When you were at the dinner table and you were told that if you ate all your food, you would be rewarded with desert?
How about when you won an award at school or achieved something in sport, you were taken for ice cream to celebrate?
These behavioral patterns from our childhood are often engraved in our subconscious mind and as adults we find it very hard to simply use willpower to kick our sweet cravings to the curb due to the strong emotional attachment we have to these “sweet treats”.
The word “treat” can have a powerful hold on us. We treat ourselves during times of stress, during times of celebration, times of sadness and discomfort. We often feel we need a “treat” to pick us up or reward us in some shape or form and often this is in the form of something sweet and sugary which can be to our detriment.
We can often also mistake our sugar cravings as a sign of weakness when our bodies are just simply trying to communicate with us in order to get what it needs to heal and harmonise. Next time a sugar craving kicks in, deconstruct it and ask yourself; what do I really need? What is my body really craving and WHY?
Key causes of sugar cravings:
- We are dissatisfied with a relationship and are craving love.
- We are lacking exercise and our body is craving more movement.
- We are bored, stressed, lack inspiration or mental stimulation in our job and therefore crave for certain foods as a form of fulfilment.
- We are lacking a spiritual practice (whether it be with ourselves or in a different form or religion) therefore we can emotionally eat as a result of this.
- We are thirsty; lack of water and dehydration can send messages to the brain signalling you are hungry. So next time you crave something, have a glass of water first to see if this diminishes.
- Nutrient deficiency; you can crave sugar as your body recognises this as a form of energy due to inadequate nutrition or not enough good fats in your diet.
- Hormonal; women often crave chocolate leading up to their period as this could be a lack of magnesium due to chocolate’s high levels of magnesium.
Here are my top 10 tips to help you beat the sugar blues and kick your sweet treat cravings to the curb…
- Drink water
- Reduce or eliminate caffeine.
- Make sure breakfast, lunch and dinner have a good split of; protein, good carbohydrates (vegetables and wholegrains such as quinoa, brown rice, and buckwheat) and most importantly good fats!
- Eat sweet vegetables with your meals such as sweet potato, squash and beetroot.
- Avoid chemicalised, artificial sweeteners and foods with added sugar. Sugar is highly addictive and 8 times more addictive that cocaine, so it is best to avoid it all together if you can.
- Get physically active, just move!
- Ask yourself “What primary food am I lacking?”(Is it something in my job, relationship or spiritual practice?)
- Get more sleep, rest, and relaxation.
- Eat more FAT! Good fats are highly important as they keep you fuller for longer and help stabilise your blood sugar levels, providing you with long lasting energy.
- Just choose the better alternative!
To set yourself up for further success when you feel the need to treat yourself, I would recommend storing some healthy sweet treats in your fridge, so you can opt for something that will satisfy your emotional pleasure centre all while nourishing your body with healthy ingredients! Who said healthy foods can’t be tasty and nourishing all at the same time? Here are two of my favourite “sweet treat” recipes to help you get started!
Cashew, Berry Ice Cream
Chocolate Berry Delight