How to Beat Sugar Cravings

Birthday Choc Cake

Sugar cravings can hit you like a tonne of bricks if you’re not armed and ready for them. Many people feel like they need ‘something sweet’ to satisfy their cravings after every meal, regardless of whether they are actually full or not .

From someone who could eat Nutella for breakfast, lunch and dinner, I have come up with a list of tips to help you tame your inner sugar monster…

  1. Identify what it is that you really want, because it is likely that you won’t stop until you have eaten it. Personally, I have found that if I want a slice of my healthy banana loaf, there’s no point in eating everything else in the pantry if all I want is a slice of banana loaf!
  2. Check that you’re well-hydrated. Dehydration can cause a slump in energy levels which can lead to sugar cravings. These signals to eat something sweet may actually be eliminated by consuming some form of fluids such as a hot cup of chai tea, a green smoothie or some delicious Thai pumpkin soup. Your pee should be straw coloured rather than dark yellow.
  3. Have you eaten enough good quality fat? Sugar (glucose) is released into our blood faster if we haven’t eaten enough fat from whole food sources such as olive oil, avocados, nuts and seeds, and oily fish. Try to include a source of good quality fat at every meal to keep you feeling fuller for longer. Fats (from whole food sources) are not fattening!
  4. Choose nourishing foods to satisfy your sweet tooth. Try some unsweetened yoghurt with some fruit such as berries and banana with a little honey/ pure maple syrup and some nuts and seeds sprinkled over the top. Yum!
  5. As you start to retrain your taste buds by weaning yourself off sugar, you will begin to notice just how sweet fruits and veges are on their own. Roasting them also concentrates their sweetness even further. I like to add naturally sweet spices such as cinnamon to things like porridge as a replacement for the usual brown sugar.
  6. Bored? Stressed? I have always found that emotional eating can be a key trigger for eating a ‘small child’ when you are not necessarily hungry. It can be really helpful to write down what you ate and how you were feeling at the time. Food will never be able to fill the void in your life.
  7. Don’t keep processed, sugary foods in the house. If they are not available, you won’t eat them! I like to freeze my healthy baking so that if I really want some, I have to take it out and heat it up in the microwave.
  8. Finally, slow down! If you are always stressed out, drinking coffee and pushing yourself in high intensity workouts, chances are you will constantly crave sugar! These actions cause your body to use sugar for energy rather than burning fat as its main source of fuel.

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Photo credit: Sarah Greaves

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