Weight Loss Support - Do you satisfy your cravings?

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03-06-2009, 05:08 PM
I find that if I am having a real craving (which doesn't happen that often thank goodness) and I ignore it then the craving gets stronger and I start to obsess about it. Last week I wanted hot chocolate, not fat free or sugar free I wanted the real thing. For a couple of days I tried to forget it and it just kept on and on, Sunday I figured it into my calories for the day and got one and it satisfied me and I haven't wanted chocolate since. Now, this week I have wanted a meatball sub all week and will be getting it tonight.

I do much better if I work into my plans than letting it fester.

How do you handle those cravings that just won't go away?

03-06-2009, 05:16 PM
I do give into my cravings sometimes, but count whatever I eat, and add it to my daily totals. I cant have any off limit foods - it makes me want it more, and then if I keep restricting foods I like, I'll binge on something.

Sometimes, depending on my craving though, I'll try to make/buy a low cal version of it.

03-06-2009, 05:28 PM
I don't trust my cravings. There's something suspicious about their timing & intensity. I've noticed they tend to happen when there's something bothering me & I think that, for me, they are some kind of mind game. Instead of focusing on a task, or making a phone call that I'm dreading, or facing up to the fact that I've overplanned the next day & can't possibly accomplish all I want to, I start fixating on a particular food. Sometimes it's a food that I already walked past in the grocery store or on someone's desk & seemed to have no trouble saying "no" to.

I think when life's being unpleasant to me, I turn escapist & start thinking of pleasantness. But that pleasantness is rarely something like a soak in a tub with a Lush bath bomb, or going to bed early with a good book in my hands. Instead, I keep fixating on the pleasantness of buttercream frosting or a pecan praline or something of that ilk.

So, no, I do not trust my cravings & I try not to give into them. Particularly if they become intense & start "screaming" at me. There is NO food in the world that I need that much. Won't hurt me if I don't have it. Distract me with another thought or a new toy, like a baby, and I won't crave it anymore.

I do trust milder, rational inclinations, like: "Haven't eaten red meat in three weeks. Might want to get some soon" or "Mussels are on sale for Lent & they might make a nice dinner this weekend." I don't call these "cravings." To me, cravings are intense.

03-06-2009, 05:33 PM
I do, with the following conditions:

1. The craving has lasted at least a day. Sometimes, you want a burger, and that craving is NOT going away until you have a BURGER.
2. There is no healthy, 100% OP way to satisfy that craving (Burgers I can make healthy without so much as an off plan ingredient. Red velvet cupcake? Not so much).
3. I can get the thing I'm craving in a single-serving portion. I would NEVER EVER EVER bake red velvet cupcakes when I'm craving them (though I bake them at other times). I go to a REALLY GOOD BAKERY and buy ONE. That way I'm satisfying the craving, without giving myself all kinds of opportunities to go overboard.

03-06-2009, 06:04 PM
i have been really doing good on not cheating. When i am craving something, and i mean REALLY craving something, to the point where i just cant take it, ill either A) try to figure out what about it im craving, ex if its the saltiness or the sweetness factor and try to eat something healthy in place of it. if i do that, and... i still want that thing.. for example the other day my dad was eating doritos... and i tried to eat sunflower seeds instead...and it didnt work. so i had ONE SMALL doritio, just enough to taste it, and that was it.

03-06-2009, 06:35 PM
Generally, I don't satisfy my cravings, because I know that - more often than not - they will turn into something uncontrollable.

However, this week something happened that's made me rethink this (slightly). Early in the week I was craving something, but couldn't put my finger on what it was. So I nibbled on this and that (going slightly over my calorie allotment for two days in a row) and wasn't satisfied with anything.

Wednesday night I was heading off for work when it hit me - I wanted deep, dark, rich chocolate. So I bought a bar of 72% cocoa, had one square at 70 calories, and felt so satisfied it was crazy.

I really like Mandalinn's rules though - they make a lot of sense and are very liveable.

03-06-2009, 06:51 PM
I try not to limit myself, or deny myself anything. I know that weight loss is a complete lifestyle change, and I don't intend to live the rest of my life never having ice cream or chocolate. So, when I crave something, I allow myself to have it, and I just make sure that I eat a small amount of it. Everything is okay- in moderation. Of course, I do have to be careful, and watch my emotional state to make sure I'm not going to go off the deep end and binge on whatever it is I am craving.

03-06-2009, 07:28 PM
I agree that everything is fine in moderation. Unfortunately, I am not good at being moderate. I've been craving Nong Shim Shin Ramyun spicy noodle soup for days now. If I cave and have one I will inevitably have to have another ad infinitum. I've conducted an experiment on myself. I bought a carton of Shin Ramyun, about 25 packets are in a carton. I can have that carton gone in 3 or 4 days and still not feel as though I've quenched the craving. I'm sure they put crack in that soup. I crave other things, too, with similar intensity. I've been craving pesto pasta, too. My daughter wants badly to make some. I may let her this evening, and I have a lot of apprehension. I want a bowl - can I have just one - or should I pour pesto onto a plate of veggies? I've been so on track today - lots of produce, mainly. I'm stalled at 166 lbs. this past two weeks because I start the day strong and then give into a craving.

03-06-2009, 07:38 PM
Usually when I'm craving something, it's an indication that I'm undereating, and especially not getting enough protein. Sounds odd, but sometimes I crave carbs when I don't get enough protein.

So, instead of giving in to the craving, sometimes I eat other things instead.

Other times, nothing else will do. I had the hot chocolate craving not long ago myself, but I found a way to make it that was not highly caloric.


03-06-2009, 07:44 PM
I try not to limit myself, or deny myself anything. I know that weight loss is a complete lifestyle change, and I don't intend to live the rest of my life never having ice cream or chocolate. So, when I crave something, I allow myself to have it, and I just make sure that I eat a small amount of it. Everything is okay- in moderation.
Same with me. I'm not willing to live the rest of my life without chocolate or wine or sweets, so I have them occasionally and in moderation. I no longer mix up a box of brownie mix and eat it all straight from the bowl :o but I will bake a pan and have one, then have another one the next day. (Of course, having a hubby and 3 kids here to help with the pan keeps that under control!)

03-06-2009, 07:45 PM
If I have a craving I feel, which isnt too often these days, I look up a low-cal/low-fat recipe for that particular food and ask my husband to make it on his dinner night (he's a MUCH better cook than I am!)

Surprisingly, after having a burger & fries craving, and eating his turkey burger and baked potato wedge fries, Id sooner crave HIS version than disgusting grease.

Ive noticed a big craving decrease as time goes on too!

03-06-2009, 07:48 PM
I've been considering this for the past 3 days... staving off my ice cream craving. However, every day I've gone a little bit over in calories trying to find something to satisfy me that was healthier than ice cream. Right now I'm thinking this needs to stop... maybe a trip to dairy queen will be just what I need (however it would be a BAD idea to buy a whole half gallon of ice cream from the grocery store!)

03-06-2009, 07:48 PM
Ive noticed a big craving decrease as time goes on too!
Me too. I've also noticed a change in how my cravings are satisfied. Instead of wanting several wine coolers or beers (hey, flashbacks to college, OK? ;) ) I can enjoy a small glass of wine and be satisfied. Or instead of a big chocolate bar, two small squares of (dairy-free) rich dark chocolate. It's taken time for these changes to happen, but I'm happy with them.

03-06-2009, 08:13 PM
When I get cravings, they'll last a long time if I ignore them. There's some I can completely ignore. Like pizza. I crave it whenever I think about it, but it's not something I have to act on to keep sane. It usually goes away with time. But when I crave a taste, it's a lot worse. Like I crave salt a lot. And if I don't have that salty popcorn, I'll think about it until I do. Luckily that's usually all I crave. I'm not a huge chocolate person. Popcorn's about the only thing I always want lol. So I'm happy that's a relatively healthy snack... or can be made healthy anyway. I just wish I didn't crave salt so much cause I blow up bad haha. My stomach can grow inches with all the water I hold after a salty day.

03-06-2009, 08:42 PM
If you don't satisfy your cravings they leave for good. Every time you give in, you strengthen them.

03-06-2009, 09:00 PM
I think QuilterinVA has identified the harsh reality of the situation. But alas, a life without ice cream is no life for me.

03-06-2009, 09:36 PM
haha, i agree with that, ilovetoot!

03-07-2009, 12:29 AM
I think QuilterinVA has identified the harsh reality of the situation. But alas, a life without ice cream is no life for me.

I agree with this too! It is best to go out to eat it and not bring it home. I am not saying to eat a whole banana split but to have a small cone. After that you don't feel like you are missing anything. At least I don't.:)

03-07-2009, 02:36 AM
Ok. so i find the thing i have the biggest craving for.. all the time... is if any of you have ever eaten at buffalo wild wings, well i crave everything there, because i work there and i serve it for 8 hours everyday. so i look at it and i want it. THOSE cravings are pretty easy to ignore though because thats what PUT me at this weight. however, buffalo wild wings officially had the best ranch dressing on the face of this earth, and sometimes i just cant focus or function unless i eat some. its just soooooo good. im drooling. lo;7l

03-07-2009, 07:31 AM
I pretty much do like Mandalinn. I don't see myself living a life of passing on everything that is not remotely close to "perfect food", so at times, I "give in". But the essential difference with before is that 1) I ask myself if I want it for itself or just because other people are eating it/because it's in front of me (in that case, I don't eat it), and 2) I want the real thing. If I want a pain au chocolat, there's no way I'll eat the industrial-baked, dry, tasteless thing bought by 6 in a plastic box at the local supermarket; I go to a real baker's and have the real, tasty pastry, and then I'm alright for weeks on end. (Sometimes I don't even finish it.)

A few months ago (like... October?), I really wanted homemade apple pie, but didn't want to bake one (I seriously have no room to bake a pie, unless I learn how to do that on a handkerchief). I asked my mother to bring me some the next time she'd bake one. She brought me half a pie; I ate one slice, gave the rest to friends, and haven't craved apple pie since. The thing was so good that I had what I wanted, didn't want more, and didn't spend time nibbling on subsitutes only to give in all the same in the end.

That said, it took me four years and a borderline eating disorder to come to this point of self-control, if I might call it this way, so I understand that it's really not as easy as it sounds. :|

The rest of the time, I eat a fairly balanced diet, not in excess; I suppose it just evens out.

03-07-2009, 10:00 AM
For me, cravings are what caused my weight gain to begin with. I've worked in coffee houses since I was 16, and five years later I've gained almost 75 pounds. If I wanted a bagel with cream cheese for dinner, I'd eat it. If I wanted to bring home a cookie and a brownie, I'd do it. Now that I'm working in a new coffee shop, where we have to pay for the food we eat, it's becoming easier to resist. I still experience cravings, but a coworker told me that sometimes you crave what is worst for your body, ex lactose intolerant people crave ice cream. Thinking about Chinese food (my weakness) from that perspective, makes me less inclined to want it!

03-07-2009, 10:19 AM
If its proper food, i will have it, as healthy a version as i can manage, but with chocolate i wont. Ive found that eating chocolate doesnt satisfy my craving for chocolate, it often makes it worse (think wolf with the scent of blood :)) so ive been trying not to eat it at all. I'm glad its lent, gives me a perfect excuse to turn it down

Lori Bell
03-07-2009, 01:29 PM
I think QuilterinVA has identified the harsh reality of the situation. But alas, a life without ice cream is no life for me.

That's kind of sad if you really think about it. I mean that some of us think that life isn't worth living without a certian food. :(

03-07-2009, 04:34 PM
I wouldn't say life wouldn't be worth living without a certain food but it sure would be less enjoyable. The reason why Im overweight is I like to eat, I like food. I don't see that changing as I lose weight, it would suck if I had to cut out completely the foods I enjoy. I chose calorie counting for this reason, I can have what I want in moderation, and that is the key for me, moderation.

Not having the "bad" foods in the house works, if I want something I have to want it bad enough to go get it, that involves finding someplace I can get individual servings.

03-07-2009, 04:51 PM
Life, for me, isn't less enjoyable without certain foods - life is pure, exhilarating fun! It feels INCREDIBLE to be in awesome shape and lean, so incredible that chocolate does not compare. Seriously, the exhilaration of being as fit as possible does not compare to my occasional cravings - it makes passing them up very easy.

My solution, if I'm having a major crave (which is usually something sweet), is one bite. 1 - and then into the trash or to my husband. I've found that all I want in the end is a taste and that suffices.

03-07-2009, 07:44 PM
I don't stisfy my cravings because I know what foods I can not handle. Foods like ice cream, a cookie or pizza, I know that I would eat it and it would remind me how good these foods I used to eat are, and I chances are would get off track. It would be like well I ate it yesterday and it did nothing to the scale, I can have it again in a week. And I know it just doesnt work that way, I dont think I'm quite to the point where I can eat it once a month and stay on track the rest of the month. Thats just me personally. And I dont want food to become a reward like, I did great this week so I can have a slice of cake. That just makes no sense to me.

03-07-2009, 08:26 PM
At first i never did .. but then it would just lead me to binging // so now i eat a bit of what im craving always.

03-07-2009, 10:40 PM
If you don't satisfy your cravings they leave for good. Every time you give in, you strengthen them.

But doesn't that mean I will never eat chocolate again? That just sounds wrong. I want to be able to control my cravings. I think some people here have some good ideas - Single serve being one of them. Ithink one of the reason I am in a binge right now is that I am surrounded by uncontrollable amounts. Not good.

03-07-2009, 10:42 PM
And I dont want food to become a reward like, I did great this week so I can have a slice of cake. That just makes no sense to me.

You are so right - Adn even though I know this - I still do it! I have a read a zillion things about rewarding myself other ways, and I never do it. WHY NOT. I think I am going to sit down and make a list of rewards that I can refer to.

03-08-2009, 12:14 AM
It's hard, because there are times when the body is lacking some part of nutrition. The other day after I exercised I craved salty foods. I ended up eating some olives and a pickle. After that I was golden! I think my body just needed a little sodium.
When I crave other things, I hold out as long as possible and try to find healthier alternatives. If I wait long enough, they go away.
But everyday I allow myself a treat of some sort that I want. I make room for it in my daily allowances. I think that helps keep me down on cravings.
I'm also am going to grab some good yummy dark chocolate (no dairy) and start having that instead of other chocolate. And I have to make sure I don't have it with milk though LOL

Everyone's bodies are different. Some of us can give in to cravings, others can't... This journey is about learning what we need and what our limits are and then sticking to them!