does clean eating help with the cravings?

I have been eating healthy for last 3 wks and my food cravings have not been as strong. I decided to give it a try when I could not control my junk food eating. Anyone else done better just leaving junk food alone, I swear I think I am a food addict and better off with just healthy stuff. Miss my junk but hate how it dominates me.
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Replies

  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 25,825 Member
    edited February 2016
    When I reduced baked goods and upped protein, fiber, and exercise my cravings went away. (I do have a square or two of Ghiradelli chocolate after dinner, but I don't CRAVE it.)

    What's the difference in your macro ratios then and now? What about fiber intake?
  • shadowfax_c11
    shadowfax_c11 Posts: 1,942 Member
    I eat a little "junk food" every day and I don't have cravings. I only have cravings when I try to cut out foods I really enjoy. For me it is easier to stick to my calorie goal if I allow myself to enjoy whatever food I want and enjoy. Things I know I can't leave alone if it is in the house, I only buy enough of for one or two portions and just don't keep it in the house. Luckily for me that is a pretty short list.
  • chimaerandi
    chimaerandi Posts: 153 Member
    It totally depends on the person.

    For me, "Clean" eating makes me crave stuff, because anytime I "can't" have something, I want it even more. If it's "I can totally have this if I make adjustments to my day" it loses its power over me. Sometimes I really, really wanted a glazed, yeast-raised doughnut. So I get one, I mess around with dinner and exercise and it's nbd. Sometimes I don't want to make the adjustments, but it's still no big deal, because I can always have one tomorrow, and it's removing the morality from my food choices, so there's nothing to feel virtuous or guilty about.
  • MommyL2015
    MommyL2015 Posts: 1,411 Member

    "Clean" is a completely subjective term when it comes to food, so I don't really acknowledge that as an eating style for myself. But I find that a little bit of sweet stuff or "junk" food every day keeps me from binging later. If cutting out sweets for good will help you lose weight and you can sustain it, then go for it.

    Using MFP, I have learned how to eat higher volumes of lower calorie foods like vegetables and lean proteins to fill me up and still have plenty of room for some ice cream or whatever later in the day. I end nearly each day with a bowl of ice cream or something else sweet like a brownie or cookies, and a cup of hot chocolate. I could not go very long without chocolate.
  • maxit
    maxit Posts: 880 Member
    I do way better just leaving junk food alone -
  • hobbesent
    hobbesent Posts: 4 Member
    edited February 2016
    One strategy that helps me eat better is to research what's in the food I'm eating. The more I learn about the nasty crap packed in junk food, the more it repulses me and the more I want to eat clean. This isn't fool-proof and I still succumb to binges, but it's something that might work for you. If I'm eating well then I eat junk food it literally makes me feel ill. That can be a powerful motivator as well... but again, not fool-proof. I pretty much always find myself letting go around holidays and vacations, then I take a month to get back on the horse and start from square one, so I'm not necessarily the most qualified to offer advice.
  • TheBeachgod
    TheBeachgod Posts: 825 Member
    edited February 2016
    While I'm not fond of a lot of the nebulous or flat out incorrect terminology being used in this thread (especially "clean", "junk" and "addict") I get the OP is probably talking about nutritionally dense food vs. less nutritious items and will answer based on that assumption.

    I rarely have cravings per se but I have noticed eating more nutritious foods tend to fill me up longer so I don't get hungry as quickly and typically doesn't have a ton of calories. I just had a plate full of green beans and chicken, which I would consider "clean", it filled me up and my entire meal was under 350 calories. That much bulk in my stomach from the beans will probably tide me over until breakfast tomorrow whereas if I ate 2 doughnuts or other such food commonly called "junk" I'd hit about the same amount of calories but would probably be hungry quickly due to short-lived satiety.

    nei3mutsxhjm.jpg
  • jonathantrush
    jonathantrush Posts: 12 Member
    brenn24179 wrote: »
    I have been eating healthy for last 3 wks and my food cravings have not been as strong. I decided to give it a try when I could not control my junk food eating. Anyone else done better just leaving junk food alone, I swear I think I am a food addict and better off with just healthy stuff. Miss my junk but hate how it dominates me.

    Up your vegetables and healthy foods high in vitamins you won't crave as much also food that tastes good. I hardly want bad food anymore. Usually you crave cause your body needs something.
  • tnm7760
    tnm7760 Posts: 109 Member
    edited February 2016
    For me, yes. The less processed my food is the less I find myself craving processed/junk food. But I usually find that I end up with some strong cravings initially, and once I get past those then I'm usually mostly craving-free.

    I'm not opposed to eating some processed foods (lately I've been eating more than I'd like, but... eh, whatever). But for the sake of my health and habits for my kids, I try to eat as much "real" food as possible. I'm mostly concerned about the high amounts of sugar in processed foods. Sugar is added to everything.
  • brenn24179
    brenn24179 Posts: 2,140 Member
    thanks for the replies, yes I am staying fuller on these healthy filling foods, when I eat junk I usually am starving in a couple of hours.
  • lemurcat12
    lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886 Member
    brenn24179 wrote: »
    I have been eating healthy for last 3 wks and my food cravings have not been as strong. I decided to give it a try when I could not control my junk food eating. Anyone else done better just leaving junk food alone, I swear I think I am a food addict and better off with just healthy stuff. Miss my junk but hate how it dominates me.

    I initially cut out added sugar when I got started, but I realized that what was really the issue for me was snacking, regardless of what I ate, and that I was fine with some added sugar (or good quality cheese or popcorn or whatever my extra of choice is) after dinner (or occasionally right after lunch). I avoid eating outside of mealtimes and once I broke the habit I rarely think about eating at those times, which makes it much easier to control how much I eat.

    I do think that having an overall good diet that fits your needs helps too -- I make sure I eat enough protein and vegetables. One can do this without cutting out junk food completely (not saying you should or shouldn't). So many people seem to assume that if you don't cut out stuff you must not be generally eating a healthy and satisfying diet, and of course that's not true.
  • snowflake930
    snowflake930 Posts: 2,193 Member
    Do whatever is sustainable for you. If this is your long term plan, go for it.

    All things in moderation and limiting my calorie consumption works for me. I do not deny myself any food. It worked for me losing over 1/2 of my current body weight, and it has been working for over 2 years on maintenance.;
  • EvgeniZyntx
    EvgeniZyntx Posts: 24,208 Member
    Usually a strategy that focuses on eating a lot of fresh produce helps with satiety. But it is also important to assure that:

    - you get enough protein and fats
    - you drink sufficient water
    - you don't have too large a cut with respect to your energy expenditure (including exercise!)
    - you get enough sleep

    Managing those factors is as important (if not more), than eating clean.
    And focus on a strategy you can stick to long term.
  • psuLemon
    psuLemon Posts: 38,084 MFP Moderator
    brenn24179 wrote: »
    I have been eating healthy for last 3 wks and my food cravings have not been as strong. I decided to give it a try when I could not control my junk food eating. Anyone else done better just leaving junk food alone, I swear I think I am a food addict and better off with just healthy stuff. Miss my junk but hate how it dominates me.

    I have found that when I focus on nutrient dense foods (especially protein and fiber) and intentionally incorporate some goodies that I do much better. When I restrict foods I love, I tend to want them more and it makes it harder for me to stick with my calories. Instead, I just preplan my calories with a treat (chocolate, candy, or Chickfila milkshake) and it has lead to greater dietary compliance. In the end, I recognize that eliminating all "junk" food is not realistic for me. This game is just as much mental and it's too short to do without goodness.
  • auddii
    auddii Posts: 15,357 Member
    Making foods off limits made me want them more (and in completely unreasonable quantities). Filing most of my diet with whole, nutritious foods while leaving room for a reasonable treat within my calories has worked much better.
  • cbelc2
    cbelc2 Posts: 753 Member
    Physical or psychological, I eat mostly whole foods with few convenient exceptions, and I no longer even think about the unhealthy but very tasty food and drink I used to consume. I'm on to better things, like planning my exercise.
  • senecarr
    senecarr Posts: 5,377 Member
    edited February 2016
    While I'm not fond of a lot of the nebulous or flat out incorrect terminology being used in this thread (especially "clean", "junk" and "addict") I get the OP is probably talking about nutritionally dense food vs. less nutritious items and will answer based on that assumption.

    I rarely have cravings per se but I have noticed eating more nutritious foods tend to fill me up longer so I don't get hungry as quickly and typically doesn't have a ton of calories. I just had a plate full of green beans and chicken, which I would consider "clean", it filled me up and my entire meal was under 350 calories. That much bulk in my stomach from the beans will probably tide me over until breakfast tomorrow whereas if I ate 2 doughnuts or other such food commonly called "junk" I'd hit about the same amount of calories but would probably be hungry quickly due to short-lived satiety.

    nei3mutsxhjm.jpg

    I feel that all the stomach content in these kind of images sets an unrealistic standard for normal stomaches that just don't have the genetics, body type, or good lighting (that's one of the real hard tricks) to ever look like this no matter how meticulous one eats. I mean a lot of days I fill my stomach with 150-200 cals worth of vegetables in one sitting, but I never feel the contents will look like the picture on the right.

    That said, appetite control and eating is about more than just filling up one's stomach lining. The fact that lap-band surgery can see people "relapse" and regain a portion of their weight is pretty strong evidence of that. People like that still have issues with their relationship with food, which needs address in the brain rather than stomach.
  • senecarr
    senecarr Posts: 5,377 Member
    FYI
    Part of this thread was split, so I think it is fair to mention there's what I think is a more informed discussion going on at http://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/10336344/split-from-does-clean-eating-help-with-cravings
  • psuLemon
    psuLemon Posts: 38,084 MFP Moderator
    senecarr wrote: »
    While I'm not fond of a lot of the nebulous or flat out incorrect terminology being used in this thread (especially "clean", "junk" and "addict") I get the OP is probably talking about nutritionally dense food vs. less nutritious items and will answer based on that assumption.

    I rarely have cravings per se but I have noticed eating more nutritious foods tend to fill me up longer so I don't get hungry as quickly and typically doesn't have a ton of calories. I just had a plate full of green beans and chicken, which I would consider "clean", it filled me up and my entire meal was under 350 calories. That much bulk in my stomach from the beans will probably tide me over until breakfast tomorrow whereas if I ate 2 doughnuts or other such food commonly called "junk" I'd hit about the same amount of calories but would probably be hungry quickly due to short-lived satiety.

    nei3mutsxhjm.jpg

    I feel that all the stomach content in these kind of images sets an unrealistic standard for normal stomaches that just don't have the genetics, body type, or good lighting (that's one of the real hard tricks) to ever look like this no matter how meticulous one eats. I mean a lot of days I fill my stomach with 150-200 cals worth of vegetables in one sitting, but I never feel the contents will look like the picture on the right.

    That said, appetite control and eating is about more than just filling up one's stomach lining. The fact that lap-band surgery can see people "relapse" and regain a portion of their weight is pretty strong evidence of that. People like that still have issues with their relationship with food, which needs address in the brain rather than stomach.

    And considering the source of the picture, there is probably strong bias towards veggies.
  • TheBeachgod
    TheBeachgod Posts: 825 Member
    I agree the graphic exaggerates things and I in no way will suggest a vegetarian diet (shudder to think) but it does give an idea how more bulk/lower calorie foods can fill you up easier than some other choices.

    Also in total agreement about getting the mental angle on a relationship with food straight.