Believe it or not, you’re far from being the only ones who crave sugar. In fact your cravings are perfectly normal, especially since we’re born with a liking for sweetness. You just need to learn to manage your cravings.
- Reduce stress
Sugar cravings often result from emotions like anger, sadness, anxiety, and particularly from stress. In these situations, the body secretes cortisol, a hormone that stimulates appetite.
Solution: Regular physical activity and yoga help evacuate stress and stabilize appetite.
- “Sugar free” rewards
We often associate sugar with reward. After a long day’s work or when we deserve a reward, we often turn to sweet foods.
Solution: Why not reward yourself by doing something you enjoy like watching a film, shopping, having a massage, etc.)
- Reduce temptation
When you keep biscuits, chocolate or other sweet treats in the food cupboard, they catch your eye, resulting in temptation and the desire to indulge.
Solution: Sort out your food cupboard, then give away the enticing foods or hide them (behind the cupboard or on the top shelf).
- Avoid privation
By depriving yourself, you just postpone your small sugar cravings and end up succumbing to a big craving.
Solution: Allow yourself a small treat from time to time, but don’t make a habit of it.
- Find nutritious, less addictive Alternatives
The more sugar foods contain, the more tempting they will be.
Solution: Substitute milk chocolate for darkchocolate and replace cookies with creamy yogurt, frozen grapes, ice milk, etc.
- Keep to a regular eating schedule
When you go for long periods without eating, the risk of sugar cravings increases due to fluctuations in blood sugar levels. When blood sugar is low, you crave sweet foods.
Solution: Try to eat your three meals a day and add a healthy snack when there’s more than five hours between meals.
- Eat balanced meals
Incomplete meals can trigger sugar cravings shortly after the meal is over.
Solution: Strive to eat balanced meals, all containing enough protein, carbohydrates (starches), and vegetables. Protein and fibre (from vegetables and starches) help to make you feel full and prevent cravings between meals by stabilizing your blood sugar.
And how about you? Do you have other ideas for managing your cravings?
By Karine Séguin
Roberts, C.J. (2008). The effects of stress on food choice, mood and bodyweight in healthy women. Nutrition Bulletin, 33: 33–39. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-3010.2007.00666.x