Our very own Health and Wellbeing Coach, Dr Helen Lawal, lets us in on her hints & tips to kick those sugar cravings
We’re half way through Lent – the point where for many, cravings are likely to start hitting hard.
If you’ve set yourself the challenge of kicking sugar to the curb in the lead up to Easter, Dr Helen Lawal, specialist GP in Lifestyle Medicine at OneWellness, has got your back with fool-proof methods to overcome temptation and power through the remainder of Lent, without thinking about the sugar-laced treats tempting you during the weekly shop!
Knowing you shouldn’t eat something often leads to a stronger craving for that particular food – we always want what we can’t have! However, if you’re on the hunt for some top tips on how to successfully kick the constant need to satisfy a sweet tooth, you’re in the right place: Dr Helen Lawal has provided seven ways to curb the dreaded cravings and successfully complete Lent…
Check your drinks
Sometimes cravings are a sign of dehydration rather than hunger. So, drink a glass of water, wait 5 minutes and then see if you’re still tempted.
Also, try to limit caffeine, as too much can mimic a blood sugar crash – leaving you craving the one thing you’re trying so very hard not to think about… sugar!
Satisfy your sweet tooth with sweet veggies, fruit & spices
Your tongue has sweet taste buds that demand to be satisfied, so to curb the craving, give them what they want in a different form!
Add naturally sweet foods & spices to your diet such as sweet potato, butternut squash, berries, figs, apples, cinnamon, coriander, nutmeg and cloves.
Sleep and rest
If you’re constantly tired, your body is going to look for energy – usually in the form or sugar or caffeine. So try to power down an hour earlier than usual, and notice how your cravings improve as fatigue lessens.
For some, this is easier said than done. If you’re someone who struggles to wind down and get a good quality night’s sleep, take a look at our previous blog post.
When you’re craving sugar, opt for a protein snack and observe the effectiveness. Try a handful of roasted unsalted cashew buts, almonds or walnuts.
Avoid low-fat and fat-free foods
Low-fat and fat-free foods are often false friends to both your diet and your cravings, as although the packaging emphasises a low-fat content, manufacturers often replace the fat with (yep, you guessed it!) sugar. Avoid wherever possible!
Movement is another kind of nourishment for your body; it releases stress, makes you feel great and subsequently look great!
When you’re not active enough, the body starts to look for other ways to blow off steam, like binging on biscuits and chocolate bars – often as a form of boredom eating.
Identify your habits
When sugar is on your mind, take a second to think about what it really is that you’re craving. Experiment with trying different foods – this will help to identify something else that will satisfy your cravings and gives your body what it needs.
If you can replace the need for sugar with something healthier that won’t destroy all the progress you’ve made during your Lent journey!
Dr Helen’s next Curb Your Sugar Cravings workshop takes place on 21st May 12pm-2pm at OneWellness – for more information and to book your place, please drop us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01423 568 212.