Sugar. It’s oh so tempting but oh so addictive too.
Australian wellness expert Steph Lowe – who is known as The Natural Nutritionist – doesn’t mince her words when it comes to the sweet stuff.
According to her, sugar is the ‘devil’ and the more you eat, the more you crave.
‘When we feed our bodies sugar it continues to crave it,’ Steph says. ‘Beating a sugar addiction requires willpower and holding onto how good our body feels and how much sustained energy we have when our diet is free of it.’
Here, she shares her top tips to beating sugar cravings with New Idea.
Clean out your pantry
‘If it’s not in the house, you can’t eat it, right?’ says Steph. ‘Set your kitchen up for success and remove the temptations from your sight. It doesn’t mean you can’t buy these “foods” but you can put them at the back of the fridge or freezer, or in a separate section of the pantry.’
Prioritise real food
‘Ensure your meals contain a portion of protein and good fats,’ Steph advises. ‘Protein and fat are our satiety macronutrients – they keep your blood sugar stable and you fuller for longer.
‘It really is as simple as using quality proteins such as free range eggs and/or grass fed meats, using oils such as coconut or extra virgin olive oil and/or topping your plate with a handful of nuts and seeds or half an avocado.’
Drink more water
‘Often thirst is mistaken for hunger,’ Steph explains. ‘If you are hit with a sugar craving, drink a glass of water first and wait 15 minutes – you’ll be surprised at how much the urge subsides. Stay hydrated during the day and aim to drink at least 1.5L of fluid a day. You can’t count coffee, but you can include herbal teas in your daily quota.
Change your after-dinner routine
‘If you find that the majority of your sugar cravings occur post dinner, it’s time to change your nightly routine,’ Steph says.
The expert says there are a couple of things you can try.
‘Once dinner is over, mentally put a 'kitchen closed' sign up. Take this sign as you would any other closed sign and do not re-enter!’ she suggests.
‘If your nightly routine is sitting on the couch, scrolling/watching TV and snacking then look at what you can do to avoid that.
'Swap the snack for a cup of herbal tea, brush your teeth as soon as dinner is finished, go for a walk, start a gratitude or meditation practice, read a book or use the opportunity to go to bed earlier. Increasing the hours of sleep you obtain will help decrease the hunger hormone ghrelin, therefore helping to minimise ongoing cravings.’
Steph’s final piece of advice? Be prepared
‘If cravings strike at a particular time of the month, be prepared with a healthy refined sugar free sweet treat. It’s much easier to avoid a Cadbury’s or Ben & Jerry’s binge when you have some Raw Chocolate Crackle Slice pre-prepared.’