Sweet Cravings? Don’t Deprive Yourself, Learn To Control Yourself.

Do you find yourself reaching for the biscuit barrel on a regular basis or salivating at the thought of a piece (or bar) of chocolate? Let’s have a look at ways of trying to control those sweet cravings.

I have been perfecting my diet for many years and now think I have it pretty much sorted. I allow myself treats here and there and certainly don’t go without but I am careful with everything I eat and try and stick to a pretty rigid set of rules compared to most peoples standards.

I have found though, especially recently, that I am craving a bit more sugar. I’m not sure if it’s the effects of lockdown or if it’s the colder darker evenings. Either way I thought if I am craving these things then other people probably are as well.

So here is a short article looking at sugar and its effects on our bodies and also giving some helpful tips and tricks when dealing with those sweet cravings.

Tips for Handling Sugar Cravings

Lowering your sugar intake is among the best things you can do for your health. It can lower your cholesterol, help you lose weight, give you clearer skin, help manage Type 2 Diabetes, and give you more energy. But cutting back on sugar can be tough, especially in the beginning. When you first cut back your sugar intake it may seem like your sugar cravings are all you think about. Breaking a sugar habit is hard to do through willpower alone; here are some tips to help you curb cravings. 

Don’t Keep Temptations in the House 

Keeping sugary foods around the house makes breaking a sugar habit harder. Nobody has unlimited willpower; you can only say no to that chocolate bar so many times before you give in to temptation. It’s easier to say no to sweets once at the grocery store than to say no to sweets fifteen times at home. Remove the temptation from your home and you reduce the amount of willpower you must exercise on a daily basis and set yourself up for success (as an aside this is also the same for many cravings or bad habits such as alcohol. If it’s in the house you are going to drink it!!!)

Eat More Fruit 

Fruit is great for satisfying your sugar cravings without eating processed sugar. Although fruit does contain natural sugar, it also has plenty of fiber which helps control your blood sugar levels. My personal go-to sweet treat (when it comes to fruit) is normally blueberries or raspberries. Especially blueberries. I like it when they are crisp and cold straight from the fridge.

Bananas are also great for hitting that sweet tooth. I try not to have more than one a day. I normally have mine with peanut butter…my favourite.

Other Sweet Craving Hacks  

  • Yoghurt (you could have a flavoured one or plain greek yoghurt with honey).
  • Dark Chocolate (at least 70% Cocoa)
  • Bake something healthy (ish). Maybe a banana bread or other homemade treat that you can portion out.
  • If you like mixed nuts then try dropping in a small amount of chocolate coated peanuts or raisins.
  • Coconut Pieces have a slight natural sweetness to them.
  • Peanut Butter, especially with a tiny bit of salt, can hit the spot. It’s not the sweetness as such but more that salty kick that can help.
  • Certain Protein Bars or Health Bars – these can vary greatly from bar to bar. Check the ingredients and tread carefully.
  • To be honest sometimes I even find myself simply smelling something for a kick. For example a freshly baked blueberry muffin. Take a good sniff and imagine its amazing taste…then put it down. Probably not best to do it in Starbucks or similar!!!

Don’t Deprive Yourself Completely 

Going cold turkey on sugar does work for a few people but for many, it leads to a sugar binge. In order to avoid this binge plan some treats into your week. Try and have those treats on days that you have done particularly well. Maybe you have had a great workout or maybe you have eaten really well for a few days in a row. If you’re seeking to completely cut out processed sugar, reduce your sugar intake gradually.

Get Some Exercise 

When you exercise, it reduces your stress levels. This is important when cutting back on sugar because high stress-levels may lead you to reach for sugary foods. The exercise doesn’t have to be strenuous to have a positive effect, even a brisk walk can help reduce your stress levels and keep you on track. 

I have been finding myself reaching for treats, wether that’s sweet treats or alcohol, especially at the weekend. Last weekend gone I found myself going for a decent run with some friends. Afterwards I felt great, albeit a bit tired, but as the evening came, and I was cooking a lovely roast dinner, I would normally always feel a great urge to open a bottle of red wine. However after running in the morning I had a slightly different mindset. Although I still fancied having a glass I found it much easier to stop myself and would say the reason for this was because of my morning workout.

Conclusion

Sweet cravings effect us all. It is not about trying to stop all treats but more about controlling them. Plan them into your week and use them as a reward for good work.

Don’t deprive yourself, just control yourself.

Now put the cookie down….




 

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