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How to Beat Food Cravings

Step away from the chocolate bar! Here's how to gain control over foods that are constantly beckoning you.


  • Step 1: Reduce cravings with frequent snacks Spread your calories throughout the day. You're less likely to have food cravings if you never allow yourself to get hungry.
  • Step 2: Distract yourself Find something to distract you from the temptation for at least 15 minutes; most cravings peter out by then.
  • TIP: Look something up on the computer or flip through a magazine: Studies indicate that visual distractions are effective at taking the mind off food.
  • Step 3: Overpower your taste buds Suck on a menthol cough drop or dissolve a breath strip on your tongue. Overpowering your sense of taste and smell can kill a craving.
  • Step 4: Denounce the food out loud State your intention to resist the food, repeating it at least three times. Research shows that a spoken declaration increases your willpower.
  • Step 5: Allow yourself small treats Enjoy small portions of your favorite foods on a regular basis. Eliminating them entirely will just make you crave them more.
  • Step 6: Limit the damage On the occasions you give in to a craving, try to stop after a few nibbles. The satisfaction of tasting the food decreases dramatically after the first few bites.
  • FACT: Children with a gene variant present in 63 percent of people preferred sugary and fatty foods more than did kids who didn't have the variant.

You Will Need

  • Distractions
  • Menthol cough drops or breath strips
  • Self-control

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