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does eating better lead to less craving of food?

I am reading that if you eat foods that are high in nutrients, your body craves less food. The idea is that when you eat junk, there is little nutrient value which your body needs. So it tells you to get more. In essence, fat is an appetite stimulant, where the more junk you eat, the more you crave.

Mon. Feb 5, 5:33pm

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I'm not sure if that is true, but you can definitely get used to eating less food!

For example, I give myself a calorie budget - I am allowed 300 cals for breakfast, 500 while I'm at work (including lunch), and 500 after work (including dinner). That's pretty tight. I need to focus on getting foods that are filling; otherwise I'll be hungry all day.

Well, a good solid year of doing that, and, seriously, I get full so fast now! I used to be able to eat probably thousands of calories in a sitting; now, I fill up, especially when I concentrate on listening to my body. It's great!

Though, a day or two of eating crap, and I can get right back to being able to eat whatever again! So, it's not permanent, yet.

Also, though, cutting out junk will make you crave it less b/c things like sugar are somewhat addictive - the "high" and then the crash. If you avoid it, you'll want it less and less.

Monday, February 05, 2007, 5:49 PM

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Yes! I definitely crave less junk when I eat better. And by 'better' I mean I eat 5-8 healthfully prepared servings of veggies and fruits, lean protein, whole grains, heart-healthy fats, low-fat dairy and very, very little in the way of processed foods. It's when I get crunched for time and need convenience and just buy something fast that I find myself getting back on the craving roller-coaster. However so long as I make it a priority to purchase and prepare healthful meals and snacks - I do not crave much in the way of junk and I find I prefer the treats I do have to be of a higher quality. This sounds easy when I write it, but I don't always make my health a priority even though I *know* I should. I put everything else ahead of my own needs for healthy food and pretty soon I'm eating a diet of junk and giving in to cravings left and right. The hardest part of eating well has been giving myself permission to do it full-time and refusing to feel guilty for making it a priority in my life.

Monday, February 05, 2007, 5:53 PM

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so true for me!!! wheni eat NO junk food, i have NO cravings. it all starts with one chip or one spoonful of ice cream or one nacho. and then *BOOM* i cannot stop thinking about food. i have definitely taken notice of this. each time i succumb to the cravings it gets that much harder to get over the initial "hump" again, but i've never felt better than when i had virtually no preservatives in my system.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007, 9:01 AM

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I rarely ate junk food and rarely eat it today. But regarding healthy foods: since I joined PT (Jan. 2006!!) I have significantly reduced the number of calories I eat by reducing portion sizes. I eat smaller portions of just about everything, including healthy foods like veggies + salads. And to my surprise, I have gotten used to these much smaller portions. Occasionally, I slip and eat much larger amounts (usually at parties or celebrations where I am faced with all sorts of wonderful foods). However, I then tend to feel sick and I KNOW I really overate.

Changing my eating habits has been and still is an interesting process....
(so far, I'm down about 35 lb.)

Tuesday, February 06, 2007, 9:02 AM

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When it comes to choosing healthy foods, it all kind of falls into place if you get the recommended 5-8 servings of fruit and veggies and then focus your healthy eating efforts on choosing smart carbohydrates -- for most, it's the junky carbs/sugar that give us an uncontrollable appetite, not the fat (which is generally considered "satiating"). I have not consciously given up junk food, but by doing the above, it's at an all-time low, like once or twice a week instead of 2-3x a day. I rarely miss it, which is a total surprise to me.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007, 12:09 PM

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Too much diet soda gives me cravings for food- I think my body throws a fit when it tastes sugar but doesn't get actual sugar.

I've found if I keep my diet soda intake to 1 can or less a day, i doesn't mess with my system. 2 cans, I get slightly snacky. 3 cans, I get ravenous. Weird.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007, 1:18 PM

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I stopped eating junk food about three years ago, and never crave it. In fact, when I drive by one of those places, the smell makes me sick. The couple times I have eaten something from them because it was the only choice, etc., I felt like crap afterward.
I do agree with some of the other posters that once you have a splurge day of sugary sweets, the next couple days are hell trying to get back on the healthy track, but eating sweets in moderation has been what has kept me on track. I'm even eating mostly vegetarian foods now, even though I don't consider myself vegetarian. It just makes more sense to have a boca burger than a high calorie regular beef burger. When I go out to eat is when I have regular meat, but at home I don't even have meat in the house.


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Tuesday, February 06, 2007, 5:46 PM

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would you cite some sources so i can read up on this more?

Thursday, February 15, 2007, 3:46 PM

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My experience is that the less you eat of anything, the less you crave it. I became a vegetarian almost 8 years ago, after having been quite the meat-lover and an aficionado of barbecue! It didn't happen overnight. I just told myself that I could have BBQ whenever I really craved it. So I craved it maybe once every 6 weeks at first....twice a year for a long not even that often.

The same is actually true of serving size, for me. I used to eat a whole huge bowl of salad or plate of food, no matter how rich. Over the last 5 years I have totally adjusted to healthy serving sizes, and now those heaped plates look somewhat pathological and alarming to me.

Now, I am not a quick weight-loss kind of person. But my high weight was about 170, and I'm now at about 120. So I would say that if you accept that your cravings might not be gone in a week or even in a month, but give them time to become less frequent, you are on your way!

Saturday, February 17, 2007, 1:29 PM

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The high fructose corn syrup in lots of "junk" foods - what makes them sweet - has been known to cause cravings, esp. for more sweets. I don't eat that stuff anymore cause even when I have a little, I am ravenous and cravings sweets and junk all day.

Sunday, February 18, 2007, 12:03 PM

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i have been doing really well w staying on track w my eating. hardly any "junk" fr about 3 wks. then yesterday i went to a party & allowed myself some treats...i was snacking alllllll day after that bc once i eat it, i want more (sugar). not fair!

Friday, March 16, 2007, 7:11 PM

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I know how batteling food cravings are I am not on carbs and I am going off choc for a week and I work in choc all day. so I can relate.

here is a few links I goggled for you. I love using google..

Sunday, March 18, 2007, 7:00 AM

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My experience from the last month on PT says yes. I've been a binge junk food/sugar eater for many many years. Just making myself eat two pieces of fruit a day (say, thats not so unpleasant) and the recommended amount of vegies for my age had led to an almost natural weight loss.

Eating fiber has helped me avoid daily 'crashes' by making me feel full and satiated for a long time. Salad/soup and an apple in the late afternoon helps me avoid a desire to eat in the evening.

I'm hoping to change long term habits, but I'm only one month in so far.

Sunday, March 18, 2007, 9:25 PM

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If you know that you have these cravings then I would suggest preparing for them. I am the kind of person who goes all out once I cave so when I make it a point not to keep garbage around I binge on healthy stuff or at least healthier anyways. On Friday I got an attack and went nuts but I ended up eating the 100 calorie oreo crisps, triscuits and peanuts. This is huge for me because it used to be ice cream and cookies. Another good one are the sugar free fudgesicles and popsicles. I also eat the weight smart flavored oatmeals and carmel flavored rice cakes.......they really are good

Monday, March 19, 2007, 2:51 AM

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Yes, this works for me! I can relate to many posters about the junk food - when I see a fast food place now all I can think is "yuck". I'm not craving pizza, ice cream, most of that stuff. Chocolate is still an issue, but I have a little piece of the really dark chocolate or a cup of hot chocolate (less sugar, my own blend), and that does the trick. I also don't even like diet soda any more - used to be a big diet soda drinker, now it is unappealing.

Focus on nutrient-rich foods, some good fats, that's what's working for me.

Monday, March 19, 2007, 5:27 AM

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I've been eating more or less a "clean" diet, cutting out processed foods as much as possible for the past month and I'm amazed as how little "junk" I want to eat now! It really does work for me and I was one of the bigges skeptics of them all!

Monday, March 19, 2007, 5:36 AM

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I dont' crazve JUNK food, i get cravings for carbs. today for example, I had a normal breakfast and normal lunch. but i came home...and i just wanted to eat carbs, like chewy bars and cereal. my problem with weight is not keeping away from cookies and chocolates and candys, its the CARBS! How do i rid those carb cravings

Thursday, January 17, 2008, 7:53 PM

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When I first changed my eating plan I just waited for the evening to come and I could have my snack. Either Nabisco's hundred calorie pacs or chex mix. (I have always been addicted to chips) I limited myself to around 200 calories worth and that was it until the next night.
Well two months into it and I began to crave fruit. And that is how it has been ever since. I want fruit for my evening snack.
Now that is not to say that I don't crave things. I do but I give myself one day a month to have what I have been wanting all along. And the funny thing is I get sick every time. My body can't handle the grease and strange foods.
So I guess our systems do change. And mentally we change along with it.
But as one poster said, after a couple of days of eating wrong my body adjusts.
Unlike another poster, I don't have trouble going back on my plan after I take a day off. In the past I would have but for some reason this time it is different for me. I actually look forward to eating healthy again. That's not to say I don't make the most out of my day off and have those chips.

Thursday, January 17, 2008, 10:00 PM

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What foods give you energy?

I have been walking 4 miles a day 6 days a week, I sleep around 8 hours a day. But I still get sleepy!! I dont know what Im doing wrong. Please help !!

Sunday, October 19, 2008, 11:51 AM

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I don't know the answer to your question. I sometimes get sleepy, too, despite sleeping well at times. It could be that you have a sleep deficit, or perhaps you're in the percentile that requires 9-10 hours of sleep. Also, if you're under the age of 26, your circadian rhythm is in flux, meaning that your optimum sleep time actually rotates by fifteen minutes later every day. This settles out in your late 20s, and then you're able to sleep "normally". I'll look up the citation for this later (I'm in a rush, just now). What I do, is have a cup of coffee in the morning, and another with lunch.

Sunday, October 19, 2008, 12:06 PM

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"Eat to Live" by Dr. Joel Fuhrman

If you want to read about the numerous benefits of nutrient dense eating, definitely check out "Eat to Live" by Joel Fuhrman. I've been eating this way since April, am down 29 pounds without making much of a change to my exercise routine and am feeling pretty darn good! I have no sugar/carb cravings at all... no urge to snack... sometimes I crave spinach (as weird as that is), but that's all good!

I recommend that everyone read this book and Fuhrman's other work as well --- very interesting stuff and you will definitely get an education about nutrition.

Sarah L


Sunday, October 19, 2008, 12:25 PM

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Leaning into nutrition I started with one simple rule: Don't buy anything that lists the words hydrogenated or high fructose corn syrup on the label. I've found that my night time cravings are mostly gone since I began eating for nutrition, and when I slip it's a comfort thing; part of my grieving process. But I no longer cruise the kitchen for 'something' to satisfy, those days are over - never underestimate the power of plants! I also do not consider myself a vegetarian, but that is where I have basically ended up in my search for nutrition. No more calorie counting, and no more adding in empty calories. I'm focusing on micro nutrients now instead of macro nutrients and that's slowly but surely working for me. After last night's foray into the world of refined fat and sugar (ice cream) I feel like crap this morning and can't wait to flush my system with lots of greens. My lapses are getting farther and farther apart the longer I eat for nutrition, just like a previous poster, and I am excited to have finally found a way to eat that feels wholesome and productive instead of limiting and frustrating.

to 11:51 you could try making green smoothies with at least 2oz of spinach in them and no refined sugar, protein supplements or artificial sweeteners. Mornings I start with smoothies are always more energetic. Basic recipe:
1/2C juice (I like carrot)
1 peeled orange
2 oz spinach
1T flax meal (healthy fat)
1/4C frozen fruit (blueberries usually)
1-2 dates if it needs to be sweeter

Have fun eating for health!


Sunday, October 19, 2008, 1:51 PM

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For example:

Yesterday afternoon I had a scoop of vanilla ice cream with a tablespoonful of hot chocolate fudge sauce. It was pretty good while I was eating it, but seemed way sweeter than I remembered (not in a good way). Then I felt too queasy to eat dinner. Once upon a time I could have eaten a whole gallon of ice cream with a whole jar of chocolate fudge sauce poured on it, and then followed it with a bag of ruffled potato chips and sour cream/onion dip. Now I get nauseous just thinking about it. Makes me want to eat only fresh clean foods today.

Sunday, October 19, 2008, 8:42 PM

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I agree witht the PP. I eat a clean diet and I know that if I eat junk I will feel awful. It's a great way to stay "on the wagon".

Monday, October 20, 2008, 9:23 AM

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