How do I manage food cravings?

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New Member
I'm trying to lose a couple of stone that I put on when I quit smoking.

My personal cravings are for sweet stuff. I've always had a sweet-tooth, but I get regular daily pangs for a choc/cake/sweet fix.

My weight isn't going up much now, but in order to get it down a bit I think I need to deal with these extra fixes.

Any strategies for dealing with them?
Stiff upper lip man :biggrin: The urge will soon go if you ignore it ... Get on the bike as a distraction :biggrin:


I think Yorkshireman's right to a degree; I have to say I only really lose weight when I'm cycling regularly. I have a sweet tooth and will switch to something else sweet, but comparatively healthy, as a fix or reward for putting in the exercise. Dried fruit. Yoghurt. Cereal. Porridge (with honey)Occasional rewards of the real thang. But just a tendency to eat less and exercise more and eat more of the right things. There's no easy answer.

I tend to comfort eat, so as long as I'm occupied on an interesting project I don't overeat. Fill up your time with other or new things. Give yourself a target at which point have a non-food reward. Eat more of what is good. Pasta, potatoes and rice work for me. if I eat enough of it I can't eat any more or only a small pot of yoghurt or some dried fruit. Don't eat between meals if you can help it.


New Member
Bury, Lancashire
I am not a nutritionist but after my own recent visit to one, due to health problems, I do know that craving sugar is a massive indicator of low blood sugar level. Ironically, eating sweet things means your blood sugar will rise and then fall very swiftly afterward, leading to further cravings, so in fact eating sugary food is the worst possible thing you can do if you suffer from low blood sugar!

You simply won't crave sweet things if you eat regularly and keep your blood sugar stable. To do this you need to eat lower and medium GI foods at very regular intevals, of say two to three hours, all day, rather than eating higher GI food but not with large periods of time elapsing betwen snacks. Find the Glycemic Index on line: and look at the foods you should be eating little and often. It works.

You will lose your sweet tooth too, because it is a learned response anyway - we are not born liking sweet things. The only reason we learn to like sugar is because sugar companies have major deals with nearly all food manufacturers so that there is white refined sugar in nearly every non-homemade food that most people eat - all breads, almost all breakfast cereals (Tesco do not sell one single whole grain breakfast cereal without sugar in it - even their 'no added sugar' muesli contains dried fruit which is coated with sugar - I had to go to a health food shop), baked beans, pickles and relishes, ready made pasta sauce, nearly all ready-meals etc.

If you follow a lower GI diet and stick to wholegrain foods (ie. wholemeal breads, wholemeal pasta, long grain brown rice, wholegrain breakfast cereals such as shredded wheat or whole oats have not only more fibre but also less sugar in them - a lower GI and calorific value) you will lose weight without being hungry, simply because you will be eating food all day, but with a much lower calorie content. You will avoid feeling like you need a sugar fix because your blood sugar will be more stable with eating lower sugar and wholegrain foods.


Home Counties
As I was told when I put on the pounds after quitting smoking: Don't worry about it, Far better to be an overweight (within reason) non-smoker than a lightweight smoker. You dealt with the cigarettes and that's far harder than than dealing with cravings for the sweet stuff. Just employ the same tactics you used before and you'll beat these cravings as well.
Get a wide variety of fruit from a market stall, (cheaper and fresher), some mixed nuts, and once done cycling, spinning, running, skipping etc., treat yourself to a fruit cocktail, or blend a mix of the fruit with some natural yoghurt and fruit juice for a healthy smoothie, which will knock back your cravings for something more sugary.


Legendary Member
N Ireland
Eat some peanut butter - as long as you are OK with nuts.

This is contra intuitive, but it helps as part of a weight loss diet.

People think than PB is bad because of its fat content - however it has mainly good fats that lower cholesterol. Due to its high fat and protein content hunger pangs are held at bay for quite a while. I use it and it works for me. Just don't gorge on it :biggrin:

CW covered it as one of their food articles a couple of years ago (which is where I got the idea) and they suggested Whole Earth Crunchy as the best (no added sugar etc).

Fab Foodie

hanging-on in quiet desperation ...
Kirton, Devon.
I'd Echo Blonde's words. This is the way forward.
Loosing weight after quitting smoking is really hard, (I'm still working on it), but the Low GI works and is an easy eating style to adapt for the average Joe.
I've gone a step farther and tried to reduce wheat-based products to a minimum...again, this is relatively easy to do using Rye and Oat based alternatives. Thing is a lot of high GI sugary food loveliness is based on easily digestable wheat flour, this approach has really helped to shift those stubborn last pounds. prepared to give it some time to have an effect.
I'm a happier and healthier slightly cuddly non-smoker than the skinny-whippet 20 a day roll-up smoker!


Über Member
want to loose weight , food cravings , two ways I found worked.
1) skip meals. - don,t eat between meals and say skip dinner at night - but you get hungry
2)when hungry - have a banana then go for a run/cycle ride/exercise bike. - the act of exercise will reduce your hunger pangs - I did it in college when I coulodn,t afford to eat. - I would go for a run instead.
you will get energy gaps - drink water to fill you up. - you can fool the stomach by drinking a pint of water.

eat smaller portions when you do eat, put out the meal, cut it in half, put half in the fridge for my next meal. - (I really couldn,t afford to eat when I was a student - I lived like that for 3 years, - my only extra or often only food was left over rations from TA weekends)

get used to feeling hungry
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