Here’s my dirty secret…
I love chocolate. For a period of my life I ate dessert after nearly every dinner. Sometimes I also binge on sweets late night.
I know I’m not the only one, right?
From a young age most of us are exposed to sugar, and man, that stuff is addictive! I mean, literally. I remember I grew up drinking Coca-Cola and eating sweets a lot (my dad wasn’t the best influence with this). I’m not sure how I managed to ween myself off of soda by the time I got to high school, but it was a huge shocker for me when I got to college and learned that not everyone ate dessert every night after dinner. I was used to having ice cream, brownies, cookies or candy all the time, and visiting my grandma was always a treat because she had about four drawers in her kitchen dedicated to chocolate. Her trick was that she trained her brain to realize that the chocolate would always be there and available, so she never needed to binge, and could just eat a little bit at a time. This wouldn’t work for everyone and I know my will power isn’t that good. Recently, however, I’ve learned a tip for suppressing sugar cravings. It has been remarkably helpful, so let me share.
Add naturally sweet vegetables to your diet to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Instead of depending on processed sugar, look to sweet vegetables to aid with sugar cravings. Sweet vegetables soothe the body’s internal organs and energize the mind. Root vegetables, which are often sweet, are also grounding, rather than creating that sugar high that inevitably ends in a crash.
Here are a list of sweet vegetables to try:
Sweet Vegetables: corn, carrots, onions, beets, winter squashes, sweet potatoes, and yams
Semi-Sweet Vegetables: turnips, parsnips, and rutabagas
Other: Red radishes, daikon, green cabbage, and burdock (This list of veggies aren’t sweet, but have the same effect on the body by maintaining blood sugar levels, reducing sweet cravings, and breaking down animal foods in the body).
Eating fruits can also satisfy sugar craving, but try out some of the sweet vegetable options from above while also reducing the number of times you consume sweets. Just remember, adding in sweet vegetables assists in crowding out less healthy foods in the diet.
I also find that sometimes when I think I’m hungry even though I shouldn’t be, late at night or after a big meal, for example, all I really need to do is drink some water. Try having some water and waiting at least 15 minutes to see if your cravings pass.
If you still need your chocolate/sugar fix, there are also healthier recipes or snacks to buy, and just try to portion control by measuring out how much you want to allow yourself to eat. If you’re snacking on M&Ms for example, pour some out of the bag into a small bowl, rather than eating the whole bag.
Here are a couple healthier sweet recipes to try out:
In case you hadn’t heard, here are some of the risks of eating too much sugar over time:
-non-alcoholic fatty liver disease