candy or drinking sparkling water with lemon instead of having a soda.
  • Be aware of external reasons that you may be having food cravings. It's a long-running joke that strange food cravings means your pregnant but it's not really a joke if that's the reason that you're having those cravings! Of course, there are other non-dietary reasons that you may be having cravings. For example, stress and depression can cause people to crave comfort foods. Dealing with the underlying issue in these cases will help you to avoid junk food.
  • Indulge appropriately. The thing about the body and mind is that deprivation causes us to obsess. If you never allow yourself to eat junk food then you'll probably crave it all the more. You should allow yourself treats now and then - but not often. This will make you feel like you're not completely deprived but won't get you in the habit of eating junk.

The most important thing is really that you just remain aware of what is going on with your body. Knowing what is causing your food craving will give you the power to deal with it appropriately.


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  • saralise profile image

    saralise 9 years ago from United States

    Thanks! As someone who craves junk food all the time--and realizes it's a horrible habit--I am now interested in looking into the nutritional meanings behind my cravings for sweets.