HomeHealth articleshow to lose weightWhat Are the Ways to Prevent Food Cravings?

The greatest challenge in the weight loss process is managing food cravings. Read below for more information.

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Sneha Kannan

Published At June 29, 2020
Reviewed AtApril 18, 2023


Food cravings are the intense, almost uncontrollable desire to have certain foods. Cravings can be counted as one of the most difficult challenges faced during the journey of weight loss. In the weight loss journey, the person is supposed to consume fewer calories and make healthy food choices. At this time various types of cravings hit the individual which makes this journey difficult.

Especially, when the individual is controlling their sugar intake and maintaining a calorie deficit, cravings may mess the weight loss management. Generally, cravings lead to the consumption of high-calorie, high-fat, high-sugar, high-sodium, and low-nutrition food. It is difficult to manage and avoid food cravings. There are certain methods for overcoming food cravings and maintaining a balanced diet to continue the weight loss process.

How to Have a Balanced and Healthy Diet?

It is very important to healthily lose weight by having a balanced diet, which comprises all the necessary vitamins and minerals needed for the maintenance of good health. Crash diets should not be followed because if people do so, they may see the results in a short span but their bodies will be deprived of essential nutrients. Following a crash diet may also make the person feel so hungry that after a certain time may be after a week or two, the person may feel overwhelmed with hunger pangs and end up quitting the diet plan and spiraling back to the original weight. Some people gain even more weight than their previous weight after quitting the diet. Consultation with a qualified dietician will help properly lose weight and also manage food cravings. Many individuals blindly follow a diet that they find on the internet while surfing. Such diets may be hazardous to the individual’s health. Some people who have lost weight claim to be a dietician but people should always ask for the qualification of the person giving nutritional advice. Be careful while choosing a dietician as the dietician will give a diet plan based on the person’s body characteristics that will help the individual to maintain health while losing weight.

How to Manage Cravings While Losing Weight?

1. One Should Get Proper Sleep: When an individual does not get the necessary amount of sleep, that individual may be exhausted and irritated all the time and it will increase the hunger pangs. When certain people complain of waking up feeling hungrier than normal after an insufficient amount of sleep, there is always a reason for that. Sleep deprivation elevates the hormones like ghrelin which induces hunger and depletes the hunger-suppressing hormone-like leptin. This imbalance meddles with the healthy weight loss plan.

2. Drink Plenty of Water:

  • Dehydration may induce tiredness or weariness which results in cravings and the body misunderstanding what it needs. Dehydration and exhaustion like sleep deprivation leave the body in need of energy. It is suggested that one should drink a glass of water and wait for some time when craving something. It is said to relieve food cravings. An individual should try to drink at least 8 to10 glasses of water. This will help the individual keep their body well hydrated, helping them fight against unnecessary food cravings.

  • According to many researches and studies, people who followed a healthy diet and consumed lots of water saw tremendous good results in their bodies. Aerated drinks should be avoided as the person may think that such drinks may contain a lot of water but these drinks are harmful to health and contain lots of artificial flavors and colors. They are also high in sugar which is not suitable for health. If one wants, one can make a healthy detox drink by adding some celery and cucumber to the drink, and mint leaves.

  • Include at least two whole fruits in the diet daily, which are rich in fiber and keep the body full for a longer period. This will help fight unnecessary food cravings for junk food.

  • Whole fruit is always better than fruit juices because the fiber is intact in the whole fruit. Fruit juices contain sugar, which increases unnecessary food cravings.
  • Avoid consuming too much oily food like deep-fried foods, as they are rich in trans fat. Transfat is not good for health or weight loss too.

How Important Is Exercising and What Lifestyle Should Be Followed?

  • Exercising daily will help one fight unnecessary food cravings and increase certain feel-good hormones in the body called endorphins, which make one feel very positive and happy.

  • Exercise for at least 30 to 40 minutes daily to see positive weight loss results. One can gradually increase the duration to one hour. But do not over-exercise for like 5 to 6 hours on a stretch, as it can lead to muscle soreness, muscle loss, and cramps. Too much of anything is not good.

  • Moderation is the key when an individual is trying to follow a healthy and active lifestyle. One can try various forms of exercise, like yoga, Zumba, walking, or dancing. Many mobile apps have various kinds of exercise videos that can be performed at home and no one needs to go to a gym for that.

  • One should always remember that both exercise and a healthy diet work hand in hand in fighting food cravings and helping an individual to lose weight at a healthy weight.

  • Do not get demotivated too fast if the body takes time to show weight loss results. Always remember that great things take time, and even Rome was not built in a day.

  • Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been a big challenge for most individuals to exercise as they may be used to going out for walks or hitting the gym. But one can even exercise at home. One can see some Zumba videos online and try them at home or try some home workout videos online. Where there is a will, there is a way! Do not find excuses. One should always remember tomorrow never comes.

What Types of Foods Should Be Avoided?

Avoid Consuming Simple Sugars and Refined or Processed Foods:

  • Consuming excess amounts of simple sugars, refined and processed foods, raises the blood's glycemic index too quickly, leading to unnecessary food cravings. Instead, if one consumes whole grain cereals, pulses, fruits, and vegetables, it will keep the body full for a longer time, helping the individual curb unnecessary cravings.

  • Even bakery products, such as cakes, or biscuits, can have loads of refined sugars, which lead to unnecessary food cravings and will make one gain weight instead of lose weight.

  • There are many products out there in the market that claim to be sugar-free or fat-free., but it is very important as a responsible citizen to read food labels properly and not only see the expiry date of the product. The product might state that it is fat-free or sugar-free but look for the hidden sources of fats and sugars in the ingredient list of the product.

  • Look out for various artificial colors and flavoring substances added to the food, which again leads to unnecessary food cravings and is not good for health as well. Hence, read the food labels well before purchasing any product.


There are many ways to manage cravings and control weight. Along with the above-mentioned management, proper and sufficient protein intake, and stress management can also be followed. Every task needs to be done with dedication and consistency. Food cravings can be the biggest problem arising while the weight loss movement, so one should try to manage it and follow a few lifestyle changes.

Frequently Asked Questions


How To Get Rid of Hunger Pangs While Fasting?

Controlling hunger is key in fasting. It helps in strengthening the fasting practice. Various methods could be implemented to fight hunger while fasting. They are,
- Drink warm water.
- Sleep well.
- Always stay hydrated.
- Keep yourself engaged because boredom leads to overeating.
- Perform short bouts of exercise.
- Avoid carbohydrates while not fasting.
- Consuming high-protein foods and high-fat foods before fasting can curb hunger.


How Long Does It Take for Hunger to Go Away When Fasting?

Hunger usually lasts about 20 minutes, but most people do not know this as they do not wait for hunger to subside. When people are on longer fasts, many report that hunger typically disappears within five days. Fasting can also suppress hormones inducing appetite like leptin. But in many cases, more calories are restricted during the eating window, leading to an unhealthy lifestyle.


What Food Is Best to Beat Hunger?

Consuming foods rich in protein, fiber, and high healthy fats make a person feel fuller for a long period as these foods take longer to digest than carbohydrates. A few examples of whole, nutrient-dense foods that make a person fuller and improve overall health include avocado, whole grains, greek yogurt, oatmeal, fish, nuts, eggs, fruits, beans, and legumes.


What Causes a Feeling of Hunger During Dieting?

During dieting, many individuals consume fewer calories than the body burns, which makes the stomach produce more amount of hormone called ghrelin. This hormone is referred to as the hunger hormone, as it is released when the body needs more nutrients. 


How to Diet Without Caring About Calories?

The best way to start dieting without portion control or calorie counting is to reduce carbohydrate intake. Many researchers show that people taking fewer carbohydrates naturally consume fewer calories and help in losing weight without any major effort. Also, it is necessary to focus on diet quality by cutting down on or eliminating processed foods and sugar, which can drive the body to consume more food.


Is It Good to Sleep With Hunger?

Sleeping with hunger is allowed when a person eats a well-balanced nutritious diet throughout the day. During sleep, hunger pangs keep the brain mentally alert, leading to insufficient deep sleep at night. However, avoiding late-night meals or snacks can help in weight loss. Eating foods that are easy to digest during the night is recommended.


How To Increase Metabolism?

An increased rate of metabolism may help burn more calories and lose weight. It can be increased by taking a healthy diet and regular exercise. A few methods to increase metabolism are:
- Eating at the correct time.
- Eating more protein.
- Drinking green tea.
- Practicing resistance training.
- Reduce stress.
- Consume an adequate amount of calories.
- Get enough sleep.
- Check for any health problems like hypothyroidism and get treated.


What Are the Signs of Losing Weight?

The following signs indicate that a person is on the right track in their weight loss journey.
- Sense of well-being improves.
- The fit of the clothes differs.
- Can notice muscle reduction.
- Changes in body measurements.
- Weight loss can help decrease chronic pain.
- Normalize blood pressure.
- Less snoring.
- Better mood and more energy.


How Long Does It Take for Hunger to Go Away When Fasting?

Hunger usually lasts about 20 minutes, but most people do not know this as they do not wait for hunger to subside. When people are on longer fasts, many report that hunger typically disappears within five days. Fasting can also suppress hormones inducing appetite like leptin. But in many cases, more calories are restricted during the eating window, leading to an unhealthy lifestyle.


Should One Quit Fasting if Feeling Hungry?

It is quite normal to feel hungry while fasting. Hunger is a conditioned stimulus-response that a person can recondition. Some people never experience an actual state of hunger as they eat and stay full consistently when hunger hits them. If a person cannot withstand hunger, they can take a break. Choosing to break a fast without feeling guilty is necessary at the onset of this process.


Is It Advisable to Take One Meal a Day?

There are not many complications involved in eating one meal a day, but the meal should be a well-formulated and nourishing one. There are many proven benefits to consuming one meal a day. On the other hand, it is not advisable for everyone, as it can cause complications for cardiac, diabetic, and other medically compromised patients.


Does Being Hungry Mean Losing Weight?

Feeling hungry does not mean that the body is burning more calories or reducing weight. Hunger is the body's way of signaling that our body requires energy. Hunger can be influenced by multiple factors, including diet, exercise habits, and emotional state. Eating a balanced diet with enough nutrients but still in a state of hunger can be a sign of an underlying health condition.


What Food Gives Satiety With the Least Calories?

Foods that are high in fiber, protein, and volume and low in density provide a feeling of fullness with fewer calories. Such foods include boiled potatoes, eggs, oatmeal, fish, soups, vegetables, fruits, quinoa, nuts, popcorn, legumes, and cottage cheese.
Quadros Krystel Godfrey Lavina
Quadros Krystel Godfrey Lavina


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