Yesterday you craved chips; today it’s chocolate. What’s behind those urges? Whether salty or sweet, these yearnings may signal your diet has gone off track.

Nutritionally, there may be two reasons behind your desires for food, says Amy Carlson, MS, a registered dietitian in Houston. First, you may lack enough calories. Second, your diet might be unbalanced. Too few calories during the day can cause blood sugar to drop and trigger late-day compulsions to snack. Plus, caffeine- and sugar-laden diets that are low in complex carbs and lean protein may also cause a food jones.

What’s the best way to kick these hankerings to the curb? Eat a balanced diet, and start with a healthy breakfast. And if the cravings are triggered by emotions, distract yourself to reduce the intensity. Advises Carlson: “Journal, exercise or vent to reduce your risk of out-of-control eating.”