Top 6 Tips to Battle Sugar Cravings
Our bodies have a natural desire is to crave sweet foods. It is a hard wired process in the body to seek out high calorie foods. Sweet foods in the wild typical contain a large number of calories and are easily consumed. This will give our bodies a large dose of ‘feel good’ hormones’, leaving us satisfied.
If sugar is consumed within a calorie-controlled diet, there is no harm. The trouble is, that it is incredibly difficult to eat highly palatable processed sugary foods in a controlled manner. It can be done, just with great difficulty. Never, has a packet of Oreos been opened for only one biscuit to be eaten….EVER!
Break the habit
Habit is broken down into three main sections. The cue, routine and the reward. When you start to feel hungry at work at 11am (cue), you wander over the vending machine and select a sweet snack (routine). You feel alert and focussed until lunch time (reward) and can continue your work. Instead of using willpower and motivation to avoid these sweet snacks, we need to alter this habit. Unfortunately, I can’t change the cue or the reward. We get hungry and we like to feel full, that is our bodies working its magic. The one element we can change is the routine. Instead of wandering over to the vending machine, try preparing some home made healthier snacks. Or maybe try and step away from the desk and walk outside for 10 minutes to feel alter and energised. Find an alternative that is convenient and easy to implement.
Going cold turkey rarely works long term and is unstainable in today’s world. Going on a sugar ‘detox’ sounds trendy but is unlikely to cause any major health benefits. By allowing yourself some sugary snacks with certain boundaries, you will be preventing that inevitable binge of a ‘share’ bag of Haribo. Don’t be hard on yourself but set clear rules of how many snacks you are allowing yourself and stick to it.
It has been shown that by chewing gum throughout the day you are less likely to consume snacks, especially sugary snacks. “They still reached for a variety of snacks provided but the decrease in overall snack intake was significant at 40 calories and sweet snack intake specifically was significantly lowered by 60 calories.” – Study
Fruit and veggies offer that alternative to sweets but are usually higher in volume and lower in calories. This keeps you feeling fuller for longer and satisfies your sweet craving all in one go. Fruit and vegetables also contain loads of fibre and nutrients to body which will not be provided by the highly processed alternative.
Sugar free alternatives
There are loads of sugar free foods that are on the market, which are a great alternative. They provide you with a low-calorie option and satisfy that craving for sweet stuff. Just to clarify, there is no harm to the body from aspartame as much of the media suggests. In 2013 the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) conducted a comprehensive review of the evidence and concluded that aspartame was safe for human consumption, including pregnant women and children.
The norm in western society is to stick to three square meals a day. Depending on how your day pans out, this can lead to large periods of time without food. When we get hungry it becomes a lot more difficult to make sensible food choices. Never have I been starving hungry and fancied a little side salad. Instead of having three large meals, why not break them meals down into 4, 5 or 6 smaller meals? This will prevent that hunger kicking out and takes out the decision-making process at the vending machine.
I hope you enjoyed my top 6 tips to battle sugar cravings. If you have any more tips you would like to share please comment below or drop me and email at firstname.lastname@example.org, I would love to hear your experiences.
The brains, brawn and beauty of Dackattack (basically it’s just me). A personal trainer with a private gym in Norwich, dedicated to giving out simple, actionable advice that will give you outstanding results.