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How to Deal with Junk Food Cravings?

Avoid Junk Food Post WLS

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Question asked by a visitor – I have done 1 year of counseling but sometimes I want to go back to the junk food I used to consume regularly. What food is good to stop those cravings?

Our bariatric dietitian answers:

It all really depends on your cravings; what foods you can use as a healthier substitution. This is something I really like people to spend a lot of time on and to think about those cravings and what foods they are. Another important consideration is where those cravings are coming from. Is it in relation to emotional or stress eating? If it is, then diving into that topic more and working with a counselor that is familiar with emotional eating habits is going to be very valuable to a long term solution. Otherwise you are just repeatedly putting a “small band aid on a very large wound.”

If your craving is just that, a simple craving it can be much easier to find a healthier fix. I, for instance, am someone that gravitates to sweets over salty foods, so I really rely on my 1 oz square of dark chocolate. By savoring that small serving and really taking the time to enjoy the flavor of it, I can prevent myself from eating a handful of Oreo’s.

When it comes to salty or savory foods you can get air popped pop corn and add your own salt or flavoring. Popcorn is a great alternative because you can control the salt and toppings on it compared to just buying something from the grocery store. If you are less than 2 months out from surgery, you will want to hold off on the popcorn and other crunchy, dry foods.

With any craving, the key is moderation.I would suggest if you want to have a small amount of whatever you are craving, that is ok because it is mostly about planning and figuring out how to include all foods in moderate amounts.

Here are some general tips:

  1. Don’t eat chips out of the bag or ice-cream out of the container because it doesn’t have any accountability to it.
  2. Physically measure out a serving whether it is 10 potato chips or 1/2 cup of ice cream.
  3. Put that look portion size on a plate or in a bowl and see how much you are consuming at one time.
  4. Be mindful of what you’re eating and enjoy knowing that occasional treats are just fine when part of a balanced diet.




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