Managing the munchies: surprising ways to curb cravings


By David Foreman, RPH


(NAPS)—If you ever feel you have a slim chance of losing weight, here are a few facts to consider.

By David Foreman, RPH


(NAPS)—If you ever feel you have a slim chance of losing weight, here are a few facts to consider.

First, studies suggest that eating a diet lacking in variety can lead to more food cravings. These may revolve around texture (creamy, crunchy), taste (sweet, salty) or settings (movie theaters, ballparks). The “forbidden fruit” concept alone may be enough to trigger a craving. Before you board up your cupboards, however, there may be simpler ways to curb cravings in the short term that will result in avoiding unwanted weight gain in the long run.

Natural Solutions

1)                  Get Nutty: Nuts, specifically walnuts and almonds, are loaded with protein and healthful, appetite-satisfying fats. Not only do they curb cravings, but as a study published in the International Journal of Obesity showed, people who ate a handful of almonds daily for six months lost 18 percent of their body fat.

2)                  Take Happy Beans: A clinical study published in Obesity, the official peer-reviewed research journal of The Obesity Society, concluded that sugary food cravings dissipated significantly when participants consumed a specific white kidney bean extract called Phase 2 Carb Controller. The extract, found in many carbohydrate-blocking nutritional supplements, not only gave participants an average seven-pound weight loss, but it even boosted their overall happiness. Look for products containing Phase 2 at your favorite place to buy supplements, including GNC and The Vitamin Shoppe.

3)                  Sniff Jasmine: One recent study found that inhaling jasmine (a nonfood odor) reduced chocolate cravings; another showed that smelling a neutral odor diminished other common food cravings. This suggests that smelling something that doesn’t remind you of, or is similar to, food may help you reduce cravings. So springing for some essential jasmine oil and lighting up a jasmine candle may be a good idea.

4)                  Sleep In: A study from the University of California, Berkeley, suggests that food cravings are more likely in sleep-deprived individuals. The high-level brain regions used for complex judgments and decisions can become impaired by sleep deprivation, while the more primal brain structures that control motivation and desire are amplified. Studies also show that people who regularly get six hours or less of sleep per night not only gain weight more rapidly than those who get eight hours, they also struggle to lose weight long term.

Learn More

For further natural health tips, go to,, and @Herbalrph on Twitter.

• David Foreman is a retired pharmacist, author of “Pillars of Health: Heart Disease” and radio host of “The Herbal Pharmacist.”