The most effecting way to reduce cravings is to eat enough. When trying to lose weight, you may inadvertently eat too little. This most defiantly leads to cravings. Eating enough, specifically protein-based foods, helps keep food cravings at bay. Eat every couple of hours (2-4). In some cases, when truly not hungry, you will have to distract yourself form eating the foods you crave.
A Answers (2)
Marjorie Nolan Cohn, Nutrition & Dietetics, answered on behalf of Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Your metabolism increases 10 to 15 percent in the premenstrual (luteal) phase, which is about three days before your cycle starts. Because you are burning more, you experience more hunger. You may already be on restricted calories if you're trying to lose weight and your ghrelin (hunger hormone) is high, so of course your cravings will be enhanced at this time. Be okay with adding an extra snack. During this phase it's fine to add an extra fruit, plus two to three ounces of meat or vegetarian meat. Don't deny yourself or you'll drive yourself crazy and binge later. Instead, add a little more protein and carbs, and they will decrease the cravings. When the brain is in need of food, it craves sugar -- which may explain all those premenstrual syndrome (PMS) chocolate cravings. Just add an extra small meal, like yogurt and fruit or turkey and crackers, and accept that it's normal to eat a bit more right now. Aim to work with your biology instead of fighting it.
Find out more about this book:Eating Free: The Carb-Friendly Way to Lose Inches, Embrace Your Hunger, and Keep Weight Off for Good