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Problem with food cravings when I KNOW I am NOT hungry

Can anyone offer advice on how to curb chocolate cravings and food cravings late at night? See I am a boredom eater, I eat when I am not doing something, but why the cravings when I just ate dinner, am I dehydrated or just not eating enough? How can I recognize REAL hunger from the ones that are just cravings?

Wed. May 16, 10:46am

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Drinking lots of water will help. Also if you drink caffeinated drinks it will dehydrate you because you expel more then you take in. So don't be fooled by diet sodas. They have flavored water available that's sweetened with Splenda. It's pretty good. Also make sure you are getting plenty of variety. Make sure you get plenty of fiber in your diet. I also like to have a baked sweet potato. I find that it helps curb my sweet tooth and if I put a butter substitute like Smart Balance and sprinkle some cinnamon on it, it's plenty sweet enough. Snack on fruits and veggies or other low calorie snacks.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007, 11:10 AM

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I too have this problem and try everything I can not to snack. I seem to dwell on snacking so much that I make myself hungry.. I drink 64 or more ounces of water a day but still can't seem to shake this habit... I am going to watch this thread and look forward to what others have to offer.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007, 12:50 PM

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I have definitely struggled with the same thing, and the thing that works for me is distraction. A typical craving will only last a couple of minutes. If you can distract yourself by getting involved doing something that is incompatable with eating, you can wait out the craving. Take a bubblebath, go for a walk, phone a friend, run the vacuum, do a load of laundry, pay some bills, etc. For me, watching TV doesn't work - that's actually a trigger to munch. So if I'm going to watch TV I have to have something to do, such as knitting. If you get involved in something else, and then realize the craving is gone, you'll realize it's not real hunger, no matter how ravenous you may have felt.

The other thing I try to do is to work backwards and try to figure out what triggered the craving. It's often only a brief thought - maybe I'm reminded of a task I haven't finished and don't want to deal with, or I feel bad about something - and my subconscious will immediately switch over to "I want food!" It's my coping mechanism - if I'm eating, I'm not thinking about that other thing that's bothering me. Once I figure out what triggered the craving, then I can deal with the trigger consciously and rationally.

Good luck!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007, 1:02 PM

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Offer yourself something healthy - i.e. carrot sticks or an apple. Keep them in your fridge. If you're actually hungry, it'll appeal even though it's not exactly what you're craving. If it doesn't appeal, you're not really hungry. Then you'll know if it's a craving you just need to ignore, or if you're not eating enough.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007, 1:17 PM

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try having sugar free gum around. when I want to eat but know I don't need to, I drink a glass of water and chew a piece of gum.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007, 2:59 PM

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Baby carrots in a large bag work for me.
Grapes are also good - it helps if you freeze them (you'll eat them slower).

Wednesday, May 16, 2007, 3:40 PM

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Well - I give into it to some extent. I budget enough calories to allow myself a hot chocolate in the evening made with 8 oz skim milk, dark chocolate cocao and SF irish cream syrup (like in the coffee shops). It's ~130 calories and I make it uber hot, put it in an insulated mug and sip it over 30-45 minutes in the evening. It's filling, chocolately and I can turn down just about any temptation during the course of the day because I know I have a reward waiting for me when I get home that I can truly enjoy without recrimination. Having my little 'treat' in the evening really helps me stick to my good behavior.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007, 3:48 PM

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Ooh, it;s only day 1 for me, and I'm already picking up on so much! Loving this strand...
When I am in control of my eating and recognise cravings as opposed to hunger, I try and think of my aim (to look and feel better in my body) and then think of other things I can do to chase this aim; it could be a little exercise (just 10 crunches can remind you that hunger is different to nutrient needs!) Or, I paint my nails, or use a face mask. I agree with the other comment that distraction is key; but may particularly effecitve if the distraction realigns your goal...
Anyway, good luck! (you can doooo eeet!) :^D

Wednesday, May 16, 2007, 5:51 PM

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Get in touch with your hunger... skip a meal on purpose, let yourself get REALLY hungry, and you'll know what it feels like.

Otherwise, distract yourself. Try playing Text Twist online... develop a new addiction...


Wednesday, May 16, 2007, 6:50 PM

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I'm also a boredom eater. So, keeping busy does help. But, one of the things that I have found that helps me more than anything is to brush my teeth really, really good when I'm having a craving. Make sure you have a toothpaste that has a fresh, minty taste (or whatever flavor you like). The freshness really, really helps keep the cravings down plus the clean feeling in your mouth feels so good that you want to keep it feeling clean.

When I can't brush, I use Extra gum. Extra gum keeps it's flavor a long time and it helps keep the cravings away.

Good luck. Keep it up. You can do it. And even if you "cheat" a little, don't feel like a failure and keep on eating. Just pick up and start again.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007, 7:01 PM

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How To Stop Emotional Eating, Night Eating and Mindless Snacking

New PEERtrainer article on emotional eating:


Friday, June 19, 2009, 12:22 PM

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Curb Craving

I am the exact same way - I'm a chocoholic but still want to fit into my jeans. Plus I get bored at work and need a break so I want to eat.

Try this:
1) Drink either a zero calorie vitamin water or Diet Soft Drink (I like Diet A&M Rootbeer) - Force yourself to drink a couple sips to see if you are either thirsty or hungry
2) Still hungry or have cravings?
Eat a Sugar Free or Fat Free Jell-o pudding snack (squirt a little dab of fat free reddi wip for extra creaminess) = 60 - 100 calories
The sugar free dark chocolate one (60 calories) totally kills my chocolate cravings! This won't ruin your diet, a great snack, and fills you up!

I have a ton of other snack ideas and tips under the "Buy" page on


Tuesday, October 13, 2009, 4:51 PM

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