Skip to content


    Exciting News for WebMD Members!

    We've been busy behind the scenes building new message boards for you. You'll have new and easier ways to find messages, connect with others, and share your stories.

    And, this will all be available on your smartphone or other mobile device!

    What Do You Need to Do?

    The message board you're used to will be closing in the coming weeks. While many of your boards will be making the move to our new home, your posts will not. Want to keep a discussion going? Save posts you want to continue (this includes your member profile story), so that you can re-post them in the new message boards.

    Keep an eye here and on your email inbox, we'll be back in touch soon to give you all the information you need!

    Yours in health,
    WebMD Message Boards Management

    My Dieting Nightmare: Cravings and Portions!!!
    falconey4 posted:
    First off i want to say i love this new Health Exchange Center! It looks so cleaned up and fresh :)

    Ok. So like everyone here on this board I am trying to lose weight and get in shape. My ultimate goal is fat loss and toning. I love fruits and veggies and those are my biggest eats throughout the day. I also eat tofu, chicken and fish. I drink plenty of water, tea and other calorie-free beverages. But i am having a few issues and was hoping that some people out there would be able to offer some words of advice and wisdom. (Maybe some out there have had similar problems).

    My first problem is cravings. I don't crave sweets or junk food or things like that. My craving problem is carbs! Mainly breads, cereals, pancakes, crackers, pretzels, cookies. I just can't stop eating them when i buy them. So to combat that i rarely by them and if i do its a treat. Is there anyway I can get this craving under control??

    My second issue is portion control. (This probably goes along with the first issue). But when i eat, i want to say maybe 35% (like maybe once a week) of the time, i just don't know when to stop. Its almost like my brain doesn't know when to say stop until time after i eat. I try hard, and like i said most of the time i am good. Is there any advice to keep me from over-eating??
    kimmisthegrimmis responded:
    Hey Falconey,
    I think A LOT of people can relate to your battle with cravings and portion control. I know I can.

    I personally crave sweets vs. carbs. I've found I can't just have 1 cookie b/c as soon as I have one ... I want 4 more. I can't even have a package of cookies in the house b/c I can't sleep knowing they are just in the other room. My father is like you. He craves breads, pasta, etc. I'm not a nutritionist, but I have read quite a bit on the topic. It sounds like you might not need to give up breads, but rather refined carbs and move to whole grain carbs instead. Whole grain foods help to control your blood sugar and are higher in fiber which in turn will help control your food cravings & the fiber will help you feel fuller. They make whole grain breads, pastas, crackers, pretzels, cereals, pancake mix .... so you can still have your favorite foods -- just a modified version. I would also recommend adding some protein to any of the whole grain carbs that you eat. Protein will help keep you feeling satiated after you eat.

    On the portion size issue .... I saw a nutritionist about 2 months ago who gave me a few small strategies to try. Some may sound silly, but I've been doing them and I've found that they actually have helped. You may have heard that it takes your brain about 20 minutes before it realizes your full. The big key is to eat slower. Here are some of the things she recommended I do.
    1. Before you sit down to your meal drink 8oz of water
    2. Don't eat in front of the TV or computer. Be mindful of the food you're eating. Taste every ingredient
    3. Don't load your fork or spoon. Take small bites. Your food isn't going to run or the plate and your not going to starve in 20 minutes.
    4. Chew your food 10-20 times before swallowing
    5. Eat with chopsticks (I actually do this when I'm at home & it works)
    6. If you're eating with a fork, put the fork down after each bite and take a sip of water
    Also make sure you're not ravenous at each meal time. You might be better off having a handful of almonds an hour before your planning to eat to help curb your appetite.

    I hope this helps a little bit!

    falconey4 replied to kimmisthegrimmis's response:
    Kimmisthegrimmis, thank you so much for your advice. I'm glad to know that i am not the only one who has this problem. I definitely know what you mean about having just one cookie. And i already eat the whole grain version of all those carb cravings, haha! I don't like white grains. I am studying to be a nutritionist and I became very health conscious after some health issues my father has that are genetic.

    And i am definitely going to try these portion control tips. :)
    An_202404 responded:
    Help! I work with people who constantly try to sabotage dieting efforts. Anyone have any advise to stop coworkers with bringing in so temping snacks without just being a mean individual by saying just because you choose to be fat I am trying so hard not to be. My willpower goes right out the door when someone brings in chocolate or some other incredibly temping snack. I do not mean to sound weak but I am in my fifties and I am trying so hard to stay young, vital and healthy. The older I get the harder it becomes to keep a lean body. Please send some constructive advise.
    GirlOnA2010Mission replied to An_202404's response:
    I also work in an office where lunch is always being ordered in for meetings and there are multiple cookie trays in meetings and around the office in general. It's terrible.

    Quite honestly I don't know that there is any "constructive" advice. I do everything I can to avoid eye contact with the cookie tray. If I don't see it, I don't want it -- well I do want it, but it's easier a whole lot easier to ignore it if I'm not looking directly at it. It really is about willpower. Just try to remember how bad you will feel after you've given in to eating the treat you know you shouldn't have. "Eaters remorse" if you will.

    You may also want to consider bringing your own "treats" to work that will satisfy your cravings/temptations. I keep 90 calorie Zone Snack Bars at my desk when I feel a chocolate craving. They satisfy my sweet craving and I don't have that eaters remorse guilt like I would with conference room cookies.

    Hang in there. You can do it!

    Helpful Tips

    How to Decrease Your AppetiteExpert
    Let's say you've already had a healthy balanced meal so that you're not hungry (hunger is a physical phenomenon and tells the body "I ... More
    Was this Helpful?
    291 of 358 found this helpful

    Expert Blog

    Everyday Fitness - Pamela Peeke, MD, MPH, FACP

    Achieve a better mind-body balance and live a healthier life with tips from wellness expert Dr. Pamela Peeke...Read More

    Related Drug Reviews

    • Drug Name User Reviews

    Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

    FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.