The sweet tooth cravings are real.
Do you struggle with sweet tooth cravings? I know I do, and when I say I struggle, I mean it’s a daily struggle. I crave sweets all the time! Sweet tooth cravings can be seriously hard to beat. I’ve been there, frantically searching the house for something sweet, and end up at the nearest ice cream shop. The question is how do we beat these sweet tooth cravings? In this blog post I outline my sweet tooth craving tips and hacks to help you get past and work with your sweet tooth struggle!
Canadian’s consume an estimated 51 grams of added sugar a day.
According to the Canadian Sugar Institute, Canadian’s consume an estimated 51 grams of added sugar a day. This is an older statistic (2004), however, still very shocking! (They are working on getting results out for 2015 data) Anyways, the point is that, Canadians are eating a lot of sugar, too much sugar.
I’m sure you know some of the negative effects that sugar can have on your body. However, here are a few, it can cause weight gain, high blood pressure, lead to diabetes, can raise cholesterol, can effect your mood, can effect your skin, making you age faster. The list goes on. It is recommended that women have only up to 6 grams and men 9 grams of sugar a day. This is added sugar, not including fruits. Now, I’m not perfect, but I have definitely tried to bring my sugar intake down by using only natural sweeteners (maple syrup, honey, dates) and staying away from the refined sugars.
After years of practice I have now learnt to work with this weakness of mine, in a way that keeps me balanced, while maintaining a healthy diet. Everyone who knows me well, knows I have a huge sweet tooth, and I often have a hard time saying no to a cupcake! However, I try to keep my balance with a few rules or guidelines surrounding sweet foods and baked goods.
First, I don’t buy treats (refined sugary treats) and keep them in the house. Such as oreos, or chocolate bars, or ice cream. This way if its not there I won’t eat it. During the daytime I try and limit myself to one if any of the sweet treats available and only the homemade ones! I find that the store-bought cupcakes and things are just not worth it, once I’ve had a bite and realize how processed it tastes. So, I stick to the homemade stuff. I also try my best to stay away from sweets throughout the day and save my treat till the end of the day after dinner. This way, I don’t start the “craving cycle” earlier in the day and want something sweet before dinner. I just minimize the amount of sugar as best I can.
My real sweet tooth tips are the actual sweet treats that I allow myself to indulge in on a daily basis.
These, I keep in the house on hand. I find that I can usually keep myself satisfied with one each day… most of the time!
- My number one tip, always there if I need it, is to always keep dark chocolate in the house. I have a square when I feel that sweet tooth come on. I find that I am satisfied with one small square. Unlike milk chocolate where, if I indulge I want to eat the whole chocolate bar. Dark chocolate satisfies me and I only need a little! You can try my dark chocolate Hazelnut Cranberry Bark to have on hand as well.
- Healthified sweet treat recipes. Over the years I have found a few treat recipes that are refined sugar free and made with real food, that I now use regularly. If you take a look at my Pinterest there are a lot of healthy recipes for bars, chocolate peanut butter cups, muffins, etc. That are good to keep on hand in the house when you need something more then just a square of chocolate!
- One of my most simple hacks that I find super satisfying is slicing up some apples with peanut butter or almond butter in the evening. Add a little cinnamon to them and it really hits the spot!
- I also keep a healthy granola in the house. Most of the time I buy it from the store, but sometimes I make my own. I can put it on top of plain coconut yogurt, a smoothie bowl, or simply with coconut milk. (If store bought check ingredients list and sugar content! Always go for ones without refined sugars)
- Keep healthier sweet snacks in the house, such as granola, dark chocolate bark, dark chocolate covered almonds, protein bars.
- When planning your meal prep for the week, include a type of “bliss ball“. I am obsessed with bliss balls! They are made with clean ingredients and really taste like a treat. You can find recipes that are packed with protein or healthy fats. Try a couple different kinds and pick your favourites to whip up weekly!
- Drink kombucha! Kombucha has all sorts of health benefits but curving sugar cravings is one of them. It also helps that kombucha is sweet itself. I brew my own and flavour it so it feels like I’m drinking something sweet. Almost like I’m treating myself to a pop!
- Don’t punish yourself when you do indulge! Face the facts, there are multiple occasions throughout the year when sugary treats are part of the celebration. So, if you do happen to be at a birthday, or any other celebration, that involves cake or baked goods, enjoy! I mean, yolo right? One piece of cake on a special occasion is not going to hurt you or your healthy lifestyle! Part of living a healthy and balanced lifestyle is being able to enjoy delicious (and not so good for you) foods in moderation.
With these tips and hacks I hope you are able to develop a more balanced and healthy relationship with sugary treats and sweet tooth cravings! Just remember that everything is ok in moderation. It’s being able to stay in control of those moderations and work with your cravings rather then against them, to keep your healthy lifestyle nice and balanced.