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Dealing with Cravings

Hunger is your body’s way of telling you that you need food. A craving is a strong desire for a specific food. Cravings can come on due to emotions and/or environmental triggers. How do you tell the difference between hunger and a craving? A craving comes from the mind, while hunger comes from the body.


Physical indicators can help you realize you are hungry and not just having a craving.

These include:

  • Stomach “grumbling”/ hunger pangs
  • A feeling of emptiness in your stomach
  • Low energy
  • Feeling “hangry” aka irritable and crank due to hunger
  • Light-headedness or shakiness


Is there a way to prevent cravings? Some of the tips below may help you prevent cravings.

  1. Eat on a schedule + Don’t skip meals

This helps prevent swings in your appetite, so you don’t get overly hungry. It also may reduce the likelihood you’ll overeat, especially in the evening, which is when most people over indulge.

    1. Plan balanced meals and snacks
    2. Eat on a small plate that includes foods of mostly nonstarchy vegetables, a portion of protein and a portion of starch. For snacks, you can do the same or aim for protein filled snacks like Greek yogurt or carrots with hummus.
    3. Out of Sight out of Mind
    4. Leaving ice cream that you love in the freezer can tempt you. A candy stash in your office desk drawer can tempt you. Scrolling through your social media and seeing images of foods which are not part of your healthy eating plan can tempt you. Cravings are made in the mind. Don’t put those tempting foods in your mind. Out of sight out of mind. Instead fill those scenarios with healthy options, to keep the healthy foods in mind.
    5. Stay hydrated
    6. It may be thirst you’re experiencing, rather than hunger. Good old water will satisfy the urge. Or choose some flavored waters to jazz it up.
  • Get enough sleep


Inadequate sleep can trigger cravings. So try to get to bed early. If your experiencing night time cravings, it’s the quickest way to shut it down. Sip some herbal chamomile tea or just get to bed instead!

  • Find a hobby


  1. If you eat when you are bored, then it’s time to find a new hobby other than eating. Try a workout class like yoga or listen to a new podcast or audiobook.
  2. Enlist support
  3. Is there a way to manage cravings?
  4. Frequent support groups for help from others dealing with similar challenges. Seek a therapist for dealing with emotional or stress eating.
  • Try Mindful eating


When you are hungry and about to sit down for a meal or snack, be mindful.

  • Eat slowly and taste each bite
  • Think about the aroma, texture, flavor, etc. of your food
  • Eat without distraction (No watching TV; just eating)
  • Once you begin to feel full, stop eating.
  • Remember your goals


  1. What you’re really craving… is reaching your goals!!! Write them down and read them to yourself when the unhealthy craving hits.


This blog is here to assist you in obtaining information about Bariatric Surgery and also give you the opportunity to ask questions you may have. Our hope is that this will encourage you on your journey to better health. If you are interested in our program, you can find links to our Web site for additional information or to find a Bariatric Surgeon. I can always be contacted at 845-333-2123.

Weight Loss Surgery Blog

Orange Regional Medical Center is designated by the American College of Surgeons Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program as an Active MBSAQIP Center. This designation recognizes Orange Regional as demonstrating an unparalleled commitment and ability to consistently deliver the highest level of bariatric surgical care possible. Earning the MBSAQIP Active Center designation also distinguishes Orange Regional from other providers in both professional and patient situations.

Orange Regional Medical Center offers three minimally-invasive weight-loss procedures called Gastric Bypass, Gastric Banding and Sleeve Gastrectomy. These bariatric services can help you get back on track to living a fuller, healthier, more active life. And because these leading-edge procedures are offered right here in this community, you won't have to travel far from home to receive the best in quality care.

To learn more about bariatric services at Orange Regional Medical Center, visit

About Seth Judd, M.D.

Dr. Judd received his Medical Degree from Sint Eustatius School of Medicine, Netherlands, Antilles. He completed a Residency in General Surgery at Harrisburg Hospital, Harrisburg, PA, where he served as Chief Resident. Dr. Judd completed a Fellowship in Minimally Invasive and Bariatric Surgery at Penn State Hershey Medical Center, Hershey, PA. He is a member of The Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES), The Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons (SLS) and The American College of Surgeons.

About Janet Kovler

Janet Kovler, M.S., R.D., C.D.N., C.D.E. is Orange Regional's Bariatric Surgery Program Manager. She received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Dietetics from the State University College at Oneonta and her Master of Science in Education from Queen’s College University. She is a Certified Diabetes Educator, a Registered Certified Dietitian, an American Heart Association Certified Cardiovascular Counselor and a member of Phi Upsilon Omicron National Honor Society. She brings more than 27 years of clinical, educational and leadership experience to Orange Regional.