It is not out of place to have a food craving every now and then, however, if it’s not managed prudently it can sabotage your weight loss program. You need to understand what sparks your food cravings and at what times. Understanding the latter will help you stay in control and manage food cravings to your advantage. Here are a few tips:

• Know when, where, why and what your food cravings are. Have a food journal or diary and write out when you had a particular craving at the time you are experiencing it, also write out where you are at the time of the craving, examine why and what particular food you are craving. Review your journal after the food craving episode and become more aware of the cause of your craving in terms of the environment or company you are in, the particular situation in which you found yourself (whether stressed, sad, tired, excited etc) and what time of the day. Develop coping strategies to help you deal with it better the next time you crave for food under similar circumstance
• If you crave for food because of boredom, tiredness, anger, stress, try to deal with the underlying situation rather than just giving in to the desire to eat. If its tiredness, try have some rest. If it is boredom try find something interesting to do immediatedly. If it is anger or stress, just relax, go for a walk, get a friend to talk to, or do something that will make you peaceful and relaxed.
• Have healthy snacks like fruits, fruit smoothies and fruit salads, veggie salads, low fat yogurts, skimmed milk, bitter cocoa with skimmed milk beverage, low calorie snack bars, some low calorie cream crackers, grilled fish/chicken pieces around. When you crave for foods depending on whether it is a craving for sweet or savoury food, you choose the appropriate food from these healthy snack options that will satisfy your particular food craving
• Do not keep the foods that you easily and often crave for in the house. You are less likely to eat them if they are unavailable at home
• Many cravings subside within a few minutes. Hence do not dash to the fridge for that ice cream as soon as you have the craving for it. Try take your mind off it by finding something else to do. In about 10 – 20 minutes, that craving should die down.
• If craving does not subside within 20 minutes, you may give in but go for a very small portion of the food you are craving if it is available. Walk to your dining table with the small portion of the food, take a seat and slowly enjoy the food. When you are done, take your mind off it and quickly get busy with something else