9 Smart Ways Of Successfully Controlling Your Junk Food Cravings

Don’t let a sweet tooth or carb craving prevent you from reaching your goals. Keep cravings in check with these practical methods.

No matter how mentally strong you may be, every once in a while, all of us cock a snook to their diet and give in to food cravings. While it is alright to cheat on your diet and allow yourself a small treat now and then, if you realise that it’s happening all too often, you need to take a step back, take stock and learn how to control those food cravings.

9 Foods That Prevent Cravings and Hunger Pangs


Here are tips to help you reduce cravings which are ordered based on how fast you can act on them. So while you may be tempted to reach for the fastest ones, we encourage you to give all of them a try over the next few weeks for the best results.


Food craving

1.Deal With Your Trigger Foods

Out of sight is usually out of mind

It’s much easier to give in to temptation when the food you crave is within easy reach. So don’t keep unhealthy foods you tend to crave in your kitchen or at your desk at work or wherever you are. This doesn’t mean you can’t keep any treats in the house, but select goodies that are easier for you to manage. Don’t stock up on sugar-filled peanut butter cups instead try our healthy peanut butter dessert treats.

2.Drink Some Water

The easiest thing you can do to curb your cravings is to have a large glass of water and wait for a couple of minutes. Even if the craving doesn’t completely go away, the fullness of your stomach will make it less intense.

Drinking a tall glass of water might serve as a distraction or it might solve your craving without adding any calories. If plain water sounds boring, add a slice or two of lemon, lime or cucumber. Try our Homemade Detox Water

Detox water

The best way to drink water for weight loss

3.Drink Some Coffee

Coffee might have a stronger influence on your appetite and food intake than water. It seems that coffee can suppress acute energy intake. What does that mean?

Right after drinking a cup of coffee people will eat less than they would have without it. So even if you end up giving in to a craving, you have a higher chance of keeping the size of your treat moderate and not going overboard. Another study found that decaffeinated coffee might help suppress the appetite even more!

4. Eat More Protein

Speaking of protein, breakfast isn’t the only meal to focus on. Multiple studies have found that increasing your protein intake to 25 per cent of your daily calories could reduce cravings by 60 per cent, helping you avoid thinking about food throughout the day.

Vegan meal

Protein is your ally against crazy cravings, here’s why:

• Increasing protein intake can reduce cravings

• Eating more protein can help fight the desire to eat at night

• Protein keeps you full longer 

6 Excellent Plant Protein Foods

5. Do A Light Workout

If you already exercise regularly, keep up the good work. And if you don’t, here’s a good reason to make it part of your daily routine.

Before you start rocking 100 burpees, think about this: an intense workout might make you feel even hungrier, but a low-intensity activity, such as a brisk walk or short bodyweight home workout can have the opposite effect. If you’re feeling playful, next time your cravings kick in try walking backwards.

And the best part? The more they exercised, the more their self-control increased—and that benefit lasted the entire time they kept up their workout regimen.

6.Get Enough Sleep

Lack of sleep is also known to cause food cravings, which is why you need to get adequate sleep each night.

Sleep deprived

Getting a good night’s sleep is easier said than done—there are countless Netflix shows to binge, after all. But when it comes to beating cravings, it’s probably the most effortless tactic.

One study showed being sleep deprived makes you more likely to crave junk food, and catching a proper amount of zzzs will ensure you have a little more self-control.

Surprising Reasons Why We Need To Sleep

7.Be More Mindful

Once a craving strikes, it’s hard not to act on it. But by being more mindful of your body and what it needs (not what it wants!), you’ll be able to pass on those urges before they get the best of you.

Common mindfulness-based techniques can significantly lower cravings.

By listening to your body, you’ll learn to accept them when they come and know they’ll naturally fade, but not give in to them. It sounds tricky and takes practice, but it can be done.

8.Don’t Let Yourself Get Too Hungry

Healthy eating
What happens when you skip a meal or refrain from eating when you’re truly hungry?
Sooner or later, you get SO hungry that you end up overeating to compensate.

It’s in this state of extreme hunger that we tend to crave quick-fix foods like candy bars. Eating several meals throughout the day may help to control cravings and binge-type eating. Try out our portable healthy snacks.

9.Substitute a healthier option

Satisfy your craving for something smooth and creamy with something low-fat or fat-free, such as yoghurt, pureed fruit or buttermilk. Eat a piece of fruit as a healthy sweet snack.

Craving a scoop of ice cream from the corner shop? Try making your own and sharing the recipe to make it healthier. Or, eat a better-for-you option — like a homemade energy bar or a stack of banana pancake— to satisfying your desire for sweetness.

Here are My Top 5 Healthier Sugar Alternatives to Try

The main thing is that you learn to tell the difference between actual hunger and cravings for sweet or salty foods. Follow our tips and soon you too will be able to understand your body’s signals.

Related: 11 Top Reasons Why You Should Stop Counting Calories

This Is Why You Crave Sugar Immediately After Your Meal + Handy Tips To Stop

If you always have something sweet to eat after a meal, then your body will start to expect something sweet. 
Your body will nag you until it gets a sweet fix because you’ve trained your body to think that a meal isn’t finished until you eat something sweet.


Why do we crave something sweet (not savoury) after lunch and dinner?  

Sugar cravings can be especially strong after dinner and lunch. That’s because we typically eat dessert after lunch or dinner – but not breakfast.

So what could be the reason behind these sugar cravings, this urge to end a meal with sweets?

Let’s find out.

Sugar craving

After your meals, the main function of the body, which takes up a majority of energy, is digestion. And because digestion takes so much energy, the body craves an energy spike which it gets in the form of sugar. Sugar forms a source of quick energy

As the day goes on, your energy, motivation, and mood often drop.

When you eat sugar, your brain releases serotonin, “feel-good” chemicals into your brain. Sugary foods are also high in energy, giving you a boost in energy and mood (although the effects don’t last long)! 

Also, read The Food and Mood Connection

Other reason behind craving sweets can also be the age-old practice of ending meals by eating something sweet at the end. No matter what the reason is, excess of sugar is bad for your health.

The good news is you can retrain your brain to stop craving something sweet after main meals.

How to control your sweet cravings after finishing your meals

Here are my favourite strategies to help reduce sugar and sweet cravings.

Eat a natural sweet

Natural sweet

Don’t cut down on sugar completely; craving sugar after a meal is natural. There is no need to go harsh on yourself. You can still enjoy your fill of desserts but in moderation. Have nutritious dessert to end your meal and substitute refined and chemical-based sugar with healthy substitutes like natural sugars found in fruits, dry fruits, jaggery or honey.

Eating a natural sweet instead of desserts made of processed sugar is always a good option. Add natural sweetness to meals with side dishes in the form of salads. You can also eat honey mixed yogurt, which is a fairly good sweet to have at the end of the meal.

Here are Guilt-Free Sweet Fix Cookies for all Dieters

Eat a balanced meal

Balanced meal

Eating unbalanced meals, which primarily comprise of starchy foods can lead to a blood sugar spike. This spike ends right after eating, which makes you crave for sugar. Thus, it is better to have a balanced diet or combine starchy foods with other healthy alternatives to prevent this blood sugar rise.

Add more of complex carbohydrates and low GI foods to your meals to keep your blood sugar levels stable. Brown rice, wild rice, quinoa, legumes and most types of fruits are some of the best sources of low GI foods. Also, refrain from foods that are very high in salt content. If you aren’t feeling full even after your meals, add more fiber to your diet, which will give you the satiating feeling for long, preventing you from binging into sugary foods after meals.

Here is your guide to Shop for Healthy Bread

Break the habit


Understand that cravings pass. Remove yourself from the situation for 30 minutes to see if your craving subsides. Go for a walk or do a short workout. Exercise improves mood, possibly by boosting serotonin levels.

Few handy techniques such as brushing your teeth immediately after eating may also dampen after-meal sweet cravings more chewing a piece of minty, sugar-free gum can help you cut down the instant desire to consume something sugary after a meal.

Sweeten your breakfast

Gluten free pancake

Sweetening your breakfast can also go a long way in cutting down these cravings. Research suggests that adding a small serving of something sweet to breakfast – a square of chocolate, a candy, or even a cookie – prevents sweet cravings later in the day. This is because when you wake up in the morning, your serotonin levels are at their highest and cravings are supposedly the lowest.

That means eating a sweet with breakfast when serotonin levels are already high, won’t give your brain the same serotonin boost. Without the feel-good association, cravings later in the day will be reduced.

Here are Healthy Breakfast Ideas under 100 calories & 200 calories

Mindful eating


It is related to the general practice of mindfulness. Mindfulness in general is about practising awareness and being present at the moment without judgement. This can also be done concerning food and eating.

An experiment from Indiana State University tested the effect of mini-meditations before eating or when an urge to binge occurs. The results suggested a positive effect, as the hunger attacks decreased in frequency and severity for the meditation group.

Even though binge eating and cravings are not the same things, they may show up together. And other more recent studies have been exploring the potential meditation has to change these behaviours.

Related: The Power of Mindful Eating

Still, reaching for the sweets?

If you’re genetically predisposed to craving sweets, that doesn’t mean you’re a lost cause. Many of these tips can still help.

Emotionally eating sweets? You’re not alone. Next time you crave a sweet, ask yourself, what are you looking for? Is it that comforting feeling of home? Is it to remember your grandparents? Is it to reward yourself for hard work or to celebrate an accomplishment?

We’ve all enjoyed a sweet treat after a meal, but when it feels like you are held captive to the cravings, it’s time to do something about it. Habit change takes a lot of upfront effort and may take a few days up to two weeks to become automatic, but practising these strategies can equip you to better handle the next time sugar cravings hit.

Here we have healthy hunger stop foods for your cravings.

Weight loss

If you liked these tips, then you’ll love MetabolismReset diet, my online program to help you boost your metabolism to achieve weight loss

There are heaps more tricks and tips I’d love to teach you to help you skip the cravings and feel in control around food.