Handling Food Cravings Like a Pro

An interesting article popped into my reader this morning. I immediately recognized its potential usefulness and rushed (if you don’t count the 12 hours in between the time I read it and now) to bring it to your attention.

Recognizing the impact that cravings for unhealthy foods have on many people, the writers at health.com sought advice from the “professionals” on how to deal with those cravings. Since I’m a little miffed that they didn’t ask ME for my suggestions, I’m only including the tips I’ve actually used and written about before.

Give in to cravings…up to a point.
Jillian Michaels and I allow ourselves a little room for indulgence every day. (This will surprise no one, since we’re practically twins.) She suggests setting aside up to 20% of your daily caloric intake for the desired-for food, but I aim a lot lower–5-10%. I kind of wonder if there was a misprint or some other type of error, though, since the snack Jillian lists would be 10% of her reported 1800 calories/day. If so, that would mean Jillian also uses the 10% guide and our twinship is restored.

Fake yourself out.
Rocco DiSpirito and I suggest indulging your fried-food fetish by trading the fry pan for a bit of healthy oil and an oven tray. It’s not the same as deep-fried, but sometimes that’s a good thing. There are lots of other “fake-outs” you can use that result in tasty but healthy dishes.

Go for the gold.
If you’re craving a chocolate chip cookie, Janis Jibrin from TheBestLife.com and I suggest trading up to the best chocolate chip cookie you can buy. This works well for me for a couple of reasons: 1) I find the higher quality foods are more satisfying, and 2) If they’re pricey, I’m not going to have them very often and certainly not in large quantities.

Practice indulgence-with-benefits. Jennifer Iserloh, author of Secrets of a Skinny Chef: 100 Decadent, Guilt-Free Recipes, and I include some nutritional benefits with our snacks. She makes hot chocolate using carrot juice. *shudder* I toss a few chocolate chips and some sliced strawberries on my yogurt and call it a “sundae.”

There are other tips in the article, but those are the ones given that work for me. But I’m no professional. :)

Wishing you all a healthy, happy weekend! I’ll be catching up on my reader on breaks from yard work. What will you be doing this weekend?

12 thoughts on “Handling Food Cravings Like a Pro

  1. Mercy me! Carrot juice to make a chocolate drink. I can’t get my head around that gastronomical delight.

    Hi Cammy,

    Trust you are getting some nice spring weather. Beautiful autumn day with cold south wind. Just stnd on your head and you’ll understand.


  2. Mercy me! Carrot juice to make a chocolate drink. I can’t get my head around that gastronomical delight.

    Hi Cammy,

    Trust you are getting some nice spring weather. Beautiful autumn day with cold south wind. Just stand on your head and you’ll understand.


  3. I love the go for the gold tip—-or at least what youre craving
    in my experience you can eat around the craving all day long but in the end you (one? :)) may end up having it anyway…the food you initially wanted.
    perhaps start there and ENJOY!

  4. I thought about this a long time before responding because it might be an odd answer. I eat healthy most of the time. I just eat too much of the good things I eat. So when I crave something I don’t need, usually in the form of something salty, I prefer NOT to give in to the craving because it just leaves me craving more of the same thing. So my response is to try and find something to do to take my mind off the craving. If I can’t get to the mountains for a hike, a long walk is my first go-to. If that’s not an option, looking for a new blog containing a successful story or going to the library are other options.

    Asking what I’m doing this weekend is touchy. It depends on if I’m able to get into my beloved National Park or not!! The peak of wildflower season is not a good time for the park to shut down!!

  5. I tell you what, working in what you’re craving, within reason, works best for me! And all the suggestions above are great ones! :)

    Thanks for the tips Jillian, uh I mean Cammy, sorry I got you two confused again! 😉

  6. Okay here’s a weird one – I read that making a fist does something between the muscle action and brain and can help you overcome a craving! Our weekend is half prom drama and half travel. All teen, basically.

  7. Love it Cammy & like you, about 10% or so for me & maybe that is the bread I keep in my daily food plan.

    I am all for go for the best – the cookie! When I have my cookie treats, I go out, buy the really great & big ones out there & enjoy it! When the nutritional stuff hit CA, I found out that one of the cookies I eat had like 24 grams of fat – did not care! It is my weekend treat & I deserve it! :-)

  8. Thanks for the suggestions. Except I’m still gagging on the carrot juice-hot chocolate nightmare. I’m bookmarking these for the future when I loosen up my restrictions. Right now berries in Greek yogurt works as my ice cream substitute. Nothing will substitute my craving for corn tortilla enchiladas slathered in a creamy green chili sauce and a side of refried beans. Thank goodness that craving rarely hits, and I know one day I’ll be ready to add back in an enchilada (not 3).

  9. I have found that I don’t have cravings necessarily ever day any more, so I am more likely to indulge when I do have cravings. I used to crave all the time (and gave in = 250 pounds).

    I believe in making the most of those calories. I love to go get a specialty cupcake or baked good. Then there is just the one for me to eat and it is usually really good and makes me happy.

    Speaking of cupcakes – this weekend is a cupcake bike ride! Yay!

  10. Pretty standard weekend for me. I am working on a baby blanket for a friend; lime green, ivory and mauve. When I heard the colors she wanted I never thought I would like them as much as I do. I threatened to keep the blanket for myself.

    I love you first tip to give into cravings and base it on a percentage of daily intake. Now that I think I can do. When it is tied to numbers it seems to be easier for me. :-) I also like the “go for the gold”, using that concept will really help me to evaluate what I am really craving and find something that will satisfy the craving in a healthy way.

    Have a super week!

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