How often do you experience a strong sugar craving for a bar of rich milk chocolate late at night? You’ve had a long, exhausting day, you have a 2,000 word essay due tomorrow that you haven’t started, and it doesn’t help that you are running on no more than 5 hours of sleep. You rush eagerly to your fridge, grab the tall bar of Galaxy chocolate you have been trying to avoid, and indulge in the thick, smooth and creamy guilty pleasure. Each bite is as satisfying as the last.
Once you are done, and you slowly come back to reality, a wave of guilt hits you. All the muscle soreness from your intense workouts, the times you sacrificed Chick-fil-A for Subway, and the hours spent reading health blogs seem a little more in vain now.
Firstly, do not beat yourself up about it! Giving in to your sugar cravings once in a while cannot undo all your efforts to maintain a healthy and fit body. Secondly, not only are there a variety of effective habits you can adopt to prevent sugar cravings from becoming a regular occurrence, but there are also many tricks to deal with them when they do arise.
What Can You Do To Avoid These Cravings?
1. Eat Regularly Throughout The Day
Instead of having 3 big meals a day, have 5-6 smaller meals. When you don’t eat for long periods of time, your blood sugar level drops causing you to crave sugary foods. By eating every 2-3 hours, you maintain stable blood sugar levels, and are less likely to crave calorific desserts at the end of your day.
2. Substitute Refined Carbohydrates With Complex Carbohydrates
Replacing refined carbohydrates like white bread, pasta and rice with complex carbohydrates like whole wheat bread, pasta and rice. Complex carbohydrates are more wholesome, as a result of which they fill you up more and prevent suddenspikes and drops in your blood sugar level.
3. Give In Sometimes
When you feel like having a piece of your favorite chocolate, or a scoop or your favorite ice cream, go have it! A lot of the time, we get huge sugar cravings because we deprive ourselves of sugar. While it is definitely important to be dedicated to our health regimes, it is also important to listen to your body sometimes to keep you satiated and happy. Consuming these foods in small portions on occasion will save you from having massive cravings in the future.
What are the best ways to deal with these cravings when they arise?
1. Grab A Small Piece Of Concentrated Dark Chocolate
Consuming 1-2 squares of 80-90% dark chocolate can provide the same amount of satisfaction as a large bag of cookies, or a tub of ice cream. Concentrated dark chocolate contains high levels of cocoa, which contains of dopamine and serotonin. These chemicals are what our body essentially needs to satisfy sugar cravings.
2. Have A Piece Of Fruit
Fruits are an extremely healthy form of sugar! While all fruits are pretty effective in satisfying sugar cravings, stock up on grapes, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and other small fruits, because you can easily adjust the portion of fruit you consume depending on the size of your sugar craving!
3. Distract Yourself
Very often, we don’t get cravings for sugary foods because our body requires the sugar, but instead because we are bored, need something to excite us, or because we need some emotional support. In these cases, the best thing to do is to engage yourself in an activity that will distract you and hold your attention. Watch an episode of your favorite TV show, go for a short walk, or listen to some music! If your sugar craving is truly unrelated to your blood sugar levels, it should pass in a couple of minutes.