How to Vanquish Food Cravings, Part 3


Childhood Obesity News has been looking at the various efforts toward craving reduction that have been suggested by different people. A mention, of course, doesn’t imply that Dr. Pretlow necessarily recommends the measure for any particular patient. It’s useful to see what’s going on in the world, and, of course, nothing ever works for everyone.

Marie Crawford gives a list of five tips: Eat a good diet, keep occupied, drink water, wait it out, or suppress the craving by doing some displacement activity like toothbrushing.

Jorge Mora stresses the importance of recognizing the problem, and of acknowledging that it will take work to beat the craving. Also, he says, “Learn to say no.” Yes, but how? If it were so darn easy, there wouldn’t be addicts all over the place.

Cinnamon presents an interesting contradiction. Many people report it as a problem food, something they experience a craving for. Yet, strangely, others credit the spice with the ability to prevent cravings. For the first group, maybe it’s really the sugar they are craving. Maybe people are thinking they want cinnamon, when what they really want is the same old carbohydrates and fats that cinnamon is always paired with. After all, that’s where it shows up, in such items as cinnamon buns, apple pie, and candy.

On the other hand, a person with an unhealthy dependence on cinnamon rolls obviously has a problem, so why hasn’t the high cinnamon intake helped stop craving pastry? This would be a question for someone like cravings coach Diana Walker, who recommends:

By just digesting a teaspoon a day, patients with type 2 diabetes had lowered their blood sugar, cholesterol and triglyceride levels… Cinnamon normalizes blood sugar levels. This helps to reduce cravings for sugar. This helps to control blood glucose levels by preventing insulin spikes after meals. It reduces serum glucose, triglyceride, LDL cholesterol as well as total cholesterol.

In Chapter 15 of Overweight: What Kids Say, Dr. Pretlow talks about what he has learned from young patients who somehow manage to find ways of dealing with cravings:

When the kids can’t stop thinking about food, they vividly imagine how awful they would feel if they were fatter — more teasing, more embarrassment, not fitting into clothes, not getting dates. And they imagine how fantastic they would feel if they were thinner — able to move more easily, wearing cool clothes, feeling proud, a prom date. They realize that the food would taste great and make them feel better for only a few minutes, and then they would feel horrible.

These children and teenagers grope around trying to work out methods of self-help, and the kids who respond to the Weigh2Rock website are very much into mutual help, too. Here are a few ideas:

From Court, 16 –
Before you decide to eat something… ask yourself, ‘How will I feel about this (cake, chips, etc.) in 6 months?’
From Jess, 12 –
Would you rather be happy for 10 minutes while eating & be miserable after for hours??
From Hannah, 12-
Imagine what you’re about to eat superglued to your butt…

Your responses and feedback are welcome!

Source: “Overcome Overeating: 5 Tips To Beat Cravings,” Best Information About, 04/30/10
Source: “Tips to Conquer Food Cravings and Resist Overeating,” Ezine Articles
Source: “Cinnamon Healthy Benefits Curb Cravings With Cinnamon,”, 03/09/11
Image by mhiguera, used under its Creative Commons license.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

FAQs and Media Requests: Click here…

Profiles: Kids Struggling with Weight

Profiles: Kids Struggling with Obesity top bottom

The Book

OVERWEIGHT: What Kids Say explores the obesity problem from the often-overlooked perspective of children struggling with being overweight.

About Dr. Robert A. Pretlow

Dr. Robert A. Pretlow is a pediatrician and childhood obesity specialist. He has been researching and spreading awareness on the childhood obesity epidemic in the US for more than a decade.
You can contact Dr. Pretlow at:


Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the American Society of Animal Science 2020 Conference
What’s Causing Obesity in Companion Animals and What Can We Do About It

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the World Obesity Federation 2019 Conference:
Food/Eating Addiction and the Displacement Mechanism

Dr. Pretlow’s Multi-Center Clinical Trial Kick-off Speech 2018:
Obesity: Tackling the Root Cause

Dr. Pretlow’s 2017 Workshop on
Treatment of Obesity Using the Addiction Model

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation for
TEC and UNC 2016

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the 2015 Obesity Summit in London, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s invited keynote at the 2014 European Childhood Obesity Group Congress in Salzburg, Austria.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2013 European Congress on Obesity in Liverpool, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2011 International Conference on Childhood Obesity in Lisbon, Portugal.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2010 Uniting Against Childhood Obesity Conference in Houston, TX.

Food & Health Resources