5 Foods That Kill Food Cravings

I’ve had loads of emails from my readers since starting Dietriffic back in 2007, and one of the things many people email me about is how to deal with food cravings.

This is certianly a challenging area, and not something than can be “cured” overnight.

However, I believe there are certain foods, which you can add to your diet, that will help you control your food cravings a little better.

One of the main reasons I find people experience uncontrollable food cravings, is because they are not eating enough at mealtimes.

You see, when you stave your body of the nutrients it needs to function optimally, it responds by making your desire to eat very powerful. This is a survival tactic, and completely normal.

If you experience food cravings on a regular basis, I suggest first of all asking yourself if your diet is missing essentials nutrients, and try to rectify that initially.

brybs

Obviously, the foods you crave can also be a lot to do with habit.

If you habitually eat certain foods, you are more likely to crave these foods.

I personally find it is better to leave certain foods on the supermarket shelf, rather than bringing them home, where I will inevitably find them difficult to resist.

There are, however, specific foods which will help you to control your food cravings.

5 Foods That Deal With Cravings

So, what are these super foods you should be eating on a regular basis?

1. Water

Okay, not actually a food, but it’s too important to leave out of this list!

In actual fact, water can be a powerful appetite suppressant, if you drink a glass when you first start feeling hungry.

It does take a little discipline, but when you experience food cravings, try to get into the habit of drinking a large glass of water and waiting 10 minutes. Much of the time you will find your appetite is either completely gone, or dramatically reduced.

And, simply waiting for 10 minutes also allows you to make a more rational choice, if you do decide you still need a snack.

If water doesn’t do the trick for you, vegetable broth is a healthy alternative.

If you aren’t in the habit of making your own, go for an organic clear soup, which doesn’t contain any harmful MSG, or other similar ingredients.

2. Avocado

Perhaps not a fruit you pay much attention to, particularly if you are dieting.

However, the healthy monounsaturated fats found in avocados, along with the fiber, make them a wonderful food to keep you feeling fuller for longer.

Avocado’s have so many additional health benefits, including anti-inflammatory properties, as well as promoting heart health, etc., that they should really be a regular part of our diets.

One serving of avocado is half a medium fruit. Try adding them to salads, sandwiches, smoothies, or just eat them on their own.

3. Nuts, Seeds and Nut Butters

I’m sure you all know by now that I’m a fan of nuts. I recommend them to everyone, and they are a big part of my upcoming weight loss program, which I hope to release very soon.

Not only are nuts extremely nutritious, but like the avocado, the healthy fats they contain help to stave off hunger.

Hunger is one of the main reasons for food cravings, as I mentioned above, so simply making nuts one of your snacks each day, can really help you get control of food cravings.

Any nuts or seeds will do, I personally love almonds and sesame seeds, but it’s up to you.

If you can get your hands on a natural nut butter that will be much healthier than regular nut butters, which tend to be full of sugar and trans fats.

Alternatively, you can make your own, which is something I’ve been meaning to do recently, so watch this space for a how-to post.

4. Eggs

Another food, which I tend to go on and on about, are eggs :-)

They are quite simply an extremely important food, containing lots of essential nutrients. You just can’t go wrong with them.

One of the best things about them is that they are a very low cost way to get good quality protein into your diet, and this protein is very helpful in controlling food cravings, by delaying hunger.

I recommend choosing free range eggs when you possibly can, because the nutritional benefits are much greater.

5. Dark Chocolate

We all like to enjoy a sweet treat from time to time, and I figure it’s better to have a treat that is a little bit healthier, rather than telling yourself you can never eat a certain food again. This just begs for food cravings to arise stronger than ever.

One of the best options you can go for is dark chocolate, with a higher cocoa content.

Dark chocolate is a reasonably good source of antioxidants, and is even thought to be a natural fat burner, due to the action of theobromine.

However, before you race to the kitchen cupboards, some research does suggest that to get the weight loss effects of theobromine, you would need to eat dark chocolate in very large amounts, which obviously isn’t a good idea.

That said, dark chocolate can give you a little pep when your energy levels start to flag in the afternoons, and it’s a very good way to kill a sweet craving.

I recommend eating two squares of dark chocolate with a couple of apricot halves. They taste great together, you’ll get a sweet boost, and the fiber from the dried fruit will keep your blood sugars a little bit more steady.

Healthy Substitutions

Don’t forget, it is also okay to make a healthier version of the food you’re craving.

So, if you feel like a grilled cheese sandwich, make one with wholewheat bread, a smaller amount of grated cheddar, and extra salad on the side.

If you’re craving chocolate cake, try making your own version at home by substituting in some wholewheat flour in place of half the white flour. You may also be able to reduce some of the sugar, and substitute with mashed banana for extra sweetness.

If you feel like take away pizza, instead try making your own version. Use a wholewheat tortilla as your base, then top with tomato puree, lots of roasted vegetables, and a small amount of strong grated cheese.

These are small changes which can make a big difference.

What are your tips for preventing food cravings?

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About Melanie
Melanie is a Registered Dietitian who started Dietriffic in March 2007. Her aim is to make good health attainable and sustainable, without guilt and torture, making her approach popular with those who desire a level-headed approach to good health. Have you got your copy of her free book yet?


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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Cathy in NZ November 12, 2011 at 1:34 am

this is interesting and useful…

when I had to give away a number of things recently because they frankly caused me much more pain than I needed, I craved certain foods.

especially deep fried fish ‘n chips that I would get at least once a fortnight as a treat. Since then I have hankered after them, once I tried a few chips on their own – small is ok but I still felt a bit seedy the next day.

I tried some cereals, but they are now still hanging about in my pantry…I think I will give them away because they made me feel “off” as well.

But what happened was I began to eat more raw fruits and veges and of course nuts (I’m a nut lover as well) and I find that I’m not missing those things and few other things…

I have tried to add new things bit by bit. I tried some mussels in brine the other week – won’t be doing that again in hurry. I think it was the briney-stuff

I’m about to try out tofu…spent ages getting recipes from friends who use it. So tonight will try first suggestion with rice and vegs…

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Melanie November 15, 2011 at 3:09 pm

That’s great, Cathy. How did your tofu experiment go? I think it is an acquired taste for some people, but certainly a very good option, and so versatile. I don’t fancy mussels in brine myself, either!!

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cathy in NZ November 15, 2011 at 7:11 pm

Melanie

The tofu experiment went very well…I doused a square of it in a marinade for around 4hrs; turning it every so often and lightly sauted it in some peanut oil…

I used the marinade as well – in the end process of stir frying the rice/veg – topped that with the cooked tofu and it was quite tasty.

one of my recipe givers said that the liquid it comes in from the vaccum pack is sometimes bitter and she suggested rinsing that a couple of times.

I bought the organic tofu she suggested and it did seem a lot hardier than the cheap mass produced regular tofu you get in Asian foodstores…

I still have some left, so covered with water in fridge, so that will be on menu tonight. I might use a different marinade or I might do one of the other ideas where you basically just coat it in egg/flour…

anyway it does help by providing some more protein (possibly not the full amount, until I get more used to it)

Reply

Melanie December 2, 2011 at 9:44 am

Good for you, Cathy. Your recipe sounds really nice. I must experiment more with tofu myself.

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Chris W November 17, 2011 at 4:03 pm

Killing food cravings is one of the hardest parts of dieting. I know when I first switched to a more raw food diet, I wanted candy and sugar all the time.

One thing I would add to the eggs section is to make sure that you eat the whole egg. From what I’ve read, the yolk is the part that satiates your appetite.

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Melanie December 2, 2011 at 9:52 am

I totally agree, Chris. I’m not into separating the yolk from the white, the yolks the good part :-)

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Tom Parker November 19, 2011 at 12:21 pm

Great post Mel. I see dark chocolate getting mentioned all over the place recently :-). Personally I have never been a fan even though I know it’s full of flavonoids. Just never really enjoy the taste that much.

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Melanie December 2, 2011 at 10:09 am

I definitely don’t enjoy it as much as other chocolate, white is my favorite, but I can eat a little of it. Perhaps if you tried one of the lower cocoa content versions, which aren’t so bitter to start with?

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