How do you deal with irrational food cravings?

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OK, I am still on plan 100%, with no intention of going OFF plan. I have chucked the scales out for a couple of weeks so I don't get discouraged.

And NOW, I am fighting irrational food cravings! Usually triggered by commericals on TV or by watching the Food Network, which I no longer watch right now because of this!.

So the question is:.

How do you deal with irrational food cravings?????.


Comments (24)

I find something else to do. I read the boards, read a book, wash the dishes, whatever. I drink a lot of water. I have also tried to make my meals suit my craving. You know if it is pepperoni pizza then I make the tomato pizza crust. If it icecream I make dbbthread's ice cream recipe.

Today has been one of those days for me (donuts) AGGGHHHHHH!..

Comment #1

I have found a nice relaxing cup of tea handles cravings for me,,and of course,,water. Also to brush your teeth will sometimes help also. Cravings will always be there, even for us in maintenance, we all have to figure out what works for us.....I think the others gave great ideas here! Hang in there,,this too shall pass!!..

Comment #2

Chewing some SF gum or eating a pickle usually will kill any craving I have...

Comment #3

I agree a lot of the ideas above..tea really works for me a warm full feeling. Brushing teeth is also a great idea...

Comment #4

I use tea, gum, and teeth brushing like the rest. I also remove myself from the location of the craving. I will leave the room, or the house, or whereever and go for a quick 5-10 minute walk and talk myself out of it. I tell myself how much better I feel, how much better I look, how much healthier I'll be forever and it fades quick. Other times, like dinner out with friends, I'll excuse myself to the restroom and have a quick mental talk withmyself while I mess with my hair and makeup in the mirror..

It's amazing to me how a quick change in location can make a quick change in my perspective and results in the food craving going back to a nothing...

Comment #5

Sf gum has worked for me unfortunately, it led to it's own problem and challenges..

I agree with flower I leave. i've made several impromptu trips to stores or just drive around the neighborhood to get out of the house. I don't usually have those cravings when i'm out just at home and usually when i'm bored or sleepy...

Comment #6

I am finding that there is a real difference between being hungry, which I can deal with via chewing gum or brushing my teeth, and absolutely dreaming about a deep dish pizza! I won't be hungry, but I have this insatiable DESIRE to just jump headfirst into an extra-large one. Irrational, but man oh MAN how difficult it is to get it out of my head! And the commercials on tv don't help at all, either...I think I'll stick to reading books for the next little while!.


Comment #7

Although I am not yet in transition, sigh, I avoid cravings by avoiding the triggers. Big ones are the food channels on tv, food commercials, magazine pictures of great lookin food, the list goes on..........I will change the channel, quickly turn the magazine pages to something else. And when I think about eating some of these old trigger foods, I tell myself that they most likely will not taste as good as they used to anyway, now that I am used to eating healthier. In fact, just the thought of all those fat grams and carb grams is usually enough to take away my craving instantly. Just hope this will continue for a long, long time. Fingers crossed!..

Comment #8

I think it needs to be a two - pronged approach: the defensive moves to battle the craving at the moment, and the premeditated plan to avoid the triggers.

I use gum, tea, brushing my teeth, a pickle, and/or walking around for the moment of the craving, and I've learned to anticipate and avoid most - not all - of the triggers for me. In the beginning I chose to avoid a few Friday evening happy hours, for example. I think that's part of this weight loss journey: we all have to figure out what led us to this point where our weight/health/food habits are not what we want them to be.

The biggest motivator for me is to pull up my weight loss chart on my plan....whenever I'm frustrated with a slow week, or whenever I'm thinking about how much I miss <insert food/drink here> I look at what I've accomplished. It's a downhill slope!..

Comment #9

This is going to sound COMPLETELY insane, but it works for me. I BAKE! Seriously. Just the smells of what I bake satisfy any urges I have. I know, I'm a freak of nature, but once I've baked a nice treat, I get so much enjoyment in watching others enjoy my efforts that I don't need to eat them myself. Baking is also a way that reduces stress for me.

I know not everyone can do this, but for me, works great...

Comment #10

Baking! wow that does sound insane.

Best method for me......grit my teeth and walk away.

I had to take some paper work to a client that owns a subway yesterday. My assistant and I are both die hard diet for life'ers. I have lost 78lbs and he has lost 60lbs..

We both almost fell over when we walked through the door. The smell of bread was overwhelming. And the tiny little girl behind us was eating a huge meatball sub and dorritos!!.

We both ran out of that place as fast as we could and then talked about food for the next hour. LOL.

Then we both ate our meal replacement shakes and went about our day...

Comment #11

OK, so I figured it out. I have been craving Pizza for two days (and I capitalized it because for ME Pizza deserves the recognition!). And when I thought about it, what I have been craving is the cheese on top. SO, I checked the MF-OK foods, and low-fat cheese was on there! As long as it is within 1-1.5g of fat per oz, I can have 6 ounces. Now, I KNOW that this isn't exactly nutritionally balanced per se, but HEY! It is ON PLAN!.

So, I went out and bought some low-fat mozza and had it as half of my protein (made up the other half with chicken breast...). Result? Craving SOLVED. 100% OP MAINTAINED. Happiness RESTORED!!!.

Thanks all for the advice!.


Comment #12

Great! Figuring out what food you miss and finding an on plan substitute is the way to go!.

This is what I do when I want pizza - (Thanks for the recipe Ms Moeneek and Vie).

1 packet of COT soup.

4 tbsp egg beaters.

1/4 tsp baking powder.

Enough water to make a thick paste (1 tablespoon or a tiny bit more).

1/4 - 1/2 tsp of italian seasoning or Mrs Dash tomato, basil, garlic (or dried oregano, dried basil mix).

Mix in a glass bowl, scrape down the sides and smooth the top. Put in the microwave for 1-2 minutes depending on how speedy yours is. Take out and flip onto a plate. If the bottom is still too "wet" put back in over for a few seconds. Let cool, slice in half and put in the toaster. Take out and immediately sprinkle with low fat mozzarella.

Put the halves together and have a pizza sandwich..

Just deduct the amount of cheese and the egg beaters from your lean..

So it counts as a Medifast meal and part of your lean. Since eggbeaters is 2 cups = 1 lean, 4 tablespoons = 1/8th of your lean.

You can do this with any combo of any cream of anything soup, spices of your choice. Ms. Moeneek put the recipe together with COB soup and cheese for a "grilled cheese" and Vie posted the pizza variation..

I've done it with COC soup and italian spices when I ran out of COT before and it was still good..

You could even add some veggies to the pizza sandwich if you want and just deduct that bit from your lean and green.

I made it with COC soup and no spices and then put an ounce of diced chicken (leftover from the day before's lean because I cooked too much) and an ounce of cheese in the middle..

Medifast sandwiches are great! You can really get creative with them...

Comment #13

Something else that's really good is to make the flat bread with COT, 1/4 tsp baking powder, 2 T egg beaters and 3 T water. I put in on a pice of foil sprayed with Pam and bake about 7 minutes at 375, then turn it and cook for another few minutes. My favorite is to melt LF Mozz over the top and then put fresh tomatoes and fold in half. My idea of pizza heaven. (and you'll notice it involves baking...) ROFL.

Glad you were able to figure out what your trigger was...

Comment #14

Maya -.

If you take that soup bread recipe and use an oatmeal pack instead of soup, a sprinkle of cinnamon for your spice (if you want depending on which flavor oatmeal), and a pack of splenda or tablespoon of SF syrup - you have an oatmeal muffin bread. I pour the batter into two small micro safe custard cups and make two muffins with the batter. (I even put butter on them while eating - one fat servings worth of 1/2 tsp).

Another easy one that uses NO extras is to mix the packet of hot cocoa with just enough water to wet it all. Roll into balls (4-6 small balls), put them on a plastic tupperware lid or something similar and put in the freezer for 15 minutes. Nice chocolate candy treat for a meal - plus it's easy to savor that one for a while. I've also just mixed the cocoa in my cup with cold water until it's the consistency of cake batter and then eat it with the spoon. (usually with eyes closed and making mmmm sounds LOL).

I think I may buy the Hot Cocoa mix for the rest of my life ! It sure kills my chocolate "tooth" in a healthy way...

Comment #15

I have a strange way to solve the cravings - I smell them. And, honestly, I then feel satisfied! Of course, I get a lot of strange looks in restaurants sniffing my DHs plate.....

Comment #16

I'm learning to hate those food commercials! So I usually switch the channel quickly. Snack time watching TV is the i'll usually have something hot to drink...MF Chai Latte, Cappucino or Hot Cocoa...If I don't have those, a choc-mint bar will do.

I find during the week when i'm at work is easier than being home "where the food" is...but I only have allowable foods in the house - so it makes it easier not to cheat...

Comment #17

The only real craving I've had is for chocolate. Prior to Maintenance I would solve it by have a chocolate pudding or adding sf chocolate syrup to a shake. You get the point..

Now I allow myself 1 dark chocolate miniature. It solves the craving and because it's dark chocolate it's not "sweet" and doesn't require anything else go into my face.

I also stay busy, drink more water or have a diet soda. The food channel doesn't bring on any cravings just boredom and being tired or upset. Cure, identify the reason and what 10 minutes before reacting..

Usually solves the problem...

Comment #18

I'm having a bit of a rough day and reading all these ideas really helped me. Thank you!..

Comment #19

If possible, I take a nap and try to sleep it off!..

Comment #20

This is really terrible; but, the recipe board gives me irrational food cravings!..

Comment #21

Food TV is like porn to us overweight people.

I love watching Paula Dean and the Barefoot Contessa. Not very healthy!.


Comment #22

This is sooostrange, but if it's someone I'm close with (who won't think I'm too big of a freak, hahaha), I'll ask them for every scintillating detail of a meal they just ate.

In fact, my daily phone call with sis usually goes like this:.

Me - "Hey, what's up?.

Her - "not much, just cooking dinner".

Me - "oh really, what are you cooking tonight?".

Her - "tacos".

Me - "tacos and what?".

Her - <sigh> "tacos with yellow rice on the side.".

Me - <lying through tmy teeth> "oh, I forgot how to make tacos. What did you do?".

Her - <b/c she knows the game by now> "well, first I sauteed the meat"...blah blah blah.

But for some reason, having my frinds tell me about food is totally satisfying, just as much as eating it without all the guilt..

Sometimes it does get a little weird though, like trying to have an uptight partner "talk dirty to you" for the first time, lol. "Oh, yeah, tell me how you cooked it! oh, you added sour cream!!!", lol.

I find that it's more the idea, the romance of food and eating that does it, and the taste I can live with or without, it fades anyway, it's the experience you remember.

Oh my, I sound like the biggest perv ever now! I wonder if I was...umm...engaging in vigorous physical activity, wink wink, .... if I would be less...snacky.

Any thoughts?.

I wonder if physical intimacy and food issues are related?.

Thanks for letting me weird out , lol.

Mmmmmm, guac-ah-mo-lelelelelelellelelele, hahahha.

Martine ")..

Comment #23

My daughter and I are both on Medifast and March 15 was our "D" day...the ice cream stand in our backyard opened! I'm serious when I say we spent a LOT of time talking each out of going there 'just for a little ice cream'. Then we started watching that Paul McKenna show "I can make you thin". We laughed at his distraction methods but we tried them and believe it or not, they actually work. We do the tapping thing on key pressure points and the food association exercise he showed on TV and we have not given in once to the ice cream temptation 50 ft. from our backdoor. It looked kooky at first but hey, if it works, I'll do it.


Comment #24

This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.