I went on a diet and lost over 20 pounds, but I've gained a lot of it back because I can't stop eating everything I crave! What can I do to stop cravings?
Congrats on losing those 20 pounds in the first place! That took a lot of hard work and determination, and you should feel good about it. But once you've lost any amount of weight, the next step is keeping it off. Maintaining that new weight is sometimes harder than achieving it.
Cravings are very common, and the best way to control them is to develop a plan to combat situations that might tempt you. For example, if you crave fast food, instead of going into the restaurant to order, use the drive-through and get small portions to combat the temptation to order more. Think of other scenarios that may test your resolve, such as going to parties or eating when stressed or bored. Plan how you will react in these situations so you won't succumb to the cravings.
Another way to curb cravings: When you crave a certain type of food, substitute it with a healthier option. For example, if you're dying for something salty, grab a couple of whole-wheat pretzels instead of potato chips.
Once you realize that you can cope with your cravings, you'll be able to move on. If you give in once in a while, don't beat yourself up about it — just get back on track. And don't forget to continue to be active and eat healthy.
Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD
Date reviewed: October 2013
*Names have been changed to protect user privacy.