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The reality is, we are human and for many reasons, we crave tasty food. Here are the top tips to help combat sweet cravings, if this is something you struggle with.

  1. Keep less in the environment

Our environment can play a huge role in the choices we make. If we’re constantly bombarded with sweet choices and we enjoy said sweet foods, it’ll of course make it difficult to pass up every single time. Not saying that you have to pass up the sweets every time, but the more you can, the less ‘empty calories’ will be adding up.

Each and every person’s environment will be different, so it will be important to take a look at your own situation and discover where you could cut out the temptations. Are you used to having ice cream, cookies, chocolate, etc. in the house? Try buying less. If it’s someone else bringing it into the home, talk with them about how you feel. If there are still large amounts in the home, use strategies below to help.

  1. Break the Habit

A lot of the time we eat out of habit, even if it is due to boredom, being emotional, etc. It can be a habit to reach for a certain type of snack, whether it’s ice cream at night, a chocolate bar in the afternoon, etc. We can do these things mindlessly, because they’ve become second nature.

If we stop and ask ourselves each time we’re going to make a food choice, things like – how will this make me feel when I’m done? Do I really need this right now? Will something else make me feel better and fuel my body better? Even just the simple process of stopping and asking ourselves these questions can help make better choices. The key is no judgement. If you do have a sugary food, just chalk it up to being human and keep trying to make better choices most of the time. This is part of an emerging concept called mindful eating.

Setting small goals can also help with breaking habits. Say if you currently have a habit of eating a chocolate bar each day in the afternoon, you could set a goal to have a healthy snack choice at least 5 days per week. Once you’ve mastered this, you can set a new goal. When we break goals up into smaller chunks like this, they tend to be more manageable and achievable.

  1. Don’t Over-Restrict

For the reason mentioned above. Completely restricting foods that you enjoy may work short-term, but as life happens this restriction can eventually lead to binging on the food you’re restricting. Then because people tend to have this ‘all or nothing’ attitude, they feel like they have failed. This causes them to be demotivated and give up, and the vicious cycle continues. Think of making healthy changes as many processes in life – where you continuously work on making improvements and you might have setbacks, but just pick yourself up and keep on going.

  1. Prevent Sugar Crashes by Eating the Right Foods

Sugar is a carbohydrate, which gets converted into blood glucose (aka blood sugar). Our body digests and processes carbohydrates very quickly. So, in a nutshell, if we eat a food that contains a high amount of carbohydrates (with nothing else to slow it down), our body processes very fast, and we tend to get a spike in blood sugar and then a crash. This ‘crash’ can leave you feeling sluggish, tired, and even more susceptible to cravings.

Fibre, protein, and fats are nutrients that slow digestion – keeping food in the belly for longer, which gives us long lasting energy and fullness, and keeps blood sugar stable (rather than a rise and crash). By having more balanced meals and snacks that contain protein, fibre, and healthy fats, you will feel more full and satisfied, and for longer periods of time, making it much less likely you will crave sugary foods.

  1. Have Options to Help Satisfy the ‘Sweet Tooth’

There are healthier sweet options that can help to satisfy your sweet tooth. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • fruit;
  • yogurt (preferably unsweetened and then you can your own sweetness with berries, cocoa, etc.);
  • smoothies with cacao and other natural sweeteners such as fruit;
  • sweet flavoured herbal teas
  1. Drink a Full Glass of Water

This may sound like a simple one, but many of us don’t drink enough water. Being dehydrated can cause symptoms such as feeling sluggish, and can even make you feel hungry, both of which can contribute to reaching for less nutritious foods. Got a craving? Chug a full glass of water and see if it helps. If not, try one of the strategies above.

Felicia Newell
About the Author

Felicia Newell is a Registered Dietitian (RD), Nutritionist, and Health Coach. She is also the owner of Sustain Nutrition, and helps clients from all around the globe fight through the misinformation in the online world, and master their health goals in a way that also allows them to also enjoy life. After many years in practice and through extensive research, Felicia knows that the ‘restrictive dieting’ technique never works long-term, and she takes the realistic approach of the ‘80/20 rule’, as well as working with clients to find the specific strategies that work best for them. You can download her FREE Meal Planning Starter Kit to help get you on your way to crushing your health and wellness goals.

Check out:
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Download her free meal planning starter kit here: bit.ly/MealPlanStartKit