9 Practical Ways to Overcome Cravings

“How do you overcome unhealthy cravings?”

Well, this is a perfectly fantastic question. I think if I had this figured out I would have a six pack and the diet world wouldn’t be a billion dollar industry. I am totally human and there are definitely foods I struggle with cravings around. Here’s what I do to help manage my cravings for less healthy options. 

woman in pink sunglasses holds giant cupcake with text overlay 9 practical ways to overcome cravings


9 Practical Ways to Overcome Cravings

1. Keep the junk out of the house.

I can spare myself so much willpower if I use it at the store to shop smart and not bring unhealthy food home. Or if I bake something unhealthy I try to do it when I know I can take it someplace like a party or I send it to work with my husband. 

Chocolate cookie with Andes mint and holiday sprinkles

2. Keep the junk out of site.

If I do buy treats it is most likely for my husband or kids so I try to get those snacks out of my line of site. They’re on the bottom shelf and my healthy snack bars, nuts, and dates are right in front.

3. Drink a big glass of water.

Sometimes when I feel “snacky” what I’m actually craving is water! I try to drink a big cup or water or a mug of tea before reaching for something sweet, snacky or crunchy. 

pink water bottle and pink athletic shoes

4. Eat a piece of fruit and healthy fat

Pairing an apple and peanut butter is one of my favorite, filling healthy snacks! See more of my 25 Insanely Easy Healthy Snack Ideas that will help you find satisfying snacks that are healthy too! 

5. Create a healthy version of what you’re craving 

I absolutely crave pizza! But I can’t eat greasy Pizza Hut every week and still get my fitness goals so I make my own whole wheat pizza topped with turkey pepperoni and delicious veggies! Perfect!

Delicious homemade whole wheat pizza dough recipe

6. Answer your craving.

If I’m craving chocolate I’d rather have a piece of dark chocolate or brownie and really enjoy it. Savor it, eat it without guilt and move on. Have a small, but satisfying portion of what you’re craving and really enjoy it–treat yourself!

7. Don’t try to answer your craving with something else.

If I want ice cream but instead I eat popcorn and then find myself snacky again, and have a snack bar and then finally “cave” and eat a bowl of ice cream and feel guilty. It would have been much better for me to answer the craving with a delightful, but reasonable portion–really enjoy it and move on without feeling ashamed or guilty. Check out the book Intuitive Eating for more tips on eating without guilt or shame. 

How to handle a sugar craving

8. Understand emotional eating

Honestly, most cravings aren’t really about the food. Sometimes it’s about craving what the food represents: control, reward, soothing, relaxation, not the actual food.

Often I’m craving an emotional response like feeling calm or deserving, or searching for an outlet for anger or stress.

Cravings are complicated because they have to do not just with our taste buds but with our brains! So trying to stop and think about why I want something is so important to understanding and overcoming my cravings.

You can even use journaling or tapping to work through some of the feelings you are experiencing. 

brunette woman in white robe sitting at table journaling while drinking coffee

9. A craving won’t kill you. 

It’s okay to want something really badly and not get it. Most cravings pass within 5 minutes. You can do anything for 5 minutes. 

I’m definitely not perfect, but these strategies help me!  Eating healthy while simple is really hard! But nothing worth doing comes easy, right?! 

Okay, going to wrap up today by sharing my meal and exercise plan for the week. I was stoked to get in 5 workouts last week–3 ripped in 30 and 2 runs! Whatup!

Meal Plan for the Week:

Tuesday: Chicken Noodle Soup

Wednesday: Mini Italian Meatloaves

Thursday: Turkey and Black Bean Chili

Friday: Burgers with lean ground beef

Saturday: Marinated Chicken Breasts (just throwing it all in the crockpot!)

Sunday: Tacos

All this food sounds soo good! Lots of cozy things to eat; just the way I like it. I love pairing soup and salad on winter evenings for dinner or soup and a baked potato.

Workout Plan for the Week:

Workout plan for the week

Monday: Ripped in 30 Week 3

Tuesday: 2.5-3 mile run

Wednesday: Ripped in 30 Week 3

Thursday: Yoga/Rest

Friday: Ripped in 30 Week 3

Saturday: 3 mile run

Ripped in 30 is killer. Like literally the hardest workout I think I’ve ever done and I’m mostly doing the modifiers only.

I think I’m going to repeat Weeks 3 twice before moving on to Week 4. I literally can’t imagine how it can get harder. With that being said I am SO proud when I finish and I’ve seen more stamina on my runs which is awesome! It’s fun to push!

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    1. PIZZA! Ha! I can’t live without it so healthifying it is the way to go and then probably every month I splurge for my favorite, mostly a local gourmet place! So good!

    1. Yes! There was a time when the most sugary thing in my house was dried dates and it was amazing 1. how sweet they tasted and 2. how much better I ate. Being strong at the grocery store is the way to go!

  1. I agree with you. I tend to not over restrict myself. If I have a craving for something I satisfy it but most of the time the stuff I’m craving is not even in my house. Having to go to the store to get what I’m craving tends to eliminate the craving!

  2. Nice points Kate- I agree with you and some times you have to give in to your craving just a little stop and enjoy it. I do the same thing, if I try to change my mind and have something else I am never satisfied and end up having 3 snacks instead on the one little treat really wanted 🙂

    1. Isn’t that silly? One day I just decided to have a small portion of what I really wanted and ENJOY it rather than eat a bunch of other things and then finally eat what I wanted anyways!

  3. GREAT, GREAT list. I kept thinking, yes, that one works so well, and that one. But, sometimes I forget about them. THanks for the reminders! And, I need to work on my ‘eat for relaxation’ tendencies when I am not hungry. Thanks for helping me identify that. You are so beautiful! #fitfamlove

  4. I have the BIGGEST sweet tooth! But weirdly after drinking Shakeology consistently I don’t crave them anymore. Like at all. It’s really weird, actually, and hard for even me to believe! My stomach sure appreciates it though! Haha

  5. Lots of love on this end too for fruit + nut butters! I love recreating the things I love to make em’ healthier! (That’s how my healthy-eating journey basically started! 😀 )

    That chicken garlic pesto pizza looks amazing! <3

  6. YES!!! My absolute fav is don’t bring it in the house. My kids used to get upset with me about it. Now, they are shocked if they see anything unhealthy in the house. They instantly ask…”are we going to a cool over ?” Lol #IknowMyLimits

  7. These are great tips. For those food items I know I have no willpower against – I do not bring them in the house PERIOD!!! That way I either have to bear the cold, rain or wind to get to it and most times it isn’t worth it to me. I do believe in moderation though.

    1. Yeah, nothing off limits, but know your limits! Some stuff I don’t want around just so I don’t have to spend the mental energy resisting. 🙂

  8. My cravings are usually chocolate preferably dark and chips and salsa. I’m sure I could eat my weight in tortilla chips 🙂

    Thanks for linking up and shariing with the fitfam!

  9. I need to start meal planning that’s for sure. I like how you don’t completely limit yourself from your cravings. Great tips

  10. Great tips Kate, thank you for sharing! I love the idea of finding a healthier version of your craving, like the healthier pizza!

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