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Food and Diet 10 Foods to Stop Cravings

Updated on June 17, 2015
ChristinS profile image

Christin is a naturopath and whole being wellness advocate with many years of experience in the health and supplement industry.

Ten foods to help curb carb cravings and make a healthy diet easier to accomplish
Ten foods to help curb carb cravings and make a healthy diet easier to accomplish | Source

Junk food cravings are the number one diet buster out there. It's difficult to lose weight and keep it off when cravings become so intense that they become irresistible. What follows is a binge, followed by a cycle of guilt and hopelessness, which typically leads to more cravings and binges. This vicious cycle can be difficult to break without the proper knowledge and tools. In addition to fighting food addictions themselves, it is also extremely important to manage stress effectively so that eating becomes about fueling the body, not self-medicating.

Beating Food Addiction

Fighting food addiction is a difficult challenge. With other vices like cigarettes you can simply omit them from your life, but we all have to eat. For that reason, resisting temptations can be extremely difficult and it becomes necessary to find ways to manage the intense cravings.

Fortunately, there are several foods that help curb sugar and fat cravings. Adding these to your healthy diet can help you overcome the urge to eat junk food while promoting good health.

Top Ten Foods to Fight Cravings

  • Apples: Apples are loaded with fiber and nutrients. They have a satisfying crunch and sweet taste that helps to curb hunger and satisfy sugar cravings while giving your body what it needs. Sprinkle an apple with a bit of cinnamon to help regulate blood sugar levels. The spikes and crashes in blood sugar are typically what causes cravings to emerge. An apple with some cinnamon is delicious and a great way to head cravings off at the pass without ruining your diet.
  • Avocado: Yes they are high in fat, but it is the heart healthy monounsaturated variety. A half of an avocado has a great creamy texture and can satisfy the craving for fatty foods. It is a filling food that will help keep you satiated with its fat and fiber content.
  • Dark Chocolate:Indulge your sweet tooth with a couple of squares (an ounce or so) of very dark chocolate (70% cocoa content or higher). Dark chocolate is loaded with antioxidants and it also triggers the release of “feel good” endorphins in the brain that ease anxiety and depression which can trigger cravings for junk food.
  • Berries: Raw berries like blueberries, raspberries, or blackberries are a great way to satisfy a sweet tooth while boosting your fiber intake which will help you feel full longer. They are loaded with antioxidants and great for your health so they are an indulgence you can feel really good about.
  • Oatmeal: Studies have shown that a hot meal is more satisfying emotionally. Oatmeal with a sprinkle of cinnamon on top and a natural sweetener like Stevia is a great way to increase fiber and increase fullness. It has a satisfying texture and “heaviness” and makes a great comfort food that is good for you. Be sure to use a whole grain variety and not “instant”. Instant oatmeal is highly processed and typically has a lot of sugar added.

Did You Know?

The average craving lasts approximately 15 minutes. When cravings are intense those minutes can seem to last a lifetime, however if you eat healthy alternatives or engage in activities that take your mind off the cravings they can become more manageable. They will eventually diminish over time if you maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle.

  • Cinnamon: Yes it's been mentioned twice already with the apples and the oatmeal. Cinnamon has a remarkable ability to stabilize blood sugar and fight insulin resistance. As little as a half a teaspoon of cinnamon will help stop the spikes in blood sugar that tend to trigger cravings. It is also a very warm and satisfying spice to add to coffee, oatmeal, fruit and even vegetables like cooked carrots.
  • Citrus Fruit: Oranges and Grapefruit are a sweet treat that helps to boost the metabolism. Chilling citrus fruit before eating it can make it even more refreshing, especially on warm days where you want a cool treat. My grandmother managed her diabetes naturally and one habit she had was eating an orange or grapefruit as an evening snack every night. She kept her weight down and her cravings at bay.
  • Sweet Potatoes: If you tend to crave starchy foods like potato chips, cakes, and cookies a sweet potato can help. Miss fries or chips? Cut a sweet potato into thin slices, spritz with a bit of olive or coconut oil and bake for a healthy, fiber filled alternative. Sweet potatoes can also be baked or steamed for a fluffy sweet treat. Sweet potatoes are a better choice than other potatoes because they are lower on the glycemic index scale and have more fiber and nutrients.
  • Carrots: With only a few calories you can cure a sweet tooth and get a satisfying crunch with raw carrots. Carrots are a great way to beat cravings and they contain carotenoids which reduce cholesterol and promote a healthy heart. The beta carotene in carrots improves vision and has anti-aging properties as well. Craving sweets? Roast your carrots in the oven to release the natural sugars and intensify the sweetness. When roasting carrots avoid adding extra sugars and butter. Plain roasted carrots are already very sweet without the need for unhealthy additives.
  • Flaxseed: This is a food that is great for your health. It is an excellent source of protein and fiber that bulks up in the stomach when you eat it. It can increase in mass by up to five times providing a feeling of lasting fullness. If you consume it a half hour before a meal you will eat less. Flax seed also stabilizes blood sugar levels which reduces cravings. You can sprinkle a bit on oatmeal and other foods to make them even more nutritious and satisfying.

Don't make the mistake of blaming lapses on simple lack of motivation or self-control. Food addiction is a tough cycle to break that requires time and dedication not only to diet, but to understanding the underlying reasons for the addiction in the first place and addressing them. If you eat when you are stressed try activities that are relaxing like yoga or meditation. If you are an emotional eater, begin to find other outlets to express your emotions like art or a journal, rather than suppressing them with food. If you eat when bored, try new activities regularly to engage your mind or keep your hands busy with a new hobby or craft.

In order to be successful at fighting food addiction, you have to accept the fact that it is an ongoing process. Don't allow a lapse to spiral out of control into a lasting cycle of binges or apathy. When you fall - and you will, get back up and keep going. Only you can empower yourself to change your life. There is no magic pill or person to do the hard work for you. A long, healthy life starts with a healthy diet and good habits. Every minute is a new opportunity to make a better choice.

The Complete Low-Carb Cookbook (Best of the Best Presents)
The Complete Low-Carb Cookbook (Best of the Best Presents)

I love this cookbook because it features time-tested low-carb recipes and reinventions of comfort food favorites without the use of any processed junk. It's a great way to transition to a healthier lifestyle in a way that is easier, and allows you to experience food in new ways.



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    • Efficient Admin profile image

      Efficient Admin 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

      ChristinS, your hubs are always practical with helpful common sense advice and this is another one of them! It also reminds me that I like avocados in my salad and will start including those more often. Thanks for sharing, voted up.

    • ChristinS profile image

      Christin Sander 4 years ago from Midwest

      Thanks Monty - stress hormones are indeed another situation that can lead to cravings - but if you find natural ways to remedy stress through exercise, meditation, yoga, herbal supplements, etc. that no longer is a factor in how you eat. The fact is junk foods stress the body leading to the production of more stress hormones. People have gotten into a bad habit of self-medicating with food.

    • Montyhonaker profile image

      Montyhonaker 4 years ago

      I think this is a very useful and informative article, but many people develop cravings for sugar, fat and salt to help with stress hormones. That is a whole other issue, but one in the same. Very good, thank you.

    • ChristinS profile image

      Christin Sander 4 years ago from Midwest

      You can add ground flax to oatmeal in the morning to make it more satiating, or to whole grain baked goods you prepare yourself - it adds protein and good omega 3 fats the body needs. It's also high fiber so what you eat with it is more filling and it's healthy.

    • Easy Exercise profile image

      Kelly A Burnett 4 years ago from United States

      I am eating more of these naturally and now I know why. I have actually visited a donut shop without buying donuts - this is HUGE for me not to become HUGE. For you see, I do crave donuts. I must confess for lunch the other day I actually had a donut - I had been so good on the weekends but that donut was calling me - they even named it the Honeymooner to sweeten the temptation and I confess I bit! Yum!

      Voted up!

      Wonderful article and all the items I can readily see but what can I do to eat more flax seed?

      I just don't "get" the flax seed. Can you help?

    • ChristinS profile image

      Christin Sander 4 years ago from Midwest

      Cinnamon is a great way to naturally balance blood sugar levels, particularly in combination with a healthy diet. I sprinkle some in my coffee in the mornings - apples and oatmeal are yummy with it also.

    • mperrottet profile image

      Margaret Perrottet 4 years ago from Pennsauken, NJ

      Very helpful article, with great tips in it. I wasn't aware of the fact that cinnamon could help regulate blood sugar. My husband is a diabetic, so I'll pass this information on to him. He does in fact eat apples and oatmeal, so perhaps sprinkling cinnamon on both will help keep his blood sugar down. Voted up, interesting, useful - and sharing!

    • ChristinS profile image

      Christin Sander 5 years ago from Midwest

      Thank you for reading, voting and sharing Au fait, I truly appreciate it very much. Glad you found the hub helpful

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 5 years ago from North Texas

      So much good information in this hub on controlling one's weight and cravings! This is such a useful, helpful hub. Voted you up, useful, and interesting and will share.

    • ChristinS profile image

      Christin Sander 5 years ago from Midwest

      Thanks for commenting and taking time to vote MelChi - much appreciated :)

    • MelChi profile image

      Melanie Chisnall 5 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      I eat about 9/10 of these foods - so that's good news! Thanks for sharing, voted up, interesting, useful and awesome!

    • ChristinS profile image

      Christin Sander 5 years ago from Midwest

      Dannette thanks for the comment - sorry I must have missed it before. I feel you on the chocolate/sweets. Sugar is the one thing that has been SUPER hard for me and I have to keep it out of the house or I'll eat it, especially in times of stress it's like it just sits and calls my name. Thanks for commenting and hope all is well. Garden season is upon us :) yay

    • ChristinS profile image

      Christin Sander 5 years ago from Midwest

      I agree with these too mj2991 thanks for commenting.

    • mj2991 profile image

      mj2991 5 years ago from Pehawar

      Daily exercise and avoid fast foods , and getting little sleep , also using lemon juice with an empty stomach

    • Danette Watt profile image

      Danette Watt 5 years ago from Illinois

      Really good info here and a good reminder of ways to control our cravings. I love apples so that would be my first choice.

      My major craving is chocolate (and not the healthy dark kind, but the kind with caramel or mochas). It's definitely an addiction and a crutch. I gave it up for Lent and did pretty good for a couple weeks. One slip up though and it just confirmed that chocolate is definitely what I reach for when I'm stressed and depressed.

    • ChristinS profile image

      Christin Sander 5 years ago from Midwest

      Thanks for commenting and for sharing Barry that's greatly appreciated :)

    • BarryCross profile image

      Barry Cross 5 years ago from York, UK

      Great tips that will certainly help when consistently applied. Voted up and socially shared. Cheers Barry :)

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