7 Nutritionists Reveal How They Crush Cravings

Cravings happen to all of us. Yes, even nutritionists have to battle off sweet and salty desires that strike in the middle of the afternoon. They also know what to eat when a craving hits, though, which is key in continuing to work toward your ultimate weight-loss goals. In addition to learning to recognize the subtle differences between cravings and real, genuine hunger, educating yourself on how to satisfy a chocolate, soda or crispy chip craving is an important step in any weight-loss plan.
 
To get you on the track to developing your own action plan before your most aggressive craving strikes next, seven nutritionists weighed in on what they turn to when salty, sweet or bubbly knock on the door.
 

Eat This, Not That
 

The Craving: Soda
To Fight the Craving: I grab seltzer flavored up with fresh fruit or a splash of 100 percent fruit juice. It's cool, refreshing and all about those fizzy bubbles—except this is much better way to stay hydrated.
 
Dana Angelo White, registered dietitian and certified athletic trainer at Dana White Nutrition.
 
The Craving: Dark chocolate with a sprinkle of salt
To Fight the Craving: One of my favorite sweet satisfactions is a frozen banana, sliced, with melted crunchy peanut butter and dark chocolate shavings on top. This works to satisfy my craving because not only does it have the sweet and salty satisfaction with the natural sugar in the banana, cocoa in the dark chocolate and salty peanut butter, but it also has the right texture and mouthfeel. Cold, warm, crunchy and creamy—what more could you ask for?
 
Elizabeth Shaw, M.S., R.D.N., C.L.T., Nutrition Communications Consultant at Shaw's Simple Swaps.
 
The Craving: Tortilla Chips
To Fight the Craving: I grab Que Pasa's Thin and Crispy Tortilla Chips in Twist of Lime flavor and usually pair it with salsa. I find that when I have a small amount of the food I'm craving, that tends to fully satisfy my craving. For me, my focus is honoring my craving in a way that makes me feel good for the short term and long term. A handful of tortilla chips with salsa and a glass of seltzer when I get home from the office really hits the spot.
 
Willow Jarosh, M.S., R.D., co-author of "Happy, Healthy Pregnancy Cookbook.
The Craving: Cookies
To Fight the Craving: My craving for cookies tends to hit during the 4 or 5 p.m. afternoon slump. I often make energy bites to keep on hand. I make them with a combination of sunflower butter, rolled oats, hemp hearts, shredded coconut, maple syrup and vary up the extras like cacao nibs, nuts and dried fruit. I roll this “dough” into little two-inch balls and keep them in the fridge. They are my perfect bite and provide me with the energy I need as I transition from work to mom life.
 
Stephanie Middleberg, M.S., R.D., author of "The Big Book of Organic Baby Food" and founder of Middleberg Nutrition.
 
The Craving: Any type of salty snack
To Fight the Craving: I munch on whatever is around—popcorn, pretzels or tortilla chips—and limit portions. Sometimes to satisfy the craving I eat a salad or vegetables with ginger dressing because that is savory, too. Each snack has salt and it's important to drink plenty of water, as well.
 
Dr. Felicia D. Stoler, D.C.N., M.S., R.D.N., F.A.C.S.M., F.A.N.D., author of "Living Skinny in Fat Genes"
 
The Craving: Ice cream
To Fight the Craving: I go out and buy sea-salted caramel ice cream with full fat and sugar. I don’t like anything fake because it will not satisfy my cravings. I sit down and eat a half cup slowly, savoring every spoonful. I am careful not to keep it in my home regularly and I only do it on the weekends if the cravings come.
 
Manuel Villacorta, M.S., R.D.N., founder of Whole Body Reboot
 
The Craving: Chocolate bar
To Fight the Craving: Instead of a candy bar or bag of M&M's—which clocks in at 240 calories and 10 grams of fat—I have a tablespoon of semi-sweet chocolate chips for 70 calories and four grams of fat. It satisfies my sweet tooth and need for some texture or crunch. When I’m "hungry" for chocolate, I know I’m not truly "hungry" so this small amount does the trick.
 
Melissa Joy Dobbins, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E. of The Guilt-Free RD
 
The next time a craving strikes and consumes your mind without relenting, remember that moderation is key and consider if there are other healthy snacks that can satisfy the urge for a salty or sweet snack. 
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Member Comments

Thanks Report
Thanks Report
Most of these are good. However, I do not find the frozen banana with peanut butter and dark chocolate shavings to be an effective alternative for a square of dark chocolate with sea salt. Not only does this substitute have more calories, but when I crave chocolate, I don't want peanut butter. Report
CECTARR
Thanks Report
I don't very much like these alternatives. Most are just as calorie dense with somewhat more healthy ingredients.

I like the comment from NyLaura1 "The best cure for cravings is water and time.
If you can drink water and walk away from the temptation, the craving may pass "

I think it is better to build habits to refrain from putting food in your mouth when you are craving and not hungry. Report
Thanks you. Most of these suggest moderation and portion control, not denial. That’s important for a successful journey. That is how I handle it. Small serving eaten outside of my normal environment. No “lfeftovers” in the house to offer added temptation. Report
ETHELMERZ
As time goes on, you will not be so picky anymore. Report
Love the alternatives (except I thought the dark chocolate with a little salt sounded healthy already)! Whenever I have icecream, I serve it in a teacup instead of a bowl, so it looks like a lot without being a lot. For salty snacks, portioned savoury granola would be a good option or homemade sweet potato chips with a little salt sprinkled on top.

If someone brings in treats to the office that you are craving and you don't have a healthy alternative. Drink some water and chew on mint gum. Report
MUSICNUT
Thanks for the great article! :) Report
Surprising. Report
Thanks Report
NYLAURA1
The best cure for cravings is water and time.
If you can drink water and walk away from the temptation, the craving may pass Report
Good suggestions Report
Great information Report
Great ideas! Report


 

About The Author

Toby Amidor
Toby Amidor
Toby Amidor, M.S., R.D., is the founder of Toby Amidor Nutrition and the author of "The Greek Yogurt Kitchen" and "The Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook."