10 Tips to Crush those Cravings—For Good!

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We all get them…those cravings that make you temporarily lose any desire to stick to your transformation goals. You know the feeling—all of a sudden you just HAVE to have ________ {you fill in the blank}. So what can you do when those cravings strike? Here are ten simple ways to crush those cravings once and for all:

1.  Drink at least one tall glass of water when you first feel that craving creeping in. Sometimes when we think we;re hungry, we;re actually thirsty, so quenching that thirst can help control those cravings.

Some Water Bottles I Love:

2.  Eat more veggies. These powerhouse foods are super low in calories and high in nutrients, and they can definitely make you feel fuller! Make sure you have your faves prepped and ready to go for whenever and wherever those cravings hit. You can also “volumize” your meals—and get a head start on those hungry feelings later in the day—by adding extra veggies to your meals.

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3.  Chew sugar-free mint-flavored gum, eat a sugar-free breath mint, or put a dab of toothpaste on your tongue. The mint flavor can actually suppress your appetite, and it tastes quite refreshing too. 😉
4. Eat 5 meals a day—spaced every three hours—like we do in carb cycling. Don’t even give your tummy a chance to get hungry! Better yet, include a serving of protein—and eat it first—with each of those 5 meals.

Eat More Veggies to Crush Cravings -- tips from Heidi Powell

5. Make sure your breakfast carb is as high in fiber as possible. This will help slow down your digestion so you’ll feel fuller much longer!
6.  If it’s a low-carb day, when you’re more likely to crave those carbs, eat a little fat. Yes, you read that right. Eat one tablespoon of your favorite healthy fat (like almond butter, for example), set a timer for 15 minutes, and Voila! That craving should disappear.

Healthy Fats to Crush those Cravings and stay on your Transformation journey! Tips and Tricks from Heidi Powell

7. Call/text a supportive friend. Often, this person can talk you off of that craving-laden ledge! 🙂

8. Rid your house of your favorite cravings—if they’re not in your house, you won’t eat them. Likewise, stay clear of places where you can find these foods and take an alternate route if you must. If you don’t go there, you won’t eat there!
9. Know what situations trigger your cravings. Boredom? Stress? ______? Put a plan in place of activities you can do—besides feeding that craving—so you’ll know how to handle these situations without resorting to food.

10. If none of these work, and you’re hitting desperation mode, try one of these as a last resort:

  • A small handful of almonds, then 1 to 2 cups of water
  • 1 tablespoon of peanut butter or almond butter, then 1 to 2 cups of water
  • 1 stick of string cheese, then 1 to 2 cups of water
  • 1 tablespoon of avocado, then 1 to 2 cups of water

Bonus tip: If that craving is one for the record books and none of these options work, try one of these three delicious 100-calorie liquid treats:

  • Root beer float: Ice-cold diet root beer + 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • Coconut water: 1 cup warm water + 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • Bulletproof coffee: 1 cup coffee + 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • Word of warning: Each one of these carry a 100-calorie impact, so only use these as a very, very last resort, limit yourself to one a day, and sip on it slowly—make it last as long as possible!

Cut those Cravings with Heidi Powell

So give one (or all, if necessary) of these a try when your next craving rears its ugly head, because as we all know, caving into those cravings can definitely be a huge roadblock to your transformation success!



Craving more awesome transformation tips like these? (Sorry…just couldn’t resist). 😉 Get many, many more in our new book, Extreme Transformation, on stands now, and get daily workouts and nutrition in our new app!


Related reading:

Emotional Eating: How to Take Control Once and for All
Combating That Time of the Month
It Really Is All About the Promise
Ask the Powells: How Can I Structure My Meals?
I Cheat Every Day

81 Responses

  1. I’am wanting to try carb cycling to help me lose weight.I’ve been reading up a lot on some of your transformation on women with PCOS and how it has helped them lose.There is several books to choose from but I’am not sure which one would be best to purchase.I want something not so complicated and easy to understand!!

  2. HI! I bought the book and am loving the carb cycling life. The recipes are delicious and the book explains how simple it is to follow the Extreme Transformation. I am on day 16 and down 7 lbs. I have one question though. What are your feelings on Halo Top Ice Cream. Good for high carb day, low carb day or save it for clean cheat day?


    1. Hi Gigi: Great question! While Halo Top is a great low-calorie option, since it does have more fat that we like for a high carb meal, more carbs than we like for a low carb meal, and not enough protein/serving for any meal, it’s a great clean cheat option. Enjoy! 🙂

  3. Hello Powells,

    I’m following the extreme transformation book plan. How much weight should I expect to lose per week following the instructions in the book? I weighed myself a few days after my cheat day and I’m up 6 pds. Is this possible? I start my meals around 8:30 or 9 after my morning workout. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Hi RD: We recommend a 10% weight loss goal for your first 90 days. And it can be very common to not lost weight or even gain weight on a new program due to muscle swelling from working out and all those healthy carbs you’re eating. Stick to the program, and you can achieve your goal! 🙂

    2. I gained when starting mine too! Most of the time our bodies are used to being deprived so when we start eating the foods we should be eating it thinks it needs to hold on to every little bit. If you stick to the program your body will adjust and you will see results! Just keep going! (:

  4. I was not sure where to start. I just turned 50 this year and I have been struggling with my weight for years. I found out a few years ago ( well longer than that) that I have a thyroid issue and have been taking meds for that. I also struggle with sleeping( I don’t sleep well). I just have no energy. Recently I had to under go a complete Hysterectomy. I really try to watch what I eat and just struggle. I am 5’5″or 5’6″ and well my weight I will not post but its not good. About 2 years ago I went through a very big rough patch and lost 40 pounds and felt great and was going to the gym everyday, but the problem was I lost all that weight due to the fact that I was not eating and I know that was wrong but because of the stress I was thinking. Well then things got better and I continued to go to the gym but the weight came back and now I struggle again with losing it. Any suggestions or ideas? My typical day is breakfast a replacement shake with soy milk and lunch may be a sandwich with mayo and ham and yogurt. Then dinner is a meat with vegetables. I am sure that I am leaving something out. I do have an occasional snake that I probably shouldn’t have I drink water most of the time (probably not as much as I should ). I don’t want a quick fix I just want to feel good and have energy again. Any help or suggestions will greatly be appreciated. Thank you for your time.

    1. Hi Paula: Thank you for sharing your story with us. You can learn about Chris and Heidi’s carb cycling program in this post: https://heidipowell.net/9060. Be sure and follow all the links within the post too. And please discuss any nutrition and exercise program with your healthcare team first and then follow any modifications they might recommend. You can do this!

  5. Hi,
    I am struggling with my nutrition and need some ideas on meal options… I am allergic to seafood and nuts so sometimes it is hard for me to follow some meal plans that people give me… I have lost about 50 lbs on my own before and can’t seem to get myself back on track this time… I could afford to lose about another 30lbs or more but cannot seem to find a good balance between my foods because I keep having to fight some cravings or give in. I currently do crossfit about 5 days a week but not seeing any results because of my eating habits. It also doesn’t help that my family is not into eating healthy or working out.. I often find myself eating junk food just because it’s there. Hoping you can help me out and get me back on track.

    1. Hi Kathleen: It sounds like your exercise is spot on! Let’s get you some help with the nutrition side of your transformation goals. Here’s a post that outlines the nutrition part of Chris and Heidi’s carb cycling program, and it includes links to all of their carb cycles so you can choose the one that will work best for you: https://heidipowell.net/2713. If you’re having hard time with cravings, you might want to start with the Easy cycle which includes a reward meal on all high carb days. Or I’d suggest the new Extreme Cycle which includes a weekly reward/reset day where you can eat anything you want to that day up to an extra 1000 calories. And there are many food options besides seafood and nuts too. You can totally do this!

  6. Hi! My husband and I are doing turbo cycle after reading the book! We are 3 weeks in. I have a question about being hypoglycemic. When I was pregnant with my kids they have always found that I suffer from it. I’m not currently pregnant, am starting to wonder if being hypoglycemic will affect my weight loss. So I’m wondering what cycle would you recommend for that?
    Thank you so much!

    1. Hi Natalie: It would be best to discuss this carb cycling program with your healthcare team and then have them help you make any modifications if necessary, as well as which cycle would be best for you. We wish you both the best – you can do this!

  7. I just finished the Extreme Transformation book and have to say it was great! I love how you take the reader through so many elements of weight gain and loss and how to transform yourself from the inside out. For someone who doesn’t just want a quick fix but wants to be there best self I think this book really hits the mark. Thank you for sharing your expertise Chris and Heidi.

  8. I read all the information in the link you gave me… but, how do I put that in the myfitnesspal app? I don’t get it. so, if its 100 calories it’s 25 g of protein and carbs? and the one table – say the breakfast for example P-150 cal carbs 100 cal and 100 fats… I need to create a meal that is 350 calories? with 37.5 g of protein 25 carbs and 25 fat? that’s the part I don’t get.

  9. so what happened to my post? I’ve been hoping for a response to my question, now its gone. What happened to it?

    1. Hi Patty: All comments have to be approved before they post, so that’s why you’re not seeing your comment. I’ll answer it in just a sec. 🙂

  10. I am reading the Extreme Transformation and doing 4H 2L days (I think) . At the moment I am using recipes from the book with some modification (I don’t eat greek yogurt, fish or sweet potatoes. ) My question is…I’m supposed to be eating 1500 calories? what are the percentages so I can modify the recipes? 60/40/20? I am insulin resistant so I need to eat 120 g of protein per day. and I can eat all the veggies in the book? as long as I track the caloric intake? even if they push me over carbs #?
    I am sure the website offered monthly probably has all the answers I need, But I don’t have extra money to do that right now. I could barely afford the book, so your help would be appreciated. I just want to lose 30-70#

    1. AND I forgot…I can’t do any of the exercises right for the upper body as I just had rotator cuff repair 6 weeks ago…so can’t do most of the missions…should I double up on the ones I can and double cardio?

    2. Hi Patty (again): I would stick to the Metabolic Mission as they outlined and only do the ones you can do, and aim for up to an hour of cardio a day Monday-Saturday. 🙂

    3. Hi Patty: Here’s a post that has several meal planning options for the Extreme cycle: https://heidipowell.net/10617, and aim for 1500 calories a day. If you go over a bit by following the meal outlines due to added veggies, that’s okay. You can do this!

  11. hi heidi its adejoke again. your tips on how to lose weight as a teen is really helping me. it was my friends birthday yesturday and when its a birthday theres cake and all sorts.i went on a ram page and i dont know why i planned how to handle it i brought my own food and everything and i just had a cheat meal before. do you think i should exercise 2 hrs a day(i normally exercise 45mins at hiit) to hellp me get back on track as im trying to get my summer body ready and im affrid of going on the scale

    1. Hi Adejoke: Aim for around 60 minutes of activity a day, and you’ll be good to go! 🙂

  12. Hi Powell Team…
    I am a member of your current diet bet and decided to buy your Extreme Transformation book on audible. As I listen to your book in the car I am not sure if there is a way to also get your PDF’s that you reference in your book. Thanks so much for any insight!!

    1. Hi Tracy: It can be tricky to find the PDFs for “Extreme Transformation.” If you can’t find them in your library, you can 1) contact the help center where you purchased your audio book or 2) if that doesn’t work, you can contact the publisher directly at [email protected] and they will be happy to help you!

  13. Hello Team Powell! I’m reading your Extreme Transformation and loving it! I have a question about breakfast on the Extreme Cycle. I had gastric sleeve surgery in 2010 and cannot eat solid foods first thing in the morning. I usually have a coffee until my stomach is ready. Looking at the protein, carb, fat for breakfast, would a coffee with the following ingredients be okay for my breakfast, along with 1/2 cup of Kashi cereal for the carb? One scoop of whey protein, one scoop of collagen, 1/2 TBSP grass-fed butter, 1 TBSP heavy whipping cream and stevia to taste blended into two cups of coffee. (I drink out of a large mug.) This is close to what I use now (no butter, add an extra TBSP or two of cream but I’ll be cutting the cream down to add the butter) and it keeps me full for hours. Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Dorene: It’s best to follow your doctor’s recommendations, and there’s a chart in this post (“Create Your Own Meals”) that outlines all the macros to include in each meal: https://heidipowell.net/10617. I’d use this chart to help you put your own meals together. So for breakfast, you should have 150 calories from protein, 100 calories from carbs, and 100 calories from fats. You can do this! 🙂

  14. Hello Heidi. I just finished reading your and Chris’s amazing book. I have eaten Paleo and Crossfit now for two years. I have leaned down a lot and have the last 10 pounds to loose. I want to try your cycling program but have allergies to dairy, wheat and gluten and salmon. Boo
    Anyway, do you think if I just follow the back and choose a carb, protein and fat for the appropriate cycle I will still get results? My theory is that I have too many fats with strict Paleo and that is why the last pounds are so hard to loose. I think if I stick to your macros it will help. Do you think it will work without dairy, wheat or gluten? Thank you.

  15. I’m hearing a lot about the bulletproof coffee lately. I notice that you suggest only adding butter to coffee. Many other things I’ve read say to add either mct oil or coconut oil along with the butter. What is your opinion on the additional oil? I read that it was great to drink before a workout but that still seems like a load of calories even with a workout. Thanks for any direction.

    1. Hi Stacey: We recommend adding only butter because this is meant as a craving crusher so you want to consume as few calories as possible and be able to stop that craving.

  16. I struggle with when & what to eat. I’m a nurse and I work 12 hour night shifts. I’m sleeping during normal meal times. Should I eat a meal before I go to bed around 8am or start my meals as “normal” when I get up around 3pm?
    PS Just bought Chris’ carb cycling book

  17. Hello I am wondering if you could give me a few suggestions for some meal replacements as I am having a hard time eating breakfast.

    1. Hi Jill: You can do protein shakes with a carb on the side, smoothies with either protein powder or plain nonfat Greek yogurt and fruit, peanut butter on whole grain toast with a protein shake, and others. Chris and Heidi have lots of options in all of their books, so you might find some good ideas there: https://heidipowell.net/books-dvds/. Hope that helps!

    1. Hi Lendea: Watermelon is a fruit, and all fruits are carbs in carb cycling, so you’ll want to only eat watermelon as the carb part of a high-carb meal.

  18. I’ve been doing great by meal prepping, juicing, drinking water and exercising. Regretfully I would give into my cravings but the past 2 weeks I haven’t had cravings and it’s been easy to turn down the fatty sugary foods I love. It’s been 5 weeks and I’ve lost a few inches and about 7 lbs. Tomorrow is my birthday and I’m conflicted! I want to indulge all day because “I deserve it.” But I don’t want to see the number on the scale go up and I’m afraid I’ll trigger my cravings again. What would you do???

    1. Congratulations on losing 7 pounds – that’s awesome! In Chris and Heidi’s carb cycling program, there is a weekly Reward Day where you can eat anything you want up to an extra 1000 calories. This has actually been shown to help you lose weight because it causes your metabolism to restart and allows you to indulge in your favorite foods so you don’t binge from deprivation later. So today could be your weekly Reward Day, and then tomorrow you can go back to your plan. And Happy Birthday!

  19. Hello Heidi,
    I have bought and read extreme weight lose book. I am struggling with getting the motivation to exercise and eating right. I used to be a lot more active before my back surgery. Now I am at a desk job.
    HELP! I live in the midwest so the winters is where I usually pack on the pounds. I have never been able to get under 170 lbs. I have yo-yoed so much. I am frustrated with no motivation to get started again. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you

    1. Hi Donna: In the book, Chris and Heidi talk about making and keeping those small daily promises to yourself, and these are truly their #1 transformation tool! You can get a refresher course on promises in this post: https://heidipowell.net/8679. Make that first promise today, and go! You can do this!

  20. Hi…..
    I have watched Extreme weight loss and I love the results. But I just can’t get myself motivated at all. I know I can eat healthy but eating healthy is also expensive. Anyway I would love to meet either you or Chris to kick me in the butt lol. I recently have high blood pressure and with that, doesn’t get me motivated. Please help.

    1. Hi Joyce! I’m no Heidi, but I’d love the added support and accountability to stay motivated! I have goals but can’t seem to stay consistent!

    1. Hi Martha: I’m so sorry, but the book is only available in English right now.

    1. Hi Nette: The book has a complete list of proteins, carbs, fats, and veggies, and all are high quality foods. Hope that helps!

  21. Heidi,
    I recently bought the book and read it through. Two questions I can’t seem to find answers to.
    1. The recommended meals for each day, is that all we eat or should we be adding sides to it? Overall are we suppose to be counting calories?
    2. How does carb cycling work if you are diabetic? Or should you just stay away from it all together?

    1. Hi Mikky: Let’s get you some answers to your questions: 1. If you’re following the 21-day meal plan, you can add veggies to your meals if you’d like to, and if you’re following this plan, your calories are already counted for you – you’ll just need to track any veggies you add to your meals. 2. Carb cyclng can work for diabetics, we just recommend you discuss the program with your healthcare team first and then follow any modifications they might recommend. Here’s a post that might help: https://heidipowell.net/5078/ask-heidi-anything-im-diabetic-which-plan-should-i-follow/. You can do this!

    1. Hi Whitney: That can be a tough one! ? On Chris and Heidi’s carb cycling program, there are cheat/reward/reset meals and days built into the program that allow you to include all those foods you love – even pizza – into your week. Learn more here: https://heidipowell.net/2713. Hope that helps!

    2. On a high carb day, you can make a delicious gluton-free vegan pizza, topped with a giant heap of raw spinach or rocket (I think you call it arugula in the US?) & sprinkle some flax oil on top & ground pepper. If you eat meat, some chicken on top too ?

  22. HA! This totally worked! I have some no oil roasted pumpkin seeds on hand that certainly did the trick on my late afternoon carb craving. Thanks Heidi!!!

  23. My 16 year old daughter asked for a treat of Cheetos. after eating clean and healthy with me for the whole summer. I thought she was convinced so I was a little disappointed. but threw the Cheetos in the cart. She opened the bag and stuffed in a mouthful….and spit it out in the parking lot! She said “Mom, these taste disgusting! Try one!” I bit into one….tasted like sawdust and felt sticky and dirty in my mouth. Love it!!!

  24. I have a good one for decreasing cravings or a party where there’s food out Three or so sprays of Listerine breath spray in your mouth and throat. NOTHING will taste good!

  25. My worst crave is for dark chocolate. I have a bag of the Dove dark chocolate or a bag of dark chocolate Hershey kisses stored out of sight. If a craving hits, I eat just one piece of the chocolate. Crave solved and I don’t go overboard and eat too much of it. Still losing weight in spite of it. I have found that eating just the one chocolate once or twice a week is all that is needed for me.

    One side note, this meal plan is having a huge effect. After about a month, both hubby and I are finding that foods we used to like no longer taste good or satisfies us. In fact, we both started feeling sick after only two weeks of eating clean foods when we strayed off plan. Now, if I should get some KFC chicken, for example, all I taste is the grease. Yuck!!! We are both losing weight and getting more fit.

  26. Hiiii

    I would like to know, if it’s possible to have this website in French?
    Because my husband and me are very interested to follow this program???


    1. I’m so sorry, but we’re not able to do that. You might try copying and pasting posts into a translation program (like Google Translate).

  27. Is it normal to only Lose 1 pound per week? I’m only trying to lose 10 pounds . I follow the plan exact and exercise . (Classic carb cycling)

    1. Your rate of weight loss can depend on how many pounds you want to lose, and the fewer the pounds, the slower the rate of weight loss. 1-2 pounds a week is a really good rate for wanting to lose 10 pounds – so keep doing what you’re doing!

  28. Instead of having a ‘cheat day’, I have a treat 3x a week and never feel cravings. I’ve lost close to 50 pounds, im in the best shape of my life and I am on my way to becoming a certified spinning and aerobic instructor.

    I really love your show, your website and all the fun tips, thanks !!

  29. 3 in the afternoon, and every night after dinner I want dessert need a little something sweet and lately have not been making the best choices and its always something cake like that I crave ugh

  30. Last Saturday was the first time in 3 weeks of carb cycling(turbo) that I had cravings! I’m so proud of myself though I drank a ton of water and a ton of veggies at dinner and didn’t cave. Come Sunday (reward day) the cravings were gone!! So it was a win win, I didn’t give in and I didn’t go overboard at all on Sunday!! Dietbet weight almost obtained! So excited I’m one pound away from being at the weight I was before my mom passed on Nov 9th!! Still have 2yr old baby weight, but one pound at a time and I’m back to killing my workouts!! Thx Heidi!!!

    1. Try roasted seaweed! That almost ALWAYS satisfies that craving for me.
      And I wouldn’t get the salted kind either because the roasted kind is salty enough for me, but maybe you can try a few different kinds and find your favorite.

  31. Great tips! I also like to make a pot of raspberry hibiscus tea. It is caffeine free and has a natural sweetness with no need for sugar. Slowly sipping my tea and indulging in a juicy book, takes my mind off the cupcakes (my weakness). A square of dark chocolate with peanut butter always curbs my sweet tooth. Nice to know we are all human.

  32. Thank you Heidi. I will try your suggestions. I tend to sabotage myself in the late afternoon/early evening before having dinner. You and Chris are very inspiring. Thank you 🙂

  33. Love the tips and inspiration. I’ve read both of Chris’ Carb Cycling books and notice for women it is recommended 1200/1500 cals respectively for L/H days. Is it understood very active ladies would need more cals? I either run, HIIT and/or do metabolic lifting most days of the week, including half marathon traing and am finding following the classic plan, I’m eating 1400-1500 low days and 1700-1900 high days. Losing an average of 1- 1.25 lbs a week. Any lower cals on low days and im dizzy/super exhausted. Should I stick with this as long as I’m losing fat steadily? I even considered trying the FIT plan but really don’t want to slow my fat loss efforts down, altho the energy and calories would be welcomed! Oh, I’m 5’7″ 140 lbs. Thanks for the help!

    1. Yes, those are the calorie recommendations for women on low and high carb days. If what you’re doing is working for you, and you’re happy with your rate of weight loss, then keep doing that! When you reach your weight loss goal, you might consider doing the Fit Cycle as your maintenance plan, and here’s a post all about weight loss maintenance that might help: https://heidipowell.net/5137/weight-loss-maintenance/. You got this!

  34. I just ran into this last week! I started carb cycling 16 days ago. And last week was a struggle! I wanted everything salty and sweet, BUT I stuck to the plan. Had my healthy fats (almond butter or avocado) and was able to get past it. I’m down 14 lbs so far, and I feel great!! Thank you Heidi and Chris for being such wonderful and honest people. When you guys show us you’re real people too it gives us hope! Thanks!!

  35. Thanks for all your advice! I am so mad at myself and trying to get motivated but can’t ! Last year at this time I had lost 55 lbs doing Medifast and running. I felt great and loved the way I looked. I felt like the woman my husband and kids deserve. Well medifast was to expensive so I stoped and I now have gained it plus more back. I get motivated and then shoot myself down but I’m trying real hard and I love your blog and Instagram page. One day I hope to look 1/2 as great as you. Thanks

    1. Almost everyone I know that has done Medifast (myself included) has gained all or most of it back. It’s expensive and you feel good at the time, cause you’re losing a few pounds a week, but it’s really hard to keep it off. I lost almost 30 pounds before my wedding, and have yo-yo’d ever since (almost 7 years later). The only thing that seems to work is to continually exercise and eat fairly well. I try not to “diet” because that means it’s temporary, but the times when I am consistently exercising and watching what I am eating are the times I can lose or maintain. I am at a phase now where I have been gaining again, so I’m right there with you. I need some motivation!

    2. You just have to take it one day at a time. As hard as it may seem, it is so worth the effort. I am not sure how the Medifast plan works, but I know that any quick diet scheme never worked for me. You have to make lifestyle changes, and continue them, or the weight will creep back on. I exercise twice a day, five days a week, and when I splurged during the holidays, I still gained. You have to be consistent with your food choices and do the best you can to stay on track. It is a daily battle with me. I struggled with eating disorder as a teen, and still have issues with the bingeing, it is a daily struggle to say no to my trigger foods, but I know it is worth the effort. Best of luck to you, and don’t give up

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