How to Conquer Food Cravings and Urges

Food cravings and urges feature

Struggling with food cravings can be one of the most difficult parts of trying to manage your weight. It is essential to stay healthy, but you don’t want to be constantly thinking about food. If you have been wondering how to stop your cravings in their tracks, you’ve come to the right place. 

In this article, we will talk about some strategies you can use to deal with your food cravings.

Don’t Restrict Yourself

woman going through her pantry

This might sound contradictory, but if you want to conquer your food cravings, the most important step is to stop restricting. The majority of food cravings come from excessive restriction. 

Have you ever heard the saying that “you want what you can’t have”? Or “absence makes the heart grow fonder”? If you go cold turkey on not eating or drinking something, you are setting yourself up for intense food cravings.

Remember, enjoy things, but in moderation. You should treat yourself to that chocolate every now and then instead of removing it entirely from your diet. If you allow your food cravings to get out of control, this could lead to you developing binge eating, which can turn into a full-blown eating disorder and destroy your health. 

There is one exception to this, though: if you are experiencing severe health side effects from a certain food, going cold turkey on it is essential. For example, for some people, alcohol consumption can eventually lead to nerve damage. If you have started to experience a severe side effect like this, moderation is not the answer—you must protect your body by stopping entirely. The same can be said of food allergies. 

However, if you do have to go cold turkey on food because of ill health effects, it becomes even more important to not restrict in other areas of your diet! Willpower is a finite resource, and you want to save that willpower for your most important health decisions. 

Listen To Your Body

healthy eating, woman eating a salad

Many times our bodies are trying to tell us something with our cravings. For example, did you know many people who feel the urge to eat ice actually suffer from an iron deficiency? Another common example: if we are craving water (feeling thirsty), this is a clear sign we are dehydrated.

Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean that your body needs that chocolate cake you desire. However, if you find yourself consistently craving the same foods (especially very specific foods), it might be worth looking into. It could be a symptom that you are lacking in some essential nutrients. If you fix this deficiency, the craving might disappear entirely.

Address Emotional Eating

Many of us use eating as a way to cope with stress or negative emotions, and the only true cure for this is to develop healthier coping mechanisms to deal with our feelings. For example, instead of reaching for the mac and cheese next time you are upset, you might want to consider going for a run. The endorphins associated with exercise can make a huge difference in shifting your mood. 

Some other healthy coping mechanisms could include:

  • Meditation
  • Talking to a loved one
  • A relaxing bath
  • Enjoying a good book

Prep Healthy Food You Love

food cravings prepare food at home If you notice yourself reaching for the chips or a candy bar out of pure convenience, doing some food prep can go a long way in changing your eating habits. It is much easier to stay on track with your diet when you prepare healthy food that you can eat at any moment.

We recommend setting aside one day a week where you try and prep the majority of your food. This could be something as simple as cutting up all your vegetables so that you save time when making a recipe, or it could go as far as preparing each meal you are going to eat for the entire week. 

Whichever approach you choose, don’t forget to include some variety in your diet. Unless you are one of those rare people who can eat the same thing day-in, day-out, you will want to give yourself options. And make sure to focus on the healthy foods you enjoy the most! 

Don’t make yourself chug a glass of green juice just because it is the latest health trend. Instead, create your favorite salad or smoothie that you can look forward to each day!

Don’t Keep Unhealthy Food Around

If you keep unhealthy food in the house, you are much more likely to give in to your cravings. You want to put as many barriers between yourself and the craving as possible! For example, if you find yourself craving Oreos at night, but getting some would take 30 minutes round-trip to go to the store, you have a much higher chance of successfully avoiding giving in to this urge.

Follow these tips, and you should conquer your food cravings in no time!

Read Next:

What You Need To Know About the Keto Diet For Women Over 50

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Is Eating Carbs Bad for Your Diet? Stop the “Carbage”


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