Whether or not you have a ‘sweet tooth’, you, like everyone else, have likely experienced that 3pm sugar craving or that late night need for something sweet before bed.
In the world of nutrition, this is completely normal. There are many ways to get ahead of sugar cravings and free yourself from what might feel like an ongoing struggle.
The science behind sugar cravings
When your body craves something sweet, it’s really trying to tell you that your energy is too low, and you need to eat something to boost your energy.
Since the human body’s number one source of energy is the macronutrient carbohydrates, your body during this energy low will crave carbs in its most convenient, quickest-releasing form, which are simple carbs like candy or a sugary drink. The problem with simple carbs is you will quickly feel the boost of energy before feeling a sugar crash. You’ll end up back where you started when your craving first kicked in.
Hack #1: Eat more carbs
If you experience regular sugar cravings, you are probably just not eating enough carbs — specifically, complex carbs which produce a slow release into your blood sugar for energy and satiety.
Incorporate more complex carbs into your regular meals and snacks to get ahead of sugar cravings. Good options are root vegetables like squash and sweet potato, fibrous fruits like banana and berries, whole grains like steel cut oats and brown rice, and legumes like beans. Simply google complex carbs and you’ll find extensive lists to pick and choose from what is familiar to you.
Hack #2: Satisfy your sugar craving with fresh fruit or dark chocolate
Both fresh fruit and dark chocolate are convenient, easily accessible options for satisfying your desire for something sweet.
Any fibre-rich fruits like apples, berries, and bananas are excellent examples of complex carbs that will curb your cravings.
Dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa is a great option that typically has a much lower ratio of added sugar.
Hack #3: Make guilt-free versions of your favourite desserts
And now, the fun part.
As a health coach in nutrition and weight loss, I know that deprivation always backfires. So focus on what you can have, not what you can’t.
There are so many creative ways for you to enjoy all the desserts you love in ways that will actually leave you feeling more satisfied than the processed traditional recipes. The difference here is you substitute in ingredients that are more whole and natural so they ease your body’s digestive system. More processed ingredients put your digestive system into overdrive, which is often where weight retention occurs.
If you love brownies, then you should have brownies. Try my super tasty healthy brownie recipe that uses dates instead of sugar, and coconut flour instead of all-purpose flour. 99% of the ingredients are clean, natural, and whole and contains no gluten, grains, or added sugar.
If you love cake, then have cake. Here’s a 3-ingredient flourless mug cake recipe by food blogger The Big Man’s World. I just tried it out and it was SO tasty and moist. The recipe only calls for banana, cocoa powder, and a nut butter. 5 minutes to make and 100% guilt-free.
For more creative healthy recipe ideas to hack your nutrition, check out my YouTube channel here.