Beat the Craving

I am an emotional eater.  If I’m upset or stressed about something, the first thing I turn to is food.  And it’s not veggies.  With God’s help, I have been really trying to overcome and conquer this problem.  The past couple of days, I’m sorry to say, have been a setback for me. 

This has happened many times before.  I’ll be on track and then WHAM, out of nowhere all the old habits start coming back.  After that first day of feeling like a failure, in the past, it has led to a second day, and a third until I’ve gained all my weightloss back and then some.  But, this time it’s different.  I’m not going to fall into that pity party and give up.  Today is a new day and I’m getting back on track.

So, I’ve already admitted that I fail.  A lot.  But, here is how I try to combat the emotional, stressed out eating.

Know your triggers, and have a plan to deal with them.  For some reason the afternoon is hardest for me.  Between breakfast and lunch, I’m fine.  Between supper and bedtime, I’m fine.  It’s those hours between lunch and supper that always get me.  So, I’ve started taking drastic measures to overcome that.

1.  Do something.  Most of my mindless eating occurs at the computer or when I’m watching TV or reading a book.  Sometimes, it helps if I can do something else instead.  However, this doesn’t always work.  After all, it’s based on my following through with the activity, which doesn’t always happen.

2.  Leave the house.  Sometimes, even trying to do something else to take my mind off food doesn’t kill the urge.  So, in order to get a healthier habit pattern established, I try to plan outings for that afternoon time, around 2-3…playdates, visits to friends, a trip to the park or library, or even to the grocery store.  If we have an errand to run, I’ve started trying to schedule it in the afternoon so that I know I’ll have something I can’t back out of.

3.  Make this your scheduled exercise time.  I’ve been working out nearly every day (an average of 6 days a week) for a little over a month now.  I was exercising after supper, but now I’ve started mostly exercising in the afternoon.  Working out tends to give me a mental boost and put things back in perspective, because I know that the feeling of victory from working out is so much sweeter than the regret I would feel if I give in to cravings. Also, usually, after I work out I no longer have a desire for the junk food.

4.  Pray.  I’ll be honest and say that praying for God to take away my craving hasn’t really worked for me.  But, I recently had a revelation about that.  When I’m praying for God to take away my craving, what am I focusing on?  The craving.  Instead, I’ve started trying to pray differently.  Praise God instead.  Put on some worship music and just start to worship him.  Focus on Him, and not your craving.  Pray for someone else.  If you don’t know anyone who needs prayer, open your eyes and look around.  There is pain and sickness and tragedy everywhere.  Focus on someone else and not your craving.  Start your day off with prayer.  Before the craving even starts, first thing in the morning, invite the Holy Spirit to guide your steps and give you strength for the day.

5.  Finally, if nothing is working, compromise.  Sometimes, nothing is working for me and I can’t shake the craving.  In those moments, I try to make a smarter choice.  I just posted a recipe yesterday for chocolate pudding and cool whip popsicles, that only have 60 calories each.  I have found frozen treats to be satisfying, and it lasts longer than the chocolate I would eat instead.  The same is true of hard candy.  No, it may not be the best choice, but if a 60 calorie tootsie pop saves me from a 600 calorie binge, then I’ve made a good choice.

So those are my tips for overcoming cravings…what are yours?  I’m a work in progress, but this time it’s going to stick.  Failure is not an option.  Giving up is not an option.  Mindset is key.  If you give yourself permission to fail, then you’re giving up before you even start.  I might stumble along the way, but I am not going to fall back down and stay there.


Pounds Lost: 11
Pounds till first goal:
Pounds till goal weight:

(Check out: Weight Loss Wednesday, and Women Living Well’s 5 week challenge)


  1. says

    Excellent tips. I too struggle with weight issues. Seems I keep gaining and losing the same 12 pounds. I will take these tips with me today, esp. # 3 & 4.
    Have a blessed day!

    • Crystal says

      Thank you, Linda! And don’t I know it about those same 12 pounds…except that mine multiply! lol…no more though!

    • Crystal says

      Thanks, Kerri! Sometimes I worry about being too honest, because I know that I’m opening myself up for people to judge me. But then I think about that Casting Crowns song, “Stained Glass Masquerade” and if my real struggles can help even one person (even if it’s the comfort of knowing they aren’t the only one struggling) then it will be worth it to open myself up.

  2. Brooke says

    YOU’Ve got it girl!! Dont believe Satan’s lies…..fill urself up w God’s truths! Hebrews 3:1 (i think …i cant remeber and im @the work w no bible!) Jesus was tempted and testedted. He knows our stuggles and can help us! U r so right on to find what triggers you and flee from from it! Make the choice to eat fresh fruit when u r hungry! Use thata fternoon time to pray for someone else or send out an encouraging email or card! U r doing the right thing by not focusing on the craving!! I am soooooo proud of u! We will falter from time to time but today is a new day like u said! U have the holy spirit w u…..he has supplied the strength and power to make wise decisions! Hugs today!!

    • Crystal says

      Thanks, Brooke! And thanks for your prayers and support! It means a lot just to know that someone cares :)

  3. says

    This was a great post! I did a post on this too and I am a recovering emotional eater. Just about everything you listed here are tools I have used as well (although I didn’t really list them in my post). These tools are a learning process. For me its taken a few years of sort of reaching the level of emotional maturity to apply them.

    • Crystal says

      Thanks, Leigha. You’re right, it’s definitely a learning process…and I’m still working on the emotional maturity to apply them part. I am just now starting this journey, but I received a promise from God at the beginning of this year that He is going to deliver me from depression, anxiety, and eating disorder, so I am holding fast to that promise!

  4. says

    I totally understand emotional eating! I still struggle with that. Its good to recognize our tendencies and to find alternative responses to stress.

    Thanks for stopping by Wani’s World. I figured I might as well share my actual weight. Its just a number. It doesn’t define me. And I thought someone might be able to connect with where I am. I’m sure I’m not the only woman who’s weight is in the 180s. Its taking time but I’m slowly working toward a healthier weight.

    Keep up the good work! God Bless!

  5. says

    Thanks for stopping by Fit Mommy!

    Exercising when you get a craving is a super solution. You feel so much better after exericse and you’ve actually lost a few calories instead of gaining them.

    I find that when I’m hungry sometimes water will help, especially if I put a bit of lemon juice (no sugar) into it.

    Your compromise point is great, and not just for overeating.

    But best of all is the point about praying for others and praising rather than praying about the craving all the time.

    Have a blessed and craving-free Sunday!

  6. Jennifer says

    I’m so thankful I stumbled on your blog through The Peaceful Wife. I was just beating myself up for failing in my vow to turn to God to beat my cravings! I did great for one week and felt truly strengthened by the Holy Spirit but after two days of migraines I gave in to the cravings!! Thank you for letting me know I’m not alone! Tomorrow is a new day and I plan on trying some of your tricks! Afternoon workouts should help me too! The kids love for me to get outside with them and that should be a stress reliever too! Bless you!

    • Crystal says

      Jennifer, isn’t it awesome how God works?!? I am praying for you right now that in Jesus’ name, tomorrow will be a new day for you! For me, I finally realized that my eating problems are a hold that Satan has over me and I don’t want to give him that.

      Another resource you might look into is the book Made to Crave. I haven’t read the book, but there is also a 21 Day Challenge that you can sign up for FREE by email, and they seem pretty neat. I also have a getting healthy inspiration board on pinterest that has helped me a lot.

      Channel your inner girl power! We have victory through Jesus Christ, and I am claiming it for you! I will remember you and your struggle as I’m facing my own.

  7. says

    Great post! The afternoon is the hardest for me too. Now I keep a bag of grapes with me in the afternoon. They are sweet enough that they satisfy my sweet tooth and they allow me to munch without feeling bad about it. I love your tips! Why do I not think to pray when I crave?!?!? Thank you for the reminder!

    BTW, I love your new site! It looks great! And that is one of my favorite verses. I quoted it over and over again when I was dealing w/depression.

    Big (((hugs))) Thanks for being a part of the WLWed community!

    • Crystal says

      I, too, have dealt with depression! It’s an awful thing…I have been in the “darkness” for a long time and God is really helping me through it now and I’m trying to pick up the pieces and get my life back on track! I’m working on a series about depression and my testimony soon.

      Thank you for hosting! I call it my weekly online weightloss group :) I’m just starting out, but it FEELS different this time and it’s a great feeling.

I love to hear your feedback and value your thoughts! All I ask is that we remain respectful and civil, even when we disagree. Thanks so much for reading. I appreciate you!

Thank you for joining in the discussion!