- Richard R. Fay, DC
What to Do with a Sweet Tooth: Five Ways to Fight Sweets Cravings
It’s normal to crave something sweet now and then—humans are hardwired to seek sweet tastes. You might be fighting more sweet cravings than normal right now, because of the stress related to the events and uncertainties surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. However, you don’t want to allow your sweet tooth to keep you from reaching your weight loss goals. Here are five strategies to help you manage your cravings for sweets:
Optimize your diet
Keep your blood sugar on an even keel by eating regular meals and snacks. By fueling your body properly, you’ll avoid blood sugar spikes and crashes, and should experience fewer cravings for sweets. During Phase 1, you’ll be eating three meals and one snack, as well as unlimited raw vegetables and lettuces. Your body digests quality lean protein and the fiber from vegetables more slowly than it digests carbohydrates, keeping your blood sugar steadier.
Check your emotions
Sometimes when you crave something sweet, you’re really craving something else altogether. When a sweet craving hits, use the opportunity to examine your emotional state. Often, we crave sweets when we’re stressed or anxious—and who isn’t stressed and anxious right now? Choose healthier de-stressors, such as going for a (socially distanced) walk, taking a nap, going to bed early, or chatting with a supportive friend. See below for more ideas for de-stressing.
Make a list of strategies for riding out a craving
Instead of falling off your weight loss plan by overindulging on something you’re craving, try redirecting your thoughts/hunger. Before a craving strikes, come up with a list of small pleasures to treat yourself with, or activities to distract you. Many cravings disappear after about 15-20 minutes. Brew a cup of tea, chew some gum, do a crossword puzzle or sudoku, read or watch something funny. You’ll be more successful if you have a number of different strategies to choose from.
Get enough sleep
When you don’t get enough sleep, your body produces more of the “hunger hormone” ghrelin. Being sleep deprived also reduces your willpower and increases cravings for unhealthy foods, including sweet things. You may find your cravings fading away or becoming weaker when you regularly get enough sleep. For most folks, that’s around seven to eight hours each night. Since you likely aren’t going many places, take the opportunity to give your body the rest it needs.
Enjoy one of Ideal Protein’s sweet snacks
Ideal Protein has created a number of sweet tasting drink mixes and snacks to satisfy your desire for something sweet—and they’re all part of your weight loss plan! Choose from several different drinks or snacks, like chocolate or cappuccino flavored drinks, or Vanilla or Chocolate Crispy Squares. Get the most enjoyment from your sweet treat by eating slowly, tasting and savoring every bite. Just knowing you have a sweet treat in store may help you have fewer cravings.
The good news is the better you care for yourself physically and emotionally, the fewer sweets cravings you'll be likely to have. Remember these strategies as you continue to pursue your goal of better health.