How to control food cravings – the psychology of cravings

For many people there can be a great problem in losing weight when it comes to cravings. Cravings are a big downfall when it comes to fighting the battle with losing weight because people often find themselves sitting down and snacking on things generally high in fat, sodium and sugar, this can make it difficult to lose weight.

Today we are going to be going over how to control food cravings, the psychology of cravings. Often times when controlling food intake, we generally have a tendency to want to cut out extra meals or cut back on the meals that we are eating.

This question on controlling our cravings has come up in the past, so I thought this would be a great opportunity to shed some thought on this subject.

This is not the only step In cutting back on calories as well as watching our food control portions, but a big step in watching our food consumption is cutting out all the extra unhealthy snacks in between, especially before going to bed at night.

Controlling your cravings

One big key point that comes to mind when controlling your cravings is to naturally avoid any tempting foods, while this may all sound good in theory, it can be a very difficult thing to do but as you may not know is that often food cravings will only last for 10 minutes at a time, so if you can find something that will help keep yourself distracted from these temptations.

They can be anything that you might have an interest in such as going out for a walk or straightening up your house or even playing with your dog or cat for a little while. Anything that can keep you distracted for a brief while as that temptation has struck can help with being distracted by any temptations that you may have.

Other ideas that you can use to control your cravings is drinking more water. Drinking water is an important part of your daily diet that you should be taking in on a regular basis. Typically, you should have at least eight glasses of water a day, these glasses can typically be 8 oz glasses.

When facing cravings, drinking warm water will help you to feel more full, but often when you give in to temptations for cravings that you may have, you may not even be hungry at the time so other ideas that you can try are to snack on healthy things such as nuts or raw veggies.

Above all, if you have a difficult time with giving into cravings, such as potato chips or anything that is high in salt, sugar or fat, a good place to start is by throwing any evidence of these products out in the garbage so that you don’t have the constant nagging temptation of them there all the time.

The psychology of it

The next step is determining why you give into these temptations and how to overcome the temptations that you are giving in to, what type of foods are they, if you are truly hungry, you will generally have a tendency of desiring basically any kind of food, but if the snacking is based on the desire to give in to your trigger foods such as things that are salty or filled with sugar, this is typically due to anxiety or stress.

Quite often eating disorders can be based on biological factors as well as social and interpersonal pressures and family history, situations like this may not be as easy to overcome, but disorders that are brought on due to anxiety or stress, these situations can be severe enough but you need not despair.

In some situations that may be more severe, there are treatment centers that are available, but not everyone who has a tendency to give in to snacking every day is a candidate for a treatment center.

Often times finding the situations that trigger our eating habits can be overcome with simple remedies such as drinking warm water, throwing out the bad foods that we snack on and replace them with good ones like raw veggies, nuts and fresh fruits, going for walks or engaging in hobbies that we enjoy.

If you find that these remedies are not enough and you have stronger underlying conditions such as anxiety or stress, then it may be time to seek some help through a treatment center.

Knowing when to quit

Cravings for things such as salty chips or sugary sweets can be a natural tendency if you enjoy their taste, but a big step in not overdoing it with these types of foods is knowing when to quit.

If you have a habit of snacking on foods like this, it may not necessarily be such a bad thing, but the point is to not be overdoing it. If you have made the determination that you want to lose weight and need to give up these things, that may seem like a very big step having to make that determination that you are never going to eat these foods again.

The idea of giving up these foods all together may seem like an unreasonable thing to do, and in all reality if you enjoy these foods, giving them up altogether can be unrealistic. You can set up a healthy diet and avoid the soft drinks and unhealthy snacking, but there is nothing wrong with giving into your favorite foods once in awhile like setting a certain day of the week that you might have some.

Finding another outlet

Now that we have established that it is all right to give into your favorite snacking foods occasionally, like once a week so that you are not feeling like you are setting up such an unreasonable diet as to cutting out your favorite snack foods all together, you will need to find another outlet for all the other times that your urge may decide to strike you.

I personally don’t know of many people that don’t have some other form of entertainment that they enjoy, like taking a walk, working out, reading a good book, sewing, scrap booking, painting, writing, and the list can go on.

The point is that you can find something to occupy your time when the snacking urge strikes you, and as I mentioned previously, typically when you get a snacking urge, it will typically only last for ten minutes at a time, so the key is to get through your temptation while doing something that you enjoy.

Following through

Once you have made the determination to cut out the excess snacking of unhealthy foods that do nothing but pack on the extra pounds and make you feel guilty afterwards, now it is time to start moving forward with your journey to becoming a healthier new you.

Start by keeping a food journal and keep track of what you eat throughout each day making sure that you are only consuming healthful foods leaving out the foods that create too many calories.

Take down notes in your journal when you get cravings and how long that craving lasts. Write down what you did to preoccupy your mind when you encountered the craving and if preoccupying your mind worked. If you went for a walk and this helped, take note of it, If you went for a walk and it didn’t work, try something different next time.

The key is typically a food craving will only last for about ten minutes and you want to find something that will distract you and keep your mind busy from thinking about giving into another craving.

Whatever it is that takes your mind off of snacking, write it down in your journal and keep using that tactic. You can come up with as many past-times or hobbies as you want, as long as they keep your mind preoccupied from giving into your cravings.


Overcoming these food barriers will be difficult, but it will get easier as time goes by and you will thank yourself for making the brave decision to make these small adjustments in your diet, you will be happy with yourself, feel better and look better, it all starts with you and making that decision that you are going to start doing good things for yourself.

Don’t be afraid to try different remedies like drinking warm water will make you feel less hungry, it is also a good idea to drink water before a meal because this will help you to feel full faster and you will end up eating less food.

Sometimes it doesn’t hurt to add a little supplementation to your diet, supplementation won’t do the work for you, your diet will still need to be low in fat and avoid excess salt and sugar, and it’s a good idea to follow a weekly workout program, but sometimes a little supplementation can give you the added boost that you need to keep things running smoothly.

To check out a review on supplementation, you can go here.

If you have questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment in the box below, “good or bad” I love to hear from my readers.


Please follow and like us:

8 thoughts on “How to control food cravings – the psychology of cravings”

  1. Wow, this is very good. I think psychology is very broad and seeing it can also study cravings like it studies addiction is very good. I feel the need to share this with a friend who is adding some weight from his forever cravings of food, especially junk foods. This can help me cut down on that to a very good minimum. Thank you for a post that is most valuable. Cheers!!

  2. Hi Neil,

    You know very well weight loss is the biggest challenge for many and I am also trying to reduce some weight. There are 1000’s of posts, reviews, and ads everywhere on weight loss but it’s a big struggle to find the right information. Thanks a lot for sharing this insightful article.

    The video you embedded is very inspiring and motivating. I do agree, we are what we eat! It makes a lot of sense when you said, we need to reduce the unhealthy foods we eat. My grandma used to say, “We need to be very careful about what we put in our mind and into our mouth”.

    I am unaware that food cravings will only last for 10 minutes and this an eye-opener for me. One of the things I am going to implement immediately is drinking warm water. You not only discussed the problems but you have provided the solutions as well.

  3. Awesome, it feels so good to know that by drinking Warm water i can actually feel full and overcome craving. This is so amazing because it has multiple benefits; Warm water hydrates the body, cleanses the system, regulates the body temperature and boost the immune system to mention but a few. So using this method to escape craving will also yield great health and mental stamina. I love this idea! 

    Thanks for this article, the suggestions are very practical and easy to implement and sustain. The fact that each craving basically lasts for 10 minutes is enough weapon to check the menance, because often times its almost unconscious, but if we already know its interval then we can quickly divert the urge into something more beneficial.

    Also i may wanna add that what has been helping me on this craving journey, besides understanding the phychology is to insist on eating only natural organic food and fruits and completely get rid of all processed snacks.  

    Wishing good health to all. Shalom

  4. Hey, I enjoy a lot while reading your guide and find it very helpful for everyone. While reading I know many new things. The video you embedded is very inspiring and motivating. I do agree, we are what we eat! It makes a lot of sense when you said, we need to reduce the unhealthy foods we eat. My grandma used to say, “We need to be very careful about what we put in our mind and into our mouth”. Thanks for sharing.


Leave a Comment