How to Break the Craving Chain

Medically reviewed in September 2021

Remember the potato chip slogan "Betcha can't eat just one"? There's some scientific truth to it.

Studies show that eating fatty foods may make you crave more of the same, not less. To break the cycle, just say no in the first place.

How Fat Fuels the Appetite
Fat in food appears to send a brain signal announcing that caloric food is available for consumption -- so dig in! Basically what happens is that ghrelin -- an appetite-stimulating hormone -- gets turned on by a stomach enzyme that's stimulated by the fats in food. Two different studies show that this process occurs in mice, and probably in humans, too. Here's another study that shows how a single taste can do you in.

Outwit Your Appetite
Of course, not all fats are created equal. The biggest danger may be in eating a french fry or two -- or anything drenched in saturated fats. Because you'll just want more. And more. And these are fats your body can live without. So keep temptation at bay by satisfying the munchies with healthy foods instead. That way, it won't matter so much if you overdo it. Here are some additional strategies for curbing cravings:

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