How to Eliminate Food Cravings
Eliminate food cravings for good. Believe it or not, this is possible. Instead of being at the mercy of food cravings, teach your body to eat and love real food.
I have no brakes when it comes to junk food and I never dreamed I could banish food cravings for good. But I did!
How did I go from loving cakes, cookies, and candy to hardly being aware that they exist?
How did I banish food cravings for good? These days, I rarely eat cake and other goodies and I don’t miss them. Heck I usually don’t even notice them!
Here’s How I did it!
To do this, I learned to eat in a way that eliminated my cravings for sweets, breads, and pastas.
I was never able to do it with willpower alone. It might seem like I am disciplined but really I have learned to work with my body and get the results I want.
Why I Don’t Eat Cake
The last bite of cake I had was on May 28 at a birthday party for my son-in-law. The last bite before that was months ago at a wedding).
So it’s not perfectly true that I NEVER eat cake but it’s definitely a rare thing and at special occasions.
Weird? A little. But when I gave up wheat, that was kind of the end of cake for me. I had already cut out almost all sugar long before that. The thing that is so difficult for people to believe, is that I really don’t miss it.
And even stranger, I don’t even notice these kinds of things most of the time.
I was on a date once with a very fit guy. We were talking about food and shopping in Whole Foods.
He asked me how I resisted the cookies there. I asked him, “What cookies?” I had never in six months, noticed any cookies at Whole Foods!
Those two times when I had a little cake? I enjoyed a bite or two but I didn’t need any more.
When you finally get off sugar and wheat for a period of time; that stuff just doesn’t taste that great any more. And that’s a good thing!
Cake no longer seems like a forbidden food or even a treat to be looked forward to. I can appreciate the artistic beauty of some cakes but I don’t lust after them.
Why I Gave up Sugar
I first learned how bad sugar could be for you over 25 years ago when I was pregnant. That’s older than some of you!
But seriously, if you can kick the stuff now; you will be THANKING me in 30 years when your skin still looks amazing.
How Bad Can a Piece of Cake Be?
In theory, a small piece of cake is not all that big of a deal, in an otherwise healthy diet. Our bodies can handle occasional treats like this.
But for me and for many people, foods like this can start of a string of cravings, overeating, and even a period of binge eating. I have called cake and donuts, “gateway drugs to really bad things.”
On occasion, in the past, eating one donut or a piece of cake has led to eating something salty after, then something sweet, then what the heck, let’s have pizza for dinner, and so on.
It’s not the piece of cake that’s so bad, it’s the cravings it creates.
This is Not Deprivation
Not eating cake really is just a part of living a mostly sugar and wheat free life. It’s not a deprivation at all.
Mostly, I feel very blessed that I don’t have these kinds of cravings anymore. Eating right is really difficult when you are fighting cravings as well as trying to make good decisions about your food.
Most people are not battling cravings for broccoli or green beans. No, the things we crave are things that typically make us crave more.
Or if we overeat one kind of craving like a sweet treat, then we next want to eat a salty food. It starts a cycle that is difficult to break. It sometimes takes DAYS to reign in the cravings!
Common Food Cravings
SWEETS: candy, cookies, cake, muffins, ice cream
SALTY SNACKS: chips, pizza, pretzels, crackers, popcorn, tortilla chips
GRAIN PRODUCTS: bread, pasta, buns, tortillas, rice
How to Eliminate Food Cravings
Eliminate sugar and foods that act like sugar in your body
These foods provide no nutritional value and can be safely eliminated. They tend to disrupt your normal fat and sugar metabolizing process and lead to fat storage rather than fat burning.
These include the usual suspects such as cake and other sweet treats as well as pastas, breads, rice, and other grains. It also includes all artificial sweeteners!
In addition, these can lead to disease and breakdown in your body. I don’t think there are really any safe amounts of these foods. Even a little bit can lead to eating more.
Here’s a PDF you can print out to give you a better idea about what these foods are. Sugar and Foods That Act Like Sugar
Add healthy fats to your diet
In a world that is characterized by more people being overweight than ever, it might seem odd to suggest eating more fat.
However, most people are eating too much of the wrong kinds of fat with foods that lead to fat storage.
An example of this would be a fast food hamburger. The bun that you eat with this burger, skyrockets your blood sugar and leads to the storage of fat.
But fat, itself, does not make you fat. And eating healthy fats makes healthy food such as proteins and vegetables taste delicious.
Fat is essential for your body’s functions and even for good skin. Healthy fats include: olive oil, coconut oil, nuts, avocados, and eggs.
Use good fats for cooking and add a little extra to your finished dish. This will keep you satiated and satisfied until the next meal.
Snacking has been encouraged by food producers, to promote the purchasing of unhealthy foods.
Think of all those low fat yogurts, breakfast bars, and 100-calorie packs. These again, provide little or no nutrition. You can safely eliminate all of these from your diet.
Snacking seems necessary when we don’t eat enough at our meals to get us to the next meal. That’s why it is important to eat enough food with enough fat to get you to the next meal.
Even healthy goodies like nuts and fruits can be a little troublesome as a snack. These are good foods!
But they work best as an addition to a good meal as opposed to a stand alone snack. However, if you are really hungry and nuts are all you have—go for it.
Eat Enough at Meals
This is actually easy to do if you eat a decent portion of protein, plenty of vegetables, and have at least a tablespoon or fat with each meal.
I follow the template that I learned through my Whole30 experience. I eat a protein, several vegetables, and a tablespoon or two of a healthy fat. I add nuts or fruit as a little extra flavor or texture.
Eat Healthy Carbs
In the past, I tried low carb eating. I hated it. I never felt quite right. Several years ago, when I quit eating wheat and most other grains, I really learned the value of eating carbs.
I eat a moderate amount of high carb fruits and vegetables with my meals.
Some of my favorites are potatoes, sweet potatoes, beets, and winter squashes. Eating higher carb produce keeps my energy in the right place and I don’t ever feel deprived because I’m not eating pasta or bread.
Don’t eat at night
The body needs a moderate fast each day. Don’t eat after dinner!
Eat your dinner, eat early in the evening, and eat enough to leave you satisfied. Of all the things I do to maintain my weight, not eating at night seems to make the biggest difference.
In fact, when I eat at night, I wake up hungrier the next morning!
But by eating three meals during the day, I’m able to go to bed nourished and not hungry. The next day, I wake up craving-free and ready for a healthy start to my day.
Eliminate Food Cravings and Improve Your Health
Eliminating food cravings is a process. This post talks a lot about what not to eat and what not to do. Eliminating food cravings isn’t an overnight event nor does it happen without a commitment to living life like this.
All I can say is that I’m enjoying being in the best shape of my life with the best skin. I can keep up with all my kids and grandkids. I’m enjoying life to the fullest because of decisions I made about my diet YEARS ago.
I don’t think anyone is too young to do this or too old. I’m close enough to the older generation to see the results of poor diet on people.
Seeing bodies wrecked by 50 or 60 is sad and totally preventable! I have an oncologist surgeon friend. It is not pretty what happens on the inside either!
I’m Not Perfect
As much as I’d like to eat this way 100% of the time, I don’t. I like to go out to restaurants and eat at friends’ homes.
I do attempt to avoid wheat and sugar because my body really doesn’t like those.
Sometimes I’ll have tortilla chips or rice. However, eating this way most of the time really helps and I have no desire to ever eat like a “normal” person.
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Here are a few of my favorite books about real food.
I always recommend this book first. It explains the WHY of eating real food in a way that is easy to understand. It’s an eye-opener about food.
The next three books have my favorite recipes. While I read most of the time on a tablet, these books I prefer in hard copy. I go to them again and again. These are GREAT RECIPES for any diet or way of eating. Pure deliciousness!
The Well Fed books are super cool. All the recipes have variations AND she tells you what recipes are good with other recipes. Her spice mixes are so good that I make those up and give as gifts.
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Hi, I'm Sara Garska and I'm so happy you're here! My Think Big Life began shortly after I turned 50. Big changes can happen with a small start, an adjustment of thought, or a simple process. Over time, you transform your life into the one you always dreamed of having. As a certified life and weight loss coach, I can help you create a life you love. Click here to schedule a free 50-minute coaching session.
This is a very good post. Sugar and bad carbs are my struggle. You provided some good tips on resisting them. Thank you for your post.
Sara, loving this post. So many women (and men!) struggle with food cravings and don’t know how to handle them so they just give up. This post is wonderful!
Becca, thanks for the comment! I agree–it finally dawned on me that willpower alone just doesn’t get the job done permanently. I have to admit, sometimes in Houston, when I’m in a restaurant that has amazing BREAD, it can be difficult (not impossible) to resist.