How To Beat Food Cravings

Shutterstock / pathdoc © How to cope when food cravings bite

It’s great to know how to beat food cravings. We’ve all heard the term yo-yo dieting, where successful weight loss may be achieved but is short-lived. Often, just a few months later, all the weight you worked so hard to shed has gone back on. 

While we all suffer from food cravings from time to time, it’s how we handle them that matters. Cravings aren’t necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes our body is letting us know that we need a boost of a particular nutrient. However, too often the cravings are linked to fast foods or sweet and savoury snacks. 

While a little bit of what you fancy won’t harm you, consistently eating foods with little nutritional benefit which are high in fat and sugars/salt, will take a toll. It’s estimated that as many as one in four adults in the UK could be classified as obese. And this comes with a risk of certain health problems. Such as an increased risk of Type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, as well as some cancers.  

How To Cope When Food Cravings Bite

However, a healthier outlook can be achieved by making a few small changes to lifestyle. Exercise is a great way to burn off calories and will naturally boost mood, meaning you’re less inclined to comfort eat. Also think about food swaps. If you fancy something sweet, then try a handful of grapes or an apple first. This will take the edge off the craving.  

Our health writer, Jackie Mitchell, recently caught up with Aisling Pigott, a dietitian from The British Dietetic Association (BDA), to discuss the topic of food cravings. She brings wonderful insight into the subject which you can read about in “The People’s Friend” November 5 issue. Aisling explores possible reasons behind certain cravings, while helpfully suggesting ways in which you can break the cycle using useful tips. You can pick up your copy in most major supermarkets and newsagents, order online, or subscribe to make sure you never miss an issue. 

The People's Friend 5th November 2022 cover image

Copyright of DC Thomson.

To find out what a healthy weight is, check out your body mass index (BMI), using the NHS BMI healthy weight calculator. Or, for a quick rule of thumb they give the following advice: 

Generally, men with a waist size of 94cm or more and women with a waist size of 80cm or more are more likely to develop obesity-related health problems.

Food, however, is something that can be enjoyed and savoured – guilt-free, by making the right choices. If you’re looking for inspiration to get started, try this delicious cod meal for two.

Try Five Quick Swaps:

  • Opt for brown or wholemeal bread over white
  • Choose unsweetened, unsalted popcorn over crisps
  • Fancy an extra helping? Then help yourself to more veg rather than potatoes
  • Splash out on skimmed or semi-skimmed milk rather than full fat
  • Use low-fat spread over butter

Read more Health advice from the “Friend” team.

Yvonne McKenzie

Yvonne works on the Features team and admits to being nosy, so loves looking after the Between Friends letters and finding out all about our lovely readers. She also looks after our health copy and enjoys writing about inspiring people that help make the articles in the magazine so interesting.