How to Curb Cravings for Weight Loss

Author: Kevin Driscoll
January 28, 2024

Are you currently dieting for weight loss?


I’m guessing you are here because you are struggling, and the reason for that is those dang CRAVINGS!


You’re having a great day, got your workout in, and even have been dialed in with your nutrition.


You just ate dinner, and BOOM!!!


Chip cravings.


Cookie cravings.


All the tasty treat cravings!


I’ve been there. We have all been there.


Well, welcome to your ultimate guide on how to curb cravings for weight loss!


In this blog, I will teach you how to curb and eliminate cravings and how to satisfy them when they come up. And how to deal with and manage them to keep you on track and stay consistent while continuing to achieve your weight loss goals!



First, there is something you need to understand.


Having cravings is completely normal.


There is absolutely nothing wrong with you getting cravings; they happen and are going to pop from time to time.


So understand there is nothing to be self-conscious or embarrassed of.


Now, there are reasons for the cravings that will get into a bit, but a lot of the time (especially for me), when you crave something like a donut, it’s probably because donuts are delicious. I always want donuts; I mean, they are freaking tasty and amazing!


Now, read this carefully.


A lot of the foods you crave are known as hyper-palatable foods.


Hyper-palatable foods are a combination of fat, sugar, sodium, or carbohydrates and usually have a particular texture to trigger the brain's reward system, which encourages excessive eating with that specific food.

These foods are researched and designed for you to eat them, enjoy the shit out of them, and want more.


When these hyper-palatable foods are consumed, they are eating, convincing your brain to tell you, “What the f*ck was that?! That was an amazing experience, and I want more!”


Companies like Coca-Cola, Frito-Lay, or Nabisco spend millions of dollars testing the perfect combination of fats and carbs, with salts and sugars, and finding the best texture to have you consuming as much as possible. Hence, why you consume more, and they can make lots of mula!



Seriously, they research the perfect amount of crunch per chip.


The perfect amount of flavor per bite.


The perfect amount of fizzle per soda…


To leave you wanting more.


Again, there is nothing wrong with you for having these cravings. You are human; they happen.


But let’s dive into how you can better manage and curb these cravings to succeed more with your weight loss goals.


1. Get Your Micros In!

As always, there is nothing wrong with enjoying foods that are less nutritious than other foods.


There is nothing wrong with enjoying some cookies or pizza once in a while.


But if that is all you are eating, then hunger and cravings will be more of a challenge for you than it needs to be.



Foods high in micronutrients, vitamins, and minerals will be unbelievably helpful when it comes to better managing your cravings.


Eating foods rich in micronutrients will play a key role in controlling your cravings by addressing underlying nutritional deficiencies and regulating appetite. Diets full of micronutrients contribute to having better satiety and reduced hunger. 



Micronutrient-dense diets are known for having lower cravings for sweets and “junk” foods. 


What happens is that getting more fruits, vegetables, protein, and fiber helps stabilize blood sugar levels, which in return will help diminish cravings for that sugary snack. These foods will promote feelings of more fullness and improved appetite management. 


As eating more whole foods full of nutrients is needed just for better health, it will make weight loss and fat loss easier on you without having to battle those feelings of hunger and cravings as often.


All my 1:1 online fat loss clients who have an easier time with consistency and weight loss will prioritize most meals to include a protein option and a fruit or vegetable option for these exact reasons above. It’s not that they don’t enjoy their other favorite foods, but they will prioritize nutrient-dense foods to set themselves up for success.




I want you to look down at your plate and start including more of these whole foods.


Not only will you notice better cravings and appetite management, but you will also feel more energized and mentally clear throughout the day!


2. Eat Your Dang Protein!



The king of the fat loss macronutrients!


Because we are talking about curbing and better managing your cravings, make sure you take this one seriously!


Protein is going to be your most satiating macronutrient (compared to carbohydrates and fats). This means it will help you fill up, feel more satiated, and be more satisfied for longer.


When managing your cravings, eating enough protein each day is one of the top hacks. 



On a side note (because I assume if you are reading this, you are trying to lose fat), protein will help you build and maintain muscle mass. So when you lose weight, you will lose it from your fat tissue vs. your muscle.


You should aim for .7 grams of protein per pound of your goal body weight at a minimum. A MINIMUM, so you can always have more! 


Check out my handy protein calculator to find out how much protein you should be targeting each day. 👉 Go to the protein calculator 👈 

And definitely make sure you check out my blog How to Increase Your Protein Intake, so you can get all the tips you need to learn how to increase the amount of protein you are having each day.


3. Chug Some Water!

Chug! Chug! Chug!

Ok, maybe you don’t have to chug, but make sure you drink plenty of water throughout the day! 


But your body will sometimes misinterpret dehydration for hunger and cravings, which leads to overconsumption of too many calories.


When you're lacking water or dealing with dehydration, what happens is that your organs (liver specifically) can have a hard time releasing glycogen (or glucose, or energy from carbohydrates) and other nutrients. In return, you crave certain foods, usually sugary treats.


So, staying on top of your water or quickly throwing back a glass of water will get things moving along and curb those cravings!


Also, a great trick to help manage cravings is having a big glass of water before each meal.


This will help fill up your stomach, so by the time you are done eating, you won’t have room to continue eating, and you have curbed those cravings ahead of time to carry on with your day.


Give it a shot!


Before I move on, I know you are asking, “Well, how much water should I have a day, Kevin?!?!”


The rule of half your body weight in fluid ounces can be a great metric to use.


But honestly, as it is a great metric, you don't have to obsess over it.


Just make sure you are drinking water consistently throughout the day and check the color of your pee.


If it's a dark yellow color, it's time to drink some water.


If it's consistently bright yellow, you are good to go. Keep it going!

4. Find Nutritious Treats

Now, I don’t like using the terms healthy and unhealthy because, in my opinion, an overall healthy diet includes ALL foods. This is why I say there are foods with lots of nutrients and other foods with not as many.




All should be accepted in your diet, and that is what makes a diet healthy!


Now, I also understand that things you are craving are also hard to have in moderation (more on trigger foods later).


I mean, you can make it work (fitting in your favorite treats) if you can fit these into your calories and remain consistently in a calorie deficit. Yet, if you notice, you are always craving for something, and you also know you tend to have a hard time having them in moderation and overindulge on that specific food; find something that won’t make a big dent in your calories and will still satisfy you.



Again, finding some tasty, nutritious treats to replace what you typically have can be great and helpful for curbing your cravings while still keeping you on track to lose weight.


Some ideas can be:


  • A piece of fruit
    I have clients who love having fruit with almonds, which helps manage their cravings and calories for the day.
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Protein Shake
  • Greek Yogurt with granola or fruit
  • Flavored Water/Sparkling Water
  • Diet Soda
  • Sugar-Free Pudding/Jello
  • Yasso Bars/Skinny Cow Ice Cream Sandwiches

These are just some of the many ideas that can satisfy your cravings without having you go over your calories for the day!


5. Just Eat It!

One of the best ways to avoid cravings is not to avoid the craving.



Just eat it, enjoy it, and get right back on track!


One thing I have said above is that cravings are normal. They are going to happen, and that's ok.


Also, all food should be a part of your diet, which is what makes an overall healthy diet.


Food is more than just fuel for your body.


Food will be a celebration of your anniversary, vacation memories, and date night joy with your partner.


So, enjoying the pizza, ice cream, and chips is totally fine.


And here's the wild thing!


You can work these foods into your calories, hit your daily calorie target, and continue progressing with weight loss.


Yes, it takes planning the day (which you should be doing)! But you can work these treats and foods you crave into your calories, satisfying your craving and allowing you to progress.


For example, I love having some of my 1 on 1 fat loss clients pre-plug their treat first thing in the morning. Then, from there, work backward for the remainder of the day.


So your calorie target is 2,000 calories, and you know you want 200-calorie cookies later on, then plug into your calorie (food) tracker, and now you have 1,800 calories to work with for the remainder of the day!



Sometimes, you need to satisfy your craving by not restricting yourself from the food and making it a part of your diet.


One of the biggest mistakes I see is people labeling foods as good and bad.


When you label a food (you love) as bad, what happens the moment you have that food?


You take a bite, get guilty because you tell yourself you did something bad, and feel like you messed up.


Knowing you are going to go back to overstricting the next day, you decide to say “fuck it” and overindulge, going way over your calories for the day. This cycle usually continues on and on, making it hard for you to progress and lose weight.


Think about it like this:


When you are at the grocery store, and you tell your kid to stop touching everything in the store, what do they do?


They get even more of the urge to touch everything in the store and continue to touch everything.


When I say don’t think of a white elephant, what do you think about? A white elephant.



When you say you can’t eat or must restrict yourself from certain foods, you think about them and want them even more. This leads to mental fatigue of restricting you and ends up going ape shit, overeating that food.


Give yourself permission to eat whatever you want; all foods are part of a healthy diet and a healthy relationship with food.


7. Trigger Foods

Trigger foods are foods that when you consume, “trigger” overeating and cause you to overindulge.


This can be an emotional thing or just the face. I said earlier that they are hyper-palatable.


There are just some foods right now that you have difficulty having in moderation, no matter what!


For me, that is kettle corn popcorn.


My wife and I used to get the Costco bag, like the big-ass bag that could feed a small village, and every time I had it, I would finish that bag within two days.



That was 3,500 calories on top of everything I ate within two days from just popcorn.


So what did I do?


We stopped buying it, so it was no longer so easily accessible for me.


Sometimes, the best way to get rid of cravings is to get rid of the temptation.


Set up your environment so it's easier for you not to have such easy access to these trigger foods and overindulge on them.


It doesn’t have to be forever, but do it for now as you work on managing your portion and building up your relationship with food.


This doesn't mean you can’t have these certain foods; it just adds a barrier, so if you do want something, you have to get in your car, go to the store, and buy it, which at that point is probably worth it for you to have it!


8. Emotional Cravings

Curbing cravings rooted by emotions can be a tough one.


It requires an approach that addresses your psychological triggers and physiological responses. 


Firstly, it is important to develop and understand your self-awareness by identifying what emotions drive the cravings for you. 












Acknowledging these feelings is the first step towards managing them effectively. 


Next, we want to make a switch.


Take the action of diving into the cabinets or grabbing whatever you're constantly craving with this emotion coming on and find an alternative action—a different coping mechanism to deal with your emotions. 


This could be engaging in exercise, meditation, journaling, walking or reading. 


Also, building your support team of friends, family, a coach, or even a therapist can provide valuable guidance and encouragement on the journey to overcoming and curbing your cravings.


When it comes to curbing cravings for weight loss that get triggered by emotions, find ways to make a switch from grabbing a treat to an action that will help you practice emotional management to let that craving pass on.


9. The 20-Minute Rule

This is my favorite strategy for curbing cravings for weight loss (that's why I saved it toward the end)!


It’s simple and very effective!


My goal is to help you not have an instant reaction the moment you get a craving to act on it.


My goal is to help you learn how to curb them so they are less frequent, but also, when they still come on, create time and space between your cravings and your reactions to them. And this rule is great for this!


Here is how it works.


1) You have to give yourself permission to eat the craving! Don’t create more anxiety by fighting the urge to restrict yourself and tell yourself you can’t have the food.


2) You will set up a timer on a clock or phone for 20 minutes and start it.


3) Now, you will pour yourself a glass of water and drink the entire thing.


4) After you drink your water, you can do whatever you want for the remainder of that time. Go walk, take a shower, read a book, or whatever you desire.


5) Once the time is up, see how you feel. More often than not, I bet the urge goes away, and you feel fine, so continue on with your life! 


If you still have the craving, then have what you are craving! Portion out the appropriate amount, enjoy it, and repeat this process until the craving is curbed!


A lot of the time, this works because you need a bit of time to allow your body, your mind, and your emotions to let that craving just pass by. All it takes is a little time and patience, so try out this 20-minute rule the next time to help curb cravings and help with your weight loss journey!


10)  Don't Give In

When a craving comes on, sometimes we don't give in because we shouldn't give in every time we have a craving.


Just like if you are in a relationship, every time you see another attractive person, you don't shoot your shot with that person.


You have values you honor and want to make decisions that best align with those values.


Practice discipline.


Remind yourself of what our goals are. What your values are.


Remember why you started this weight loss journey!



Trust me, I get this is easier said than done. 


But just like anything else you consistently practice, it does get better.


Please understand that managing your cravings is a practice.


You can’t be perfect with it every time, which is ok!


You didn’t fuck anything up. You are learning and growing. To learn and grow takes time, repetition, and going through some slips ups once in a while, but justpped up doesn't because you slit mean you fucked everything up.


So promise me this: if a slip-up happens and you overindulge on a craving, don’t over-restrict yourself from food, don’t do extra cardio, or don’t fast the entire next day because this is what creates that Yo-yo dieting cycle, where you lose weight and regain it over and over.


You got this!



I hope you found these tips on how to curb cravings for weight loss helpful!


Like I just said, this is a practice, but start applying these tips, and I bet you'll see all the difference on your weight loss journey with better managing and curbing these cravings!


And if you need more guidance, support, and accountability with weight loss, click HERE to schedule a time for us to chat!



As I Am

About Author
Kevin Driscoll

Hey there! I'm an online personal trainer and nutrition coach, and I've helped hundreds of people achieve their weight loss and fitness goals without restricting them from their favorite foods or spending overtime in the gym. Let's work together!



Subscribe to our newsletter & stay updated