I think cravings are these little monters in our heads (some people think its in the stomach) that just keep teasing us. According to WebMD there are actually "three regions of the brain -- the hippocampus, insula, and caudate - appear to be activated during food-craving episodes". I grew up being the "fat kid" and my struggle with cravings was horrible every time I would stress about anything...exams, dates, going to the movies. I hated those little guys. I was always battling them and never really knew how to conquer them.
Until one day...my mom made me put on a speedo...supper embarrassing. Just picture it: little fat cuban kid with a mushroom haircut (big in the 90s...not cool, go google it, its horrible) and start swimming classes.
Yes! Exercise is a great way to beat the cravings. Specially long endurance-type exercises like swimming and jogging. I hated it at first, but then, fell in love with swimming. I lost a lot of weight and kept it off.
Another way is to de-stress: easier said than done, I know...is to find a way to relax. Maybe a painting class or creative outlet. Figure out some kind of way to de-stress that fits your lifestyle, can definitely reduce the cravings.
Something I really had to do was change what my food options were. For example, I eliminated anything that was high in sugar and carb content like ice cream and potato chips out of my house. By not having them in the house at all, I wouldn't turn to them when I would get the monster cravings. Instead, I bought a lot of rice cakes and carrots (my weakness is crunchy things) which are crunchy and still made me think that it was.
Don't let yourself become hungry....now this doesn't mean be eating constantly. What you should do which is recommended by many fitness trainers and nutritionists, is to eat 6-7 small meals throughout the day. Sounds like a lot, but a small meal can be a handful of peanuts and greek yogurt. And avoid skipping meals, this would lead your body into a starvation mode and get those little monsters knocking at your door again.
They seem harmless but if you allow your cravings to get a hold of you...they will keep going until you are "satisfied." By the time that happens, you will have gained a few pounds and will have become unhappy with the your choices.
For more information on cravings visit WebMD and your doctor at your next visit. Tell him or her what you are struggling with, I am sure they will guide you into a perfect program just for you!