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I am a bona fide sweet tooth. I wouldn’t say I have an addictive personality, but sugar seems to have a real grip on me. In an effort to rid it from my life, I’ve tried all sorts of diets to battle the cravings; low carb, vegan and keto to name a few. Yet despite my best efforts, these strict regimes always seem to make my cravings worse. In addition to this, I’ve found restrictive styles of eating near impossible to sustain. However, it hasn’t been a complete waste of time. From playing around with different nutrition philosophies I have learned a lot about what works for me, in terms of keeping my diet relatively sugar free.
I start reaching for the sugar when I’m tired. I find that if I can reduce my stress levels and am consistently sleeping well, my sugar cravings are almost non-existent. Easier said than done, especially when life is throwing curveballs at you. But, it is something to keep in mind and monitor if you are trying to cut down on the sweets.
Foods high in protein and healthy fats satiate me and fill me up for longer. When I feel satisfied, I’m less likely to want dessert-like foods after my main meals. I try to make sure my shopping basket is filled with foods like avocados, nuts, tofu, organic eggs, unsweetened yoghurt etc.
I love eating and I don’t skip meals intentionally. However, sometimes life gets hectic and I find myself hangry and light headed with no snacks in sight. Despite knowing better, I end up grabbing food that will give me an instant energy hit – i.e. sugar, only to experience the well documented sugar crash 30 minutes later. The moral of this story - try to plan your meals and have healthy snacks available.
Often I start craving treats after 3-4 hours of sitting and working at my computer. I’m not sure if this is a reaction to boredom or as a result of my brain feeling fried. But, I’ve found the best way to deal with it is by doing some light exercise. A quick mid-day walk, jog or 30 minute yoga session give my body a reset and usually kill my sugar cravings.
When I begin to feel a sugar craving creep up, I find that it’s usually when I’m partially dehydrated. A cup of herbal tea, a glass of water, or even better, a water bottle with a sachet of sugar-free Ener-C, often hits the spot. Funny how something so simple can keep us on track to feeling good.