Intense Cravings

Food will be the death of me, or at least that is how I feel sometimes.  It just takes control of me, it’s the addiction that takes over.

I’m sure many of you can understand how challenging weight loss, weight maintenance or just food in general can be.  I know I sure do.  Now I’m no expert in this field, however I do have a lot of personal experience on these subjects.

I have such intense cravings for food, typically sweets, and it’s hard to resist these urges.  I’ve spent years just giving in to them, that I don’t even have a second between the urge and the action.  It’s an immediate reaction.  Before I sometimes realize or can can stop myself I’m munching on or obsessing about “x”.   “X” is something different for each of us.  Even when I come to the point of realizing that I should put “x” down, I can’t.  I just can’t do it.

I have this hysterical two-year child fighting within me.  She wants what she wants and won’t shut up until she gets it.  Usually I’m so tired of hearing this nagging voice that I give in.  It’s funny to think though that if my daughter acted this way there would be no way in Hell that I’d give it to her, especially acting like that, but with me, I give in?  That is so messed up.

I’ve been told that it takes about 15-20 minutes for an urge to subside to a reasonable level and that it will only intensify the more you give into it.  So, I have some ideas to help put some time between my urge and my action, but most of the time I find it hard to do any of these.  I’m going to start the list with 10 items, and I need your help add to my list of things that actually work for you when needing to resist a craving.

  1. Phone a friend
  2. Focus on breathing
  3. Do Zumba (or just move somehow)
  4. Play a game with my daughter
  5. Blog!
  6. Brush my teeth
  7. Turn on some tunes and get lost in the music
  8. Rub my hands together, like a little hand massage or quick self shoulder massage
  9. Close my eyes and visualize being on a beach near the ocean
  10. Have only healthy snacks near me, limit the temptations

As hard as it is to actually do some of these things, I want to keep the list handy so that in a pinch I can reach for the list instead of the cookie.

Now go ahead, give me an idea that works for you!!

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Thanks to Blogelina for inspiring this post!
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274 Responses to Intense Cravings

  1. Amanda says:

    Those are all great ideas! It really helps if you have someone who is willing to be your “weight loss buddy.” Having that support system there is always great. I’ve been trying myself to lose weight and it hasn’t happened yet. They say the hardest part is getting started and that’s true.
    Since I’m a food blogger I had to find a different niche. I was doing desserts and my husband rarely eats them, so I’d be left with a huge pie/cake/etc; to either let go to waste or eat myself. Neither option seemed like something I wanted to do. Finally I started doing portion control baking. I only make desserts for one or two at a time. It helps.
    I wish I had more options to help. But considering that I haven’t even started, I probably shouldn’t be giving anymore advice, haha.
    Have a great day! 🙂

    • Danielle says:

      Amanda – I love your idea of portion control baking, I’ve never thought of that. I know that if I have sweets in my house I WILL eat all of them in a short amount of time, so by only making a small batch, that would totally help!

  2. Angie Nelson says:

    I have recently been collecting tips for the portion-control baking that Amanda mentioned. This at least makes things a little more difficult.

  3. Karen says:

    I’m with you in the cravings department. I never found it hard to maintain my weight until I became a stay-at-home mom. All of the stresses and food are all inside these 4 walls! When I stay busy with things (especially things that get us out and about and going in the community) I tend to graze less!

    • Danielle says:

      Karen – Being at home is the worst snacky time for me, it is terrible. I’ve found I can’t have unhealthy snacks at home and if I do they have to be a single portion or else I’ll eat it ALL at once.

  4. Deepthi says:

    great ideaes….maybe u can keep some almonds or cucumbers handy defenetly no chocolates in the house.. I feel like eating chocolates all the time… 😦

    • Danielle says:

      I love chocolates way to much to have them in the house. If I do, I have to remember to have only a single serving or else I’ll eat them ALL!

  5. Chelle says:

    Danielle, I love these ideas. I try drinking before giving in, because sometime’s I’m really not hungry, or what about giving in to the craving, in moderation. I love peanut butter…and eat it on a spoon, slowly. I also find that savoring anything makes it better. Finally, I don’t believe in deprivation, so I try to make the most of whatever I want…portion control, balancing it with a workout or lighter meals before/after. I’m sure you’ll find what works for you.
    BTW, the image of that “hysterical two-year child fighting within me” is priceless!
    Peace and good.

    • Danielle says:

      Chelle – Portion control is SO hard for me! And yes I completely can envision this screaming child within me, it’s kinda funny to think about it actually.

    • Daily Citron says:

      Drinking water before snacking is also something that I use. I target drinking 72 ounces a day. When I feel hungry, I ask myself, “Am I on target with my 72 ounces yet?” For instance, if it’s mid afternoon (prime snacking time for me) I’ll ask myself, “Have I already drank 50 ounces of water?” The answer is almost always, “No,” at which point I’ll tell myself that I can have my snack after drinking the water. Almost 100% of the time, by the time I finished chugging the water I am too full for the craving to be very persuasive. All the best to you!
      -Viva recently posted Homemade Pizza Dough

      • Danielle says:

        I used to drink over 80oz of water a day, and I have since been lacking. I need to get back in that habit again.

      • shelly says:

        I’ve started doing this exact thing with making myself drink water before eating something. It really helps. It’s almost like we don’t recognize the difference between a thirst & hunger signal, but more often than not, our bodies are just asking for so me good, pure water!

      • Danielle says:

        I bet I am thirst most of the time or its all just in my head that I want whatever food it is I’m craving. I’m sure it’s not real hunger 95% of the time, LOL!

    • Ugh. Cravings. I have lots of tips – this is one of the areas I tend to work on with my health coaching clients, but I’d say the number one, best is always to have a drink as you suggest above. Lots of time we are just bored or thirsty and water will do the trick!

  6. Angie says:

    Pray!

    If you haven’t, check out Lysa TerKeurst’s Made to Crave – obviously she talks about cravings. 😉

    http://lysaterkeurst.com/made-to-crave/

    One point that she makes is that even if you lived completely on Weight Watchers “filling foods”, what does that do for your cravings? Because cravings aren’t about being hungry, they’re about craving something specific!

    Seriously, I highly suggest her book. I think about it almost every time I read a post of yours talking about this struggle, because she speaks right to a lot of the same things in her book. 🙂

  7. Eschelle says:

    take a walk around the block with my camera! Usually take one of my kids with me while daddy does something with the other at home kinda thing lol. Or we all pack up and head out. Another good one I like is cleaning the dishes to music, i plug into my ipod warn everyone I can’t hear them if they scream daddy better perk up and BAM there i am getting something done AND dancing a little bit lol.

  8. lisa says:

    I read another tip that might be helpful. It takes 15 minutes for a craving to end. If you can drink some water or find something else to do for 15 minutes your brain will forget.

    This trick really works. Good luck!

    • Danielle says:

      Lisa – 15 minutes seems like a lifetime during that time, but yes I will try to remember that 🙂 Thanks!

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  10. Easy2Save says:

    I squeeze a large slice of lemon or lime over water and ice with one packet of sweetener. It tastes like a treat.

  11. MJ says:

    Currently on my own weight loss journey, I know all to well how tempting food can be. It’s one of the reasons that I stopped doing WW’s and took a different approach to losing weight, because I felt I obsessed more about food as I tried to figure out how much I could squeeze into my points, or how many points would be in this, etc…

    Other than what you mentioned here’s what works for me:
    I get something to drink – water usually
    If I am also actually hungry and not just craving, I’ll nibble on a couple of almonds or other nuts.
    I cuddle one of the dogs, they don’t like to be disturbed when cuddling, so I’m stuck where I’m at, at least temporarily.
    I rationalize why I can’t have it now, that it won’t kill me to wait for another day (I practice moderation, so nothing is off-limits permanently, just may not be an option that day)
    If it’s the end of the night, I just go to bed

    • Danielle says:

      MJ- Rationalizing that it won’t kill you for one day is a great idea! Sometimes I’ll play mind games saying “today you can’t have it, but tomorrow you can” and then the next day I’ll repeat hoping to stall the process of actually eating that particular item!

      I love the just going to bed idea too!!

  12. For me is at times to give into those cravings by just taking one or 2 and then walking to a different part of the house.

    • Danielle says:

      Kelley – It seems like I’m the type of person who can’t JUST eat one or two so kudos to you for having that willpower!!

  13. Deedra says:

    A doctor told me to eat an apple before dinner. Something about it tells your body that you’re “almost” full and then you don’t eat as much. Portion control is my downfall.

  14. Lisa says:

    Great list! You look great in your transformation on the sidebar, by the way! I keep myself busy to stop from eating — I tidy up, there’s no shortage of that in my house! I love blogging too, and tweeting, etc. And couponing. Don’t like getting my hands dirty when I’m doing those.

  15. Katie says:

    I recently read a book all about cravings and how you should try and figure out why you are having them and that can help curb them. That’s what I’m trying to do. Do I want to eat because I am hungry? Or because I am depressed or bored? etc. Sometimes I can’t explain why I want something – I just do – but a lot of times I want to eat because I see it on the counter or because I’m bored.

  16. This is a hard one! I have a terrible sweet tooth, so I’m always craving chocolate or some kind of sweet drink. Right now, I’m trying counting calories six days a week, with a reward day on Saturdays.

    • Danielle says:

      That’s awesome to have a reward day. I know it doesn’t work to be too restrictive and cut everything out so good for you finding a balance!

  17. D says:

    I also have intense sugar cravings. Usually if I don’t keep any sugar in the house except for honey I will curb thos cravings, and if I end up giving into one then it’s usually a smoothie with yogurt, berries and honey to taste sweeter.

  18. jollyjilly says:

    I so know that feeling lol. Im trying to lose weight and it can be so hard. I had to make 48 cupcakes today for the church and it was sooooo hard not to eat loads lol
    Well done on your weight lose you look great

    • Danielle says:

      Jollyjilly – Oh making cupcakes, especially a big batch would be hard not to eat some. Thanks for the compliment!

  19. Leslie says:

    I fully understand that urge when you want something you want it now. I have that urge with chocolates and sweets. If I get the urge I try to wait it out or I will try to eat a healthy snack hoping the urge goes away.

  20. Starlene says:

    Danielle, I’m not sure what foods you eat, but I found for myself personally that the foods I was intensely craving ended up being foods to which I am allergic. That unfortunately means gluten, grains and many carbohydrate foods. I have also been doing Dr. Jack Kruse’s Leptin Reset. He recommends 50 grams of animal protein for breakfast and the results have been completely stunning. I am completely satisfied and can go between 4 and 5 hours until my next meal. Sometimes I can even skip lunch. Anyway, it is wonderful not having to deal with cravings. I do find when I eat too many root vegetables (which tend to be heavy in carbs) that I seem to encourage the cravings to start up somewhat, so I really have to be careful to not eat too many at the same time, but spread over the day. As for outward things to do to try to distract myself, I have used many of the ones you list. My favorite was brushing my teeth. 🙂 I am trying to think of something else, I can say one thing, don’t do Pinterest when you are having cravings, lol. I am a food blogger doing the GAPS Diet so I check out Pinterest to find “GAPS legal” desserts, or desserts that can be tweaked to fit within the GAPS Diet and boy, I am NOT doing myself any favors doing that. Good luck with your health journey. 🙂

    • Danielle says:

      I’m not sure I’ve ever heard of the GAPS diet. Yeah Pinterest seems to have so many tasty looking things!

  21. dawn says:

    I like to get crafty! I find when I’m working on something I can get really engrossed in it, so it’s great for taking my mind off of other things.

    • Danielle says:

      Dawn – Love that idea! I’ve been trying to get back into my scrapbooking so maybe when I feel the urge I can try to work on part of a project or something.

  22. Amanda says:

    I definitely try to limit the temptations around my house. I also make sure to eat well-balanced, filling meals. It helps me to not feel a need to snack. I also don’t totally cut myself off from things I desire. I just make sure to have a little bit of something and make it really good quality: like one piece of high-quality dark chocolate.

  23. What helped me was not eating after dinner. I just made a rule that I could not and would not eat anything after dinner so my body has time to rest from food and I was told that you gain more weight when you eat after 7 at night. So, I don’t. Good luck finding things that help you! You can do it!

  24. This is a hard one. Sweets and carbs are my downfall. I think drinking a cup of tea or flavored water is what helps me.

  25. Amy says:

    Brush my teeth or grab some gum – then my mouth is either extra clean or already chewing!

  26. Gina says:

    I’m with you. On Monday a friend of my husband’s shared a new App on my iPhone called: MyFitnessPal. I love my new Fitness Pal. I’ve already lost 3 pounds this week, because when I eat something I have to log it in. What I realized was it takes me so long to “log” the food, that I’m too tired to eat.

    Try it… You’ll like it!

    HUGS!

    • Danielle says:

      Gina – After SlimGenics I tracked calories on MyFitnessPal and was really good about tracking them, just not good about staying in a certain range, so now I’m trying WW, but I just need to learn to stay within my points, LOL. Oh the joys of weight loss/maintenance.

  27. I’ve found that if I just keep the items I crave the most out of my pantry and refrigerator I have much more self control. I can’t eat the ice cream if I don’t have any, right?

  28. Jessie says:

    I struggle with the same thing. I try to drink a glass of water, take a walk, go outside for a few, or I pack everyone up and we go out and do something — go to the park, the museum … It can definitely be hard. I have also heard that if you visualize yourself eating something, that if you do end up eating it, you will eat less. I have no idea if it works – but it may help!

  29. Deborah Owen says:

    I don’t think I could improve on your list. I’m addicted to sugar and it totally drives me up a tree. The only way I can deal with it successfully is not to eat it at all. Then Mom makes a batch of homemade fudge, trusses my arms behind my back, and shoves that awesome peanut butter chocolate fudge with dreadful nuts down my throat. I squirm in agony and beg for more. So much for the notion of ignoring sweets! I totally sympathize. Deb

    • Danielle says:

      Sugar is the devil! Haha. My work always has someone baking treats, so I have to really use willpower at work to resist – obviously it’s OK sometimes to give in though! It’s hard to stop at just one though 🙂

  30. Drinking water everytime I think of eating “extra” snacks is what I do. But anything you find that works for you, do it.

  31. Junebug says:

    The cravings are so maddening!!! I’m not sure I can give any more ideas because it is a battle I often lose. I like the visual you gave of the fact I would not allow my daughter to act that way so I shouldn’t allow my inner child. It is a good image for me to keep in mind.

  32. Drink a glass of warm water – I promise it will make your cravings go for a while.

    • Danielle says:

      Warm water? Really? Wow, I’ve NEVER thought of that. I may just have to give that a try, thanks for the idea 🙂

  33. Nekky says:

    Do yoga or try to get the power of resistance. The cravings will stop once you have the will power to tell yourself ‘enough is enough’. I know you can do it. Wish you luck.

  34. Katie says:

    I looked at your progress pictures. You look amazing! Congratulations, it seems like your list must be working pretty well. I could use everything on your list in helping me to quit smoking. Nicotine is my mine craving right now. I can’t wait for it to go away. Keep up all your hard work.

  35. Quida says:

    I hear that Zumba is a great way to exercise for losing weight. Keep focused on your goals!

    • Danielle says:

      Zumba is just something so fun and I enjoy it so I figured it that’s the only thing that will get me to move, I should do it!

  36. What always suppresses my appetite? Worrying about my kids. lol. Not a good choice, I know.

  37. Julie says:

    I’m the same way. I have found out that if I get involved in something on the computer, then I won’t take the time to get up and eat. Problem is, it takes so long to load things that I do get up and eat. Get in on a game on the comp. that is timed and that helps.

  38. Those are all great ideas and I think one way is to have something you can keep chewing to make you feel like your eating something like sugar-free gum. I like your tips and will have to incorporate them next time I get those urges!

    • Danielle says:

      Jennie – Glad you liked the suggestions!!! Gum is a great idea too, I’ll have to use that once I get my braces off, LOL!

  39. Kecia says:

    If I am having a craving during the day, I will try to drink a glass or water or watch television to take my mind off of it. Often, I feel like I am hungry and want something before bed. I find that if I just go to sleep, I can prevent myself from indulging.

  40. Happydally says:

    I love Zumba! It is really a great workout that isn’t hard on your joints (though sometimes hard on your ears depending on how loud the instructor likes it).

    • Danielle says:

      Being a single mom it’s hard to get to the gym, so I usually just do Wii Zumba or else I have the Exhilarate DVD set that I can do in my living room!

  41. Brett says:

    MIO water helps me- sweet taste, no calories, but a full glass of water tricks the belly into thinking its full.

  42. Do you like crafting? Why not take out your supplies and get down to work?

    • Danielle says:

      I scrapbook or best said I want to continue my scrapbooking that I use to do that has since been sitting there.

  43. Kelsey says:

    All through High School and my first couple years of college I had the same problems! I did, however found an activity that I LOVED and stayed involved in it. I was so busy, that eating became an afterthought. So, I guess my suggestion would be to stay busy and active so that you aren’t bored and need to fill that time with something like an unhealthy snack! Your tips are great and I love your before and after photo at the top, amazing! Good work girl!

    • Danielle says:

      Kelsey – Yes I do need to find something active to do. Seems that in the evenings I tend to plop on the couch and go online or do something where I’m inclined to eat.

  44. I got nothing…sometimes I can resist, sometimes I chew gum, sometimes I eat Cheerios…sometimes I exercise. Good responses, and a lot of them too!

  45. Anjanette says:

    Read “Made to Crave.” It helps me to understand why I crave food (or anything else). Also, “Get the Sugar Out” was amazing for me b/c I never realized how addicted to sugar I was – it’s full of practical tips (101 actually) for battling sugar cravings.

  46. Paula Baker says:

    I liked all your options. I think I would add reading or working on a craft. Something that really engages your mind. I find when I’m engrossed in something I love to do, I don’t think about food as much. You can do it! Just keep working at it and it will get easier.
    You may also want to see if you have any vitamin or mineral deficiencies, as these can cause cravings, which we sometimes misinterpret as craving sweets, instead of what our body needs, like the vitamin C in potatoes, lol. I would suggest a good regimen of vitamins and minerals.

  47. I wish I had an answer to this problem. I usually give in (hangs head in shame).

  48. Angi says:

    As I tell my boys, moderation is the key. If you crave something, it subsides after a few moments of giving in to the craving. So why not find healthy alternatives for those cravings. If you crave sweets, find healthy sweets that you can make in small portions. I’ve been following Chocolate-Covered Katie,/a> for a while now and she has some fantastic healthy dessert recipes all over her blog.

  49. For me I take my son outside to play and by the time we get to where we want to play I no longer have the urge. Or I play with the dog as she Loves to play catch and can wear me out so I am too tired want anything.

  50. Julie says:

    Hi my name is Julie and I’m a chocoholic! No seriously. I have many times said I cannot live without chocolate. It’s usually a daily(or multiple times a day I eat it). But I just decided I need to wean myself off of it for the fact that it is an addiction and not the healthiest. I try to drink a large glass of water before I can eat a piece of chocolate or treat but the water has to be readily available and cold….the way I like it. Silly I know. And having healthy snacks that I LOVE near by and ready is key too. If there is a banana it won’t entice me all that well but if there is a bowl of strawberries or fresh pineapple… I can make the switch easier.

    • Danielle says:

      I agree that you have to have “healthy” snacks that you’ll actually want to eat or it will not do any good. I’m glad to know I’m not alone in being a chocoholic!

      Good luck with everything!

  51. I have always heard drinking water helps. I do think that we have to allow ourselves to have a small amount of what we crave because if you totally deprive yourself you will just want it more. When I was pregnant with child #2 I had gestational diabetes and it was so hard for me to want certain things I couldn’t have but if I worked my carbs where I could have something small it helped decrease that desire for the food. I love Zumba and I do it at home with the Wii. It’s easily accessible anytime I can work out. You look great!

    • Danielle says:

      Thanks Nichole! I don’t think depriving myself of something is a good idea either and Yay for Zumba!

  52. Rachel says:

    These are all great suggestions… I get the munchies alot!!! Thanks for sharing… xoxo-Rachel

  53. Wow – amazing transformation! I try to control my sweet tooth by only eating sweets that are my absolute favorite thing. If there is a treat and it is something I just “like” I don’t eat it.

    • Danielle says:

      Rory – Good idea to only have things that are a real “treat” besides just anything sugary that I’d crave!

  54. The only way I can stop a craving is to get away from it…and fast. So if I go to the grocery store, I don’t go down the cookie aisle. I don’t care what else is down there. If there are cookies, cakes, or God forbid cosmic brownies, I must…skip…aisle. Like superman and Kryptonite. Seriously. I just have no willpower whatsoever. Never did and never will. Some of us are just like that.

    • Danielle says:

      I know what you mean about just not going the aisle. I can’t “just” look at them so there is no point going near them!

  55. Lou Lou says:

    I am the worst person to ask, I’ve got no will power. I do like the Zumba idea though!

  56. andrea says:

    oh i can SO relate to those cravings…. 😀

  57. Jenni & Jody says:

    Warning — this is not a G-rated comment. LOL! I’m not sure if you’re married, but if you are and your husband is home, lock yourselves away for a spontaneous time of intimacy. Taking off your clothing is a great reminder that you want to lose weight.

    If the man is not home (or there is no man), go clothes shopping. Even if you don’t buy anything, getting naked in a dressing room has a similar effect on the psyche. Suddenly, the cupcake doesn’t seem so appetizing when faced with the obnoxious dressing room mirror!

  58. Fabulous list of ideas. I have that two year old in me too but most of the time, I am on auto-pilot and don’t think about the temper-tantrum. I just give the kid a cookie. {{BLUSH}}

    • Danielle says:

      I completely agree with you about the auto-pilot and just giving in. It’s terrible, but so many years of doing it has become habit!

  59. Nikki says:

    Those are great ideas, and I can’t really think of anything to add. Oh, wait, I can! When I am craving something sweet, I look at Pinterest. Then I look at the recipes for something really tasty, and realize that there is no way on this green earth that I’ll ever be able to pull it off because I can’t actually cook, so I get frustrated and say “forget it! I don’t want it anyway!” Problem solved. LOL!

    • Danielle says:

      I hate cooking too so I never have any actually delicious treats around, just store bought stuff, LOL! Thanks for stopping by!

  60. Honey says:

    Great article and ideas! I’m going to forward your blog to some friends! I’ve also heard that when you have cravings, drink water. Sometimes your body is just dehydrated. Worth a try!

  61. Kerry says:

    I go out for a walk- even if it’s just around my yard. Or interact with a pet. Start cleaning up a room (this can take forever sometimes and then I forget what I was even wanting!). Sometimes if I have a really good book I can stay away from my craving. But since I love to eat while I read– usually it doesn’t work as well as I wished it would!

  62. Amanda says:

    The only thing that works for me is not keeping it in the house. I don’t really have a problem with food, but I’m addicted to Dr. Pepper, so I don’t keep it in the house. I’d drink it all the time if I had it here. I use to buy one every time I left the house, but that got too expensive, so now I buy six-packs at the grocery store. They still stay in my car, though. Nothing will slow you down like a luke-warm Dr. Pepper.

    • Danielle says:

      Amanda – Yeah I like pop a little too much too. We get free pop at work so it’s so hard to resist so now I don’t keep it in the house either so that I don’t drink as much (as I’m sitting here drinking a diet Dr. Pepper!)

  63. Johnnie says:

    Great ideas! I would add reaching out and helping someone else in need as a way to get your mind off of its craving.

    Printable Decor
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    • Danielle says:

      Great idea! I need to practice doing this a bit more, I have such a hard time reaching out. Thanks for stopping by!

  64. Sometimes I just say, “I’m going to wait ten minutes.” HALF (not perfect!) the time I totally forget and have moved on to something else.

  65. cooking lady says:

    Drink water with lemon and do a lot of walking. Take the baby with you and go to the park. I hope this helps, I just never went through that.

  66. Shelly says:

    I will distract myself with something anything. If I get busy with something I will not eat and then before I know it the craving is gone. If I am just sitting around not doing too much I almost always end up giving in to eating the craving.

  67. I try to keep that stuff out of the house… I try chewing gum and that helps me

  68. JulieK says:

    I think you have a great list going – I especially like that you included an exercise like Zumba – so if you end up giving in to the craving, at least you first do some exercise to offset it! 🙂 Another tip is that I would drink a FULL 8 oz glass of water… our bodies OFTEN confuse hunger with thirst so sometimes giving yourself something to drink helps reduce the need for food. Try it sometime and see if maybe that works for you (of course, sometimes a craving is just a craving, water or not! LOL). Good luck to you! 🙂

  69. I think all of the tips that you mentioned are great! I have the same problem…I just love sweets so much that I automatically just give in to them without stopping to think about not eating them. The past few days I’ve found that I’ve not been tempted to have a mid-afternoon snack because I was too busy blogging…maybe #5 is the key!

  70. Lanell aka New Jack Sweetie says:

    You have listed some very good tips! To add to #10, I would have some fruit handy to replace the cravings. My Mom is borderline diabetic and she keeps the house stocked up with fruits to replace the cake, cookies and other tempting foods. It has been very effective for both of us.

  71. Give yourself permission to indulge in the thing you want most (for me it is reese cups!). Enjoy that one, every bite of it. Then move on to something else. When it is no longer forbidden the temptation may be milder.
    I try to fill the majority of my day with healthy foods, followed by a small, rich, chocolaty treat. My cravings are pretty manageable now.

  72. Tracey says:

    I try not to have it in the house. I do like the brushing your teeth idea. I usually start knitting something and then I get distracted.

    • Danielle says:

      It’s always when I’m sitting on the couch doing lots of nothing that I want food. Doing something different would probably help.

  73. Emily says:

    I try to make sure I buy mostly healthy things, that way it isn’t even an option of eating the not so great for me stuff.

  74. Yannie says:

    I can relate. The good thing is that most of the food I crave is not available here in Canada. you know I’m from Philippines

  75. Marian says:

    Do activities that will diversify your thought.

  76. Jill says:

    Great ideas there for resisting cravings. I think it’s just different for everyone and you have to find something that works for you! Exercise works for me – even just bouncing on our mini-tramp during one song on the radio – then drinking a glass of water!

    • Danielle says:

      You are so right in how different everyone is! I have yet to find something that really works, but it doesn’t mean I’m not trying!!

  77. Cindy says:

    I am struggling with this very thing right this moment! I gave up sodas and french fries for LENT and haven’t had a craving until TONIGHT! I am about to get some ice cold water and go to bed in hopes it will subside. 🙂

  78. I had gestational diabetes with my last pregnancy and had to cut out all sugar- At the beginning the cravings were completely out of control. Also, if I “cheated” and had something with sugar, the cravings were so much more intense after that. Sugar is sooo addictive… One thing that really worked for me was eating an apple and some walnuts. The combination of natural sugar, fiber, and protein helped to balance my blood sugar and curb the cravings. Also, my new favorite sweet (but healthy) tread is fruit cereal: cut an apple in small chunks, slice a banana and cover with sliced almonds. Put all of this in a bowl and pour mil (or milk substitute like almond milk) over the top. I never thought I’d like apples with milk but it is delicious and really hits the spot when I want something sweet.

  79. Very impressive! i’m so happy for you

  80. I will sometimes drink a glass of water with a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and that seems to help with cravings.

    • Danielle says:

      I used to take Apple Cider Vinegar all the time, it was helpful to reduce water weight, plus it tastes nasty so I wouldn’t want to eat anything after that, LOL!

  81. Jeanette says:

    I usually swish with mouthwash, chew gum, or use one of those lusterine strips. Same concept as brushing your teeth, just less harm on your teeth.

  82. Tonia @thechattymomma says:

    I love the idea of doing Zumba. Does that work up an appetite all all? If not, perfect!

  83. Krystle says:

    I have a huge sweet tooth and around 9pm it starts calling my name. One way that makes it go away is if I just go to bed. Not the most fun things but it does the trick for me.

    • Danielle says:

      Yeah, I’ve done that a few times where when it was later I just told myself I had to go to bed too. It works.

  84. Stepping away from the sweets is the hardest part for me!

  85. Ashley L says:

    My “x” is ice cream and one thing I didn’t see you have on the list was to refuse having your “x” in your house. If it isn’t available to eat, then you can’t eat it. Also, try to replace your “x” with no-calorie alternatives. That way, even if you are munching without really comprehending what you are doing, hopefully, you will not have “positively” impacted your caloric count for the day. Oh and something to create motivation- if you have a favorite charity, instead of eating your “x”, try donating a set amount in a jar each time your deny yourself your “x”. This is a win-win for your choice of charity and for training yourself to be more mindful of what you are eating. You can do it- You can form new habits with your eating! Believe that you can train yourself to make positive food choices!! Wishing you all the best…

    • Danielle says:

      Yes, lately I have learned to just not buy it because I won’t leave the house to get it so then I just wander around the kitchen like 20 times finding nothing, which is a good thing that I find nothing (expect maybe healthier options).

  86. Maura says:

    I’ve never heard of waiting 15-20 to wait for the cravings to subside. Very useful tip!!!! Just set the timer, and distract yourself – very helpful indeed! hear that chocolate?? I have a new tool to say NO! 🙂

  87. Donna McDine says:

    Amazing transformation. Thank you for sharing your very personal journey and tips. Keep up the great work!

  88. Laurie says:

    You look great. What a great transformation. Stay focused. Have a great day!!

  89. I’m in the same boat as you unfortunately. I give in to cravings all the time and my sweet tooth is insane! There was a time a couple of years ago that I lost about 15 lbs. and it really helped me to have a support group to check it with weekly (we were using First Place at our church). You might look into that or maybe Weight Watchers. The accountability really makes a difference.

    The other thing I have done (that I used when I quit smoking) is to find a hobby that I can turn to whenever a craving hits. So I will blog or read or draw or whatever will engage my attention until the craving subsides.

    I hope that helps some. Just know you are certainly not alone!

    Christy
    http://www.alivinghomeschool.com

  90. I commend you for having lost the weight and for working hard to keep it off. I’d recommend chewing gum (especially mint-flavored gum). The craving won’t taste as good if you have a minty-flavored mouth. Keeping busy is another thing. I notice I eat less (and forget about food) when I’m busy. Also, drink a good amount of water. It can help keep you from feeling hungry, distract you from the food, and it’s good for you. Keep up the good work, btw. 🙂

  91. Kari Cu says:

    I think brushing your teeth and limiting what treats are in the house is a great one! I find when I have snacks I eat them all! Have you tried Vitalicious muffins and brownies? I have one for breakfast and sometimes dessert. The chocolate ones are the best and the nut brownies.

  92. Staci says:

    Everyone says water is the best thing to run to when you have a craving. Me, I hate water! I can drink it when I’m burning hot and it has ice, but I would rather have something else. So, I do try juice, or water with lemon. Oh yeah, and I try to have a juice that is not full of sugar.
    Good luck on your endeavor! I wish you well.

  93. Just Jaime says:

    Great tips! I try not to have any tempting food in my house!

  94. I can totally relate and have had intense cravings since I can remember and pairing that with stress eating certainly didn’t help. One thing that has really helped me cut cravings is to cut processed foods, especially with artificial flavoring down to a minimum, mainly soda. It is amazing how much less I crave sugar (my guilty culprit). For those times I do still crave sweets or snacks, I always try to have individual portions together so I don’t struggle with putting away the bag or box or eat the whole thing before I even realize it.

  95. I like to drink a big glass of water. It seems to fill me up. I have a much easier time with cravings and eating since I have been at home. My workplace had a huge obsession with food and meals were large events. At home I’m not near as hungry.

  96. Suzy Myers says:

    My tip would be to go to bed on time. I am a night eater and if I can get myself to go to bed at a reasonable hour, I will avoid the temptations. And plenty of sleep also helps with less stress and more weight loss. It’s a good thing

    suzy

  97. Colette says:

    I know how you feel. Some things I do when the sweet tooth rares up is play a video game, read a book, clean the toilets. <– This one is especially good, because you dont want to put your hands near your mouth afterwards, find a craft to work on (Pinterest anyone?) search online for cute clothes that you want to wear (or make–the craft idea…) Hang in there! Hope these ideas were useful.

  98. Michelle says:

    I’m told drinking water helps… and sometimes it does!

  99. Susan says:

    Take a walk. But not to a place where there is food. So instead of consuming more calories, who knows you may even burn some.

  100. Jamie says:

    I totally understand. I am going through the exact same thing right now. I find myself in the pantry stuffing 6 oreo cookies in my mouth or eating the kids dunkaroos. Argh.

    Try painting your nails, getting the mail, water the plants anything that involves activity and focus. I also find if I don’t let myself get hungry (eat small meals more often) I get less cravings.

  101. Honestly, I cannot help you any, because I am currently losing that battle. Food is definitely my addiction. It is so controlling over me. I’m actually considering looking into bariatric surgery.

    • Danielle says:

      Krissy – I wish you luck in finding something that works for you! I’m here if you need a friend 🙂

  102. Wendy says:

    When I notice a craving and know that I’m not really hungry…..a huge HUGE glass of water helps!

    Wendy
    Around My Family Table

  103. Mariah says:

    Sweets are my biggest challenge. Lately I have been giving in and barely even trying to resist temptation. I really need to work on that!

  104. Jenny says:

    Since I have been on Nutrisystem for 7 weeks, I have lost 16.2lbs. It hasn’t been as hard as I thought since they provide you with desserts of yummy goodness instead of completely cutting you off. I think as long as you limit yourself, and watch your calorie intake you can still have those treats you so desire. It’s all about portion control.

    If I feel the urge to eat more than I should, I grab a stick of gum and that seems to help with cravings a bit.

    Once I am done with Nutrisystem, I am going to continue to follow the diet regimen they taught me. In fact, I already have when I’ve gone out to restaurants and I’m still losing weight. So it definitely works if you can resist on pigging out.

    • Danielle says:

      Yes, there are some great weight loss programs. May be different for everyone, but I know I did SlimGenics and it worked great for me! Good luck with your Nutrisystem 🙂

  105. Carrie says:

    You have some great ideas! You can get some great suggestions and other ideas from watching the Biggest Loser and using their website. Also there is a lose it App that helps me keep a log of my daily calories. Setting a goal for yourself (something to work towards) will help you to watch what you eat also. Having someone to workout with and stay accountable too helps big time on this journey. Always remember that you can do this and you are worth it! Don’t try to go it alone. Find some support in others!

  106. Stacy King says:

    The thing that works best for me is to brush my teeth or to look up how many calories are in that treat I am craving.

    • Danielle says:

      Oh yes! Brushing your teeth really help (temporarily anyways!) and learning how many calories can help me at times, but sometimes I just don’t care ;(

  107. Mona says:

    I don’t buy much junk food. If it isn’t in the house, I can’t eat it. I will make cookies, but I figure they aren’t nearly as bad as store bought ones and I can’t eat too many because my kids call me on it! 😉 If I’m feeling munchy and I don’t want anything healthy, I chew some gum. It keeps my mouth busy long enough for the craving to pass.

  108. Pamela says:

    Thank thank thank you for this post….X is always calling me & I always feel the need to answer. My X is sweets….

    I need to remember to distract myself for 15 minutes…or come on here & leave you a post so you can tell me to not do it LOL

    Thanks for this great post!
    Pamela
    Still Dating My Spouse
    http://www.stilldatingmyspouse.com

  109. Those are some really good ideas!! I’ve been realizing that the longer you last in not giving in, the easier it gets. I’m giving up desserts for lent. It was really hard at first. Especially when I’ve gone to functions where there has been dessert offered. Now, I’m just careful not to look at desserts (if I see it, then it’s hard to not think about it – but I’ve still resisted!!). I’ve done well so far.

  110. Melanie says:

    I try not to eat big meals and instead snack throughout the day when I feel hungry. By snacking, I feel like I’m eating but not overdoing it.

  111. kendra says:

    Oh wow! You are so brave to be documenting all of this and I really admire that. I think your blog is so inspiring! You know, this is the very first weight loss (or anything to do with weight) blog that I’ve ever seen that didn’t involve glorifying anorexia and bullemia. I see literally thousands of female bloggers who use their blog to document their anorexia/bullimia goals! They’ll even bash themselves on the page and I’m thinking wow, this is not the way to inspire or reach a healthy weight. It’s also bad because many other people will search phrases on how to lose weight and they’ll end up at some random blog that’s glorifying those disorders. Anyways, what I’m trying to say is that it was really nice to come across yours and read how inspiring and truly amazing it is! Your tips are great.

    I sometimes overeat and really get crazy with food during late hours of the night. The worst for me is if I haven’t had a decent meal that day I’ll end up eating everything in the house trying to find something that satisfies me and it only ends in stomach upsets. Lol.

    It is hard and a lot of times I end up eating a cookie or something, but limiting it. One thing that can be helpful sometimes is when you get the craving, distract yourself for 15 minutes and after the time has passed and you’re still wanting it, go ahead. Usually once you’re distracted or up doing something such as working on a project, when your 15 min. has passed, you may not even want it anymore. Sometimes that works and sometimes not, but I find getting busy with one of my many, many projects or work will put food out of my head for hours! I tend to get really buried in my work and I’ll forget all about eating.

    I hope you are able to find some great ways to overcome these things and I want to say, you’ve made such lovely and outstanding progress so far! You look fantastic.

    Much love and I wish you the very best,
    Kendra R.

    Oh! I have one tip that may be somewhat helpful… Just the other night I had this idea that since the cold weather has kept me from getting out and walking or doing any exercise that I could use my ankle weights indoors! While I was working on a story I had been writing, I strapped the weight around my arm and lifted for nearly 45 minutes! It’s at least SOME movement and exercise. I like to use them on my ankles if I’m going to be doing a lot of housework like vacuuming too. 🙂

    • Danielle says:

      Thank you for all your compliments! I’m happy to know that people can relate to some of my struggles (and successes!)

  112. Chewing gum. Usually I’m just munchy, so this works to satisfy that need.

  113. Judith says:

    I give in too easily too! What works for me is being on the move, like going for a walk, doing some household chore, that kind of thing. Or read a really, really good book that stops me from thinking of food.

  114. Jamie says:

    Well, I certainly don’t know that I can help much. I’m recently working to shift my brain to try not to think about things like that and go backwards a step more, loving myself as I am right now and take care of myself right now….my HOPE is that in time radically taking care of myself and loving myself will prevent this type of behavior in me (not sure that is really has yet). I also know I am trying not to inflict hatred on myself when I do give in. And then when I reflect, I try to figure out why….where that intense craving came from. What’s going on with me…

    When I stressed at work, I try to take 10 deep breaths (which you already mentioned breathing)…on bad days, I take 10 deep breaths at the top of every hour 😉

  115. I am struggling with this right now. For motivation, I bought a pair of jeans two sizes smaller, and my goal is to fit comfortably in them by June 1st.

  116. I eat at the same times each day, and do not experience cravings between times. Here is what works for me:
    7:15 – breakfast
    9:00 – fruit snack
    11:15 – lunch
    3:00 – protein snack
    6:00 – dinner
    8:00 – snack – if needed – usually I bypass this one.

  117. Oh I hear ya! I resisted today and grabbed a glass of water instead of an ice cream…and then I went back and got the ice cream, GAH! Serious issues going on over here.
    I would paste the list to your fridge and pantry, and any other place you keep food. Then you’ll always see the list before grabbing that temptation.

  118. Elizabeth says:

    First of all, you look amazing! Congratulations on your significant weight loss. I know it’s not easy.
    Now, for a tip, a friend of a friend picks up her Bible and reads for a few minutes when she is tempted to snack, binge or give into an unhealthy food craving. I think if I decide to try this tip myself, I’ll probably finish reading the Bible in no time!

  119. April H says:

    I like to drink plenty of water and keep apples and nuts on hand. If I’m craving something, I’ll eat an apple first. Then you can eat what you want, but you aren’t nearly as hungry!

  120. Drink a glass of water! If I want something sweet, I’ll add fruit to my water.

  121. clarissa says:

    I think a diet buddy is very important for those looking to lose weight. It helps to not only hold you accountable to each other, but to have someone by your side that understands and can be there for you for encouragement also. 🙂

  122. Cambria says:

    Wow, good list! This is just another idea, but if you had your husband or someone else shop for you. . .and they don’t pick up any sweets, there won’t be much around 😉

    In high school I did what I called “non-sugar weeks” every other week my entire junior year. It wasn’t to lose weight, it was to gain self control. It was about a month of doing them until I could finally feel satisfied without ending a meal in sugar. And eventually, I was turning down more sweets during my “sugar weeks” just because I no longer felt like I needed them. It was easy and do-able to go a week without sugar because I knew I could have it the next week. Just a thought. Now as an adult I credit that “experiment” the the small amount of sugar I crave now.

  123. Brenda says:

    Here are a couple things that might work!
    Take a walk.
    Make a craft.
    Give yourself a dollar every time you don’t give in to a craving.
    Chew a piece of gum.
    Throw your temtation away.
    I get intense cravings too and it is very hard to resist.

  124. isis says:

    OMG I soooo need this! My weight right now was my weight back when I was pregnant! All because of my sudden cravings for food!

  125. Dawn Storey says:

    I find a change of scenery helps – go to a different room, go for a short walk – and also a change in what I’m doing at that moment. Getting engrossed in a project also helps!

  126. LaVonne says:

    Don’t take it all away but try your best to put them in individual portions. Also, exercise is important. You can treat yourself but add exercise.

    That is my downfall. I need more exercise!

  127. GUM! If I’m trying to watch my sugar/snack intake, I always buy a pack of sugar free gum and try to chew on it when I start to crave cookies, brownies…ahh…and arent the cravings worse when you tell yourself no? I think so – as soon as I say, I’m going to be better about sugar, I immediately crave it more. Maybe thats why they say to allow yourself small amounts of it.

  128. Mandi says:

    I love sweets too! I like to pick one day a week when I can eat whatever I want, so that way I can stay healthy throughout the week, but have something to look forward to.

  129. I will read a book, especially fiction.

    My other way is to give in, but for a limited amount. Tonight I was craving ice cream. I checked my calorie count for the day and saw I was in limit. So I made myself pull out a measuring cup and measure out one serving. That’s all I could have, one serving. Once I was done, I made sure everything was put away so I couldn’t easily go get more.

  130. Great Tips. First off you look amazing. One of the things that has been working for me has been preparing an eggwhite casserole with gruyere cheese, veggies and then I cut it up in 1 size portions. It lasts me all week. In the morning, I just pop it the microwave, grab a piece of fruit and go. It helps me stay full until lunch. Thanks for sharing your journey.

  131. marye~ says:

    I used to crave sweet. One summer we grew watermelons in our garden. I started eating them and lots of other fruits. After a while I simply lost my cravings for refined sugar.
    As for the whining issue. My kids get the opposite of what they want. For example if they want to watch more TV than they’re allowed and they complain they get to watch less TV. Trust me a small fit now fixes larger future fits. Our kids are so smart they learned very quickly how to get what they want. Now they get all of their school work and chores done then ask in a polite way if they can please have and extra 30 minutes, and they do.

  132. Danielle,
    That is a great list of things that anyone could use who wants to focus on something else…it would work for people who have panic attacks or anxiety also. 🙂
    I noticed others suggested drinking water…that helps me…if I drink a full glass of water…I am not hungry and feel full.
    Good luck…I congratulate you on your courage to change. 🙂
    I’m here from the 100 comment event. Please stop by my parenting blog: http://www.viviankirkfield.wordpress.com

  133. Jess says:

    Girl, I have the same problem! So glad that I am not alone in this. I have been eating Taco Bell for 2 weeks now. Keep telling myself that if I am craving it consistently, there must be a reason and when the reason has passed the cravings will stop. It’s amazing what I will talk myself into. Now I will think of you whenever I crave unhealthy food and know that you are fighting off temptation so I need to, as well.

  134. Clarinda says:

    Drinking water was my tip but I see some already shared that but otherwise I just avoid the foods.

  135. Stacie says:

    Great ideas! I have this problem too (a lot), and one thing that helps me is to go out for a walk. By the time I come home, I have other things that I’ve been thinking about, and the snacking urge has left my brain. Plus I get some exercise!

  136. Tiffany says:

    I agree with brushing your teeth. That helps a lot. If I am wanting something sweet and am near my blender, I make a fruit smoothie which usually helps to kill the sweet craving.

  137. I struggle with giving into my cravings a lot. I told a lot of people about my food addiction and said I was staying away from flour and sugar, my pride kept me from slipping at work and in front of friends. At home, I tried to keep everything away and only bought stuff that my husband enjoys but I didn’t like so I wouldn’t be tempted.

    However, since returning to work after maternity leave and entering a stressful day job again, my stress levels have been pushing me over the edge and I’m sitting here in the morning inhaling a whole bar of chocolate. So I am still battling my cravings/temptations. But make sure you have a good support system, good luck with your journey!

  138. Chew some gum. Esp. sugar free mint flavored gum. Drink ice water! Those, along with brushing my teeth are helping me get through the tough times that I’m having with my weight loss right now.

  139. I don’t think I have anything new to add to the conversation-you have gotten some great tips, many of which I do as well. Chewing gum, brushing teeth, drinking lots of water (I have a great tip for being sure you stay properly hydrated-fill a jug with water at the beginning of the day with how much you need to drink-for me it’s a gallon-and fill your glass from that. When it’s gone, you’re done!). I don’t buy junk food at all-no candy, chips, cookies etc…so if I really want something I know I am going to have to work for it and usually I’m just too lazy lol. If I am going to bake something, I usually do it when I know I am going somewhere and it can be shared, that way I will only have a small bit. Also, I went on a complete sugar detox during the month of January and after the initial withdrawal I had no cravings whatsoever. I also lost quite a few pounds doing it as well.

    Congratulations on all of your weight-loss success-you look fabulous! I’ve lost about 40 so far (160 to go) and my husband has lost 100. I blog about both of our journeys. Oh yeah, that’s another tip-I will blog/tweet on my blog’s “fan page” and get a lot of support and encouragement from my readers during those moments of weakness.

    The important thing is that if you do give in to the temptation, don’t beat yourself up over it. Let it go and move on. I track my calories on My Fitness Pal so when I do want a treat I try and account for it in my calorie totals so that I don’t feel guilty about it. Or I work-out more to try to balance it out.

    I love the imagery you used of the 2 yr. old inside and the corollary that we would never give into our kids if they did that. So true and I never thought of it that way before! Thanks!

  140. Stephanie says:

    Cravings are the worst. I have tried drinking water, it does help, but now I have a cup of hot tea, green tea helps with weight loss, so I feel like I am killing two birds with one stone.

    Stephanie
    http://www.royalmajestea.com/blog

  141. Lori@Mothering-Matters says:

    My main craving is ice cream, specifically coffee ice cream with all the fixings! To curb the craving, I try to avoid the store (especially when I’m hungry) and don’t buy it! That doesn’t always work. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing your journey with us so honestly.
    Blessings!

  142. For cravings, I usually have to 1. keep the stuff OUT of the house 2. Call the husband and have him talk me out of going to the store to get some, because remember #1, I don’t keep it in the house and 3. GUM, sometimes a strong flavored gum can help me overcome the temptation.

  143. Cravings are always the death of any diet I start! I try to use water and gum to fulfill those cravings.. only works about 30% of the time though 😉

    – Nicole @ MamaNYC
    http://www.MamaNYC.net

  144. I crave sweets and Diet Coke and truly have no solution for what works because I would so rather give up my meals for a sweet!

  145. Stacy says:

    Keeping the bad foods out of the house works for me. I also go for walks. Doesn’t always work though. The cravings can be pretty intense.

  146. jenivieve says:

    congratulations! very inspiring!!! I like to drink tons of water it helps curb my cravings and cuts down on my intake

  147. Allie says:

    Danielle,

    I wish I could give you advise but I am so bad at giving into my cravings. I can say I try to wait as long as I can, sometimes days.
    Usually what happens is I crave chocolate ice cream. So, I tell myself this is not going away, I will get it. But I wait. I do well all week with my eating and exercising and when Friday night hits, I reward myself. Oh! The light at the end of the tunnel.

    ~Allie

  148. sarah says:

    i test my will power once a year when it comes to cravings and that is lent. other than that! i give myself anything i want in moderation

  149. Pingback: Solutions to Intense Cravings | Changes Next Exit

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