Banish Food Cravings Naturally

May 09, 2011

Have you ever “banned” a food from your diet, only to find that all you can think about is eating that food?

It seems that putting restrictions on foods that we believe to be bad for our waistlines, cardiovascular health, etc. end up making us crave them more. Have you ever “banned” a food from your diet, only to find that all you can think about is eating that food? Well for those of us who crave not so waist-friendly options there is some good news. A study recently published in the journal Obesity, finds that over time, restricting some foods may put an end to those cravings.

The study followed 270 men and women for two years, who were either put on a low carb or low fat diet. The low carb dieters were instructed to eat foods higher in fat and protein than carbs, while the low-fat dieters were told to eat fewer calories from protein (15%), one third of calories from fat and a little over half from carbohydrates.

Researchers then inquired about cravings for different foods including high-fat food, carbs, sweets, and fast food, as well as their initial preferences for these foods.

After two years those in the low-carb group had much larger drops in cravings and preference for carbs and starches as compared to the low-fat group. Interestingly, the low-carb group also did not report feeling bothered by hunger as those in the low-fat group- which could be due to blood sugar effects of a low-fat diet that is high in carbohydrates.

The findings from this study demonstrate that restricting foods can actually lead to decreased cravings. It is important that as we all try and eat more healthfully and restrict foods that we know are “bad” that we fight the cravings because they will subside and preferences will change.

SupermarketGuru’s tips for cutting cravings:
Stock your pantry, fridge, car and desk drawers with healthy snacks so that you don't find yourself hungry without any healthy options around. 
Drink plenty of water as we often mix up hunger with dehydration. If you are feeling hungry or a craving for an “off-limits-item” have a glass of water instead, this also buys you time to find and prepare a healthy snack or meal.

Make healthy substitutions. If you crave a chocolate treat, look for low fat chocolate pudding or heave a healthy piece of dark chocolate. Berries are also a great way to satisfy a sweet tooth while helping to feel fuller longer with fiber.