Eliminate These Three Foods to Prevent Food Cravings

istock_000016694299xsmallEver have a craving for something sweet that you just couldn’t shake? If you reached for that doughnut or cookie, you probably felt guilty afterward and promised yourself you wouldn’t yield to temptation in the future. But food cravings aren’t just about will power. What you eat plays a role too. Reducing food cravings could be as simple as eliminating certain foods from your diet. Here are three types of foods that can make food cravings worse.

Foods That Are High in Sugar

Those pastries, cakes and sweet treats that look so tempting won’t satiate your cravings. In fact, they can make them worse. When you eat these foods it causes a rapid rise in blood sugar and insulin levels. The surge in insulin in response to a sweet treat has the undesired effect of dropping your blood sugar levels rapidly. This can trigger cravings for high carbohydrate foods. The solution? Cut back on processed foods and simple sugars, and eat more complex carbohydrates that contain fiber to reduce fluctuations in insulin levels. Combine complex carbs with lean protein and you’ll prevent food cravings for hours.

Foods That Contain Artificial Sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners sound like a good idea. You get the taste of sweet without the carbs or calories. Even though most artificial sweeteners won’t raise blood sugar or insulin levels, they still increase cravings for sweet foods and may contribute to weight gain. When you give your taste buds the taste of sugar, it sends a message to the brain to expect carbohydrates. When the carbohydrates don’t follow, cravings aren’t satiated but instead, you crave more. The solution? Cut back on all “sweets”, artificial or not.


Some people drink coffee to suppress their appetite. This may be effective short-term, but if you drink too much, it can raise cortisol levels. When cortisol levels rise it increases the desire for foods high in carbohydrates. If levels of cortisol stay up longer term, you’ll end up with more fat stored on your abdomen. Most people don’t want that. In addition, too many people get their coffee in the form of “frou-frou” drinks with lots of sugary additives. This further inflames cravings for high-carb foods. Replace coffee with green tea, and you’ll be less likely to reach for a doughnut at the office during a break.

Other Ways to Stop Food Cravings

Get at least seven hours of sleep a night. Research shows that cravings for high-carbohydrate foods are more intense when you’re sleep-deprived. Start the day with a healthy breakfast that contains lean protein and complex carbohydrates. This helps to reduce mid-morning cravings and ward off trips to the snack machine. Eat a snack that contains protein every three hours to keep blood sugar levels stable and cravings at bay.

Don’t let food cravings get the best of you. Take a closer look at what you’re eating and how often you’re eating it – and minimize these three foods that make food cravings worse.



On Fitness Magaine. Volume 11. No. 6. 2011.

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