Meditate to Help Ease Cravings

Just a brief meditation session may help you recognize, accept, and ease your cravings.

beautiful fat woman meditation in the garden

Medically reviewed in January 2021

Updated on March 21, 2022

In a study, dieters who spent about 7 minutes meditating each day experienced far fewer food cravings than their non-meditating peers. The meditators were also far more likely to resist their cravings.

Mind over matter
Here's how it all worked: Over a 7-week period, members of a group of study participants were taught mindfulness meditation. With this method, they practiced recognizing, accepting, and experiencing their cravings rather than trying to ignore or suppress them. As a result of this meditative practice, people did a better job of holding those cravings off. Researchers think the mindfulness meditation worked better than relying on sheer willpower because the practice helped minimize the frustration and obsessive preoccupation with food triggered by trying, often unsuccessfully, to suppress food cravings. (Find out how yoga helps you avoid overeating.)

Choose your method
Mindfulness meditation may not work for everyone. The key is to know what works for you. Maybe losing yourself in a gripping novel helps you resist cravings. Or taking a brisk walk. Or cooking. Or washing dishes. Just keep your chosen tricks handy. And if distraction, avoidance, and willpower fail you, consider giving meditation a try. Here are a few more strategies that can help you resist the temptation to overindulge:

  • Instead of none, have just one. A single taste may put a craving in its place. 
  • Instead of tuning in, tune out. With commercials, that is. Discover why muting commercials can help you eat less.
  • Instead of stress eating, try stress walking. And know what emotions trigger the munchies. 
  • Instead of eating in front of the TV, focus on your meal. And savor every bite.

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