Cravings are strange little phenomenons, aren't they? 

They tend to leave you feeling desperate for a snack, wondering why.

What causes cravings doesn't matter as much as how you handle them. Do you toss your will power aside and cave? Or do you fight the urge and simply soldier on–a warrior battle of the bulge?

Naturally, you want to fight off your cravings, but that's often easier said than done. Fortunately, there are people who get paid to help others manage their diets, make good decisions and stay in shape: professional trainers. 

Here are the secrets they share with their clients (and use themselves):

Plan to give in to the cravings
Depriving yourself of something is not likely to work. After a few white-knuckle hours (or days) of trying not to think about your cravings, you're likely to give in and binge. But if you build sweets (or salty snacks) into your diet plan, they won't feel like the forbidden fruit and you'll be less likely to be tempted to overdo it. 

Curbing your CravingsKeep your candy wrappers
It's easy to forget about or rationalize away all the candy or potato chips you've eaten throughout the week–unless you have something to remind you. Keep the wrappers in glass jar next to your snack drawer or shelf as a reminder of how much (or little) you've already eaten. Either you'll want to get back on track or you'll want to keep the momentum. 

Invest in your snacks
If you're craving some chocolate, don't just buy a cut-rate bar. Instead, invest in a high-quality piece of gourmet chocolate. Not only will it be more satisfying, but it will also feel more like a special treat. 

Focus on your food
Emailing, texting and watching television distract you from your food. When you're eating, focus on the pleasure you're getting from the food and you'll be less likely to overeat. 

Eschew artificial sweeteners 
Artificial sweeteners might replace sugar initially, but they actually make you crave more sugar down the road. Don't use them and you won't need to use them–because you won't be craving sugar.