Eight Healthy Ways to satisfy your sweet tooth!
It’s Monday and your diet has just started. Breakfast: A piece of toast with avocado, kale and eggs
Lunch: A homemade chicken salad with lots of veggies and rice.
Afternoon tea: A protein bar.
Dinner: Salmon with steamed veggies. Dessert: A whole packet of cookies, ice cream and a block of chocolate.
Does this sound familiar?
If you need your sugar fix but want to start improving your eating, it might be time to take control of your cravings. When you are eating regularly and have tasty meals and snacks on hand, your blood sugar levels and energy will remain more stable and you are less likely to have cravings or make poor choices.
The 80/20 rule, where 80 percent of your diet is based on healthy whole foods and 20 percent is reserved for treats, is usually a good rule to follow for general health. The best way to reduce your intake of unhealthy foods is to crowd them out by filling up healthy foods. If you only focus on the foods you shouldn’t eat, you will end up feeling deprived and start craving them even more. Instead, focus on the foods you can eat and enjoy.
I always recommend that you don’t just rely on willpower and keep too many unhealthy snacks at home — if they are there, you will eat them! Save your treat quota for something you really love or a special occasion rather than just mindlessly eating biscuits or leftover chocolates at home.
Next time you’re walking straight towards the chocolate aisle, I’d love to share with you eight questions to ask yourself that will help you curb your cravings.
1 Is your craving emotionally fuelled?
It’s so important to ask yourself where the craving is coming from. Are you feeling sad or lonely? How about angry about something? Are you exhausted? Once you know the root of the desire, then you can deal with it appropriately, rather than trying to squash it down with food. If you are constantly emotionally eating, I recommend reaching out to someone you can trust, journaling, meditating on it or speaking to a trained therapist.
2 Are you getting enough protein?
Sometimes we crave food because we haven’t eaten enough nourishing protein during the day. So, our blood sugar levels drop, and suddenly we’re face-first in a tub of ice cream. Include a source of protein, such as meat, fish, eggs or tofu, at every meal to reduce your sugar cravings.
3 Are you staying hydrated?
Did you know dehydration can be a cause of sugar cravings? When your body is dehydrated, it can be difficult for the liver to use water, which releases glycogen and other components of energy stores, so you may start getting cravings for sweets. Liquorice tea is a great herbal tea to try which is good for adrenal support, energy and sugar cravings.
4 Is fresh fruit a part of your diet?
Do you remember when you were younger, and you asked for dessert, only to be rolling your eyes 10 seconds later because your parents said there was fruit? Look who’s laughing now! Fresh fruit is an excellent way to hit your sweet spot, and you’ll feel great afterwards, too.
5 How often do you brush your teeth?
If your sugar cravings happen after dinner, try brushing your teeth. There’s no better way to curb a desire than by filling your mouth with toothpaste. I mean, who wants to eat any food immediately after brushing their teeth? Thank you, next.
6 Have you ever thought about sipping on synbiotic powder?
A synbiotic, such as my Love Your Gut synbiotic powder, is a great way to end all sugar cravings. It’s full of probiotics, prebiotics and digestive enzymes to rebalance, restore and replenish the gut microbiome, busting cravings from the inside out.
7 Have you tried distracting yourself?
Taking a walk outside can seriously help decrease sugar cravings. Fresh air and good old-fashioned exercise increase blood flow, giving you more energy and fewer cravings. You’re welcome.
8 Is it time to get your bake on?
If you’re a sweet fiend, it may seem impossible to go cold turkey on all things sweet. Creating some healthy versions of your favourite treats is an excellent way to manage your cravings in a nourishing way.
Here is a lovely, sweet treat recipe which is a healthy variation of a sugar-filled morning staple. Enjoy my guilt-free stud muffins that are as wholesome as they are delicious.
Pumpkin and Berry Muffins
2 cups steamed & puréed pumpkin (about 1⁄2 uncooked pumpkin)
1 cup organic nut butter 4 organic eggs
1 cup almond meal
2 tbsp flaxseed meal
2 tsp gluten-free baking powder
1⁄4 cup rice malt syrup or 1⁄2 tsp stevia 1 cup frozen berries
Preheat the oven to 160°C and line 18 holes in two 12-hole capacity muffin tins with muffin liners.
Place all the ingredients except the berries in a food processor and whizz to combine. Stir in the berries.
Divide the mixture evenly among the prepared muffin holes.
Bake in the oven for 25 mins, or until a skewer inserted into one of the muffins comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.
Stored in the fridge in an airtight container, these muffins will keep for up to 5 days.