Does this story sound familiar to you?
The other day I came home from work extremely tired. It'd been a stressful day and I thought
I deserved a treat.
So I started thinking about that chocolate bar sitting in my cupboard. It looked so good my
mouth was watering. I couldn't get it out of my mind. I tried to distract myself, talk about
something else, dance, jump around.
Nothing seemed to help me push that thought away.
Have you had thoughts similar to these, "I earned this. Forget the diet. I just don't care anymore."?
So many of us have been there, done that.
This train of thought comes up over and over again.
Is there a solution?
Here are some powerful tips to help you battle your sugar cravings.
Tip 1: Are you hungry?
If you crave sugar, you may be just hungry!
It could be because your last meal was lacking in the right quantity of healthy fats, protein
and complex starches.
"You may need to eat more of the right stuff!"
, says our dietitian, Jessica Singh.
So it's not all about quantity, but rather quality.
Once you hit the right balance of delicious and nutritious food, you'll be able to reduce sugar
cravings, and in turn have more energy, focus and concentration.
Tip 2: Spend your daily sugar allowance wisely.
Four grams of sugar is equivalent to 1 teaspoon.
This is a great tool to use when you check the ingredient labels on packaged foods.
So, if you eat two small squares of chocolate instead of the whole bar, that could be equivalent
to some one and a half teaspoons of sugar (depending on the type of chocolate, so please check
Now let's be real. That won't make a difference.
But when does sugar become a problem?
If we start adding on the teaspoons in one day, it soon gets out of control.
One can of coke, for example, contains eight teaspoons of sugar. And then there is the hidden
sugar found in bread, fruit, processed foods and so on.
And before you may realise it, you may be eating 20-30 teaspoons of sugar a day!
Once you are fully aware of your actions, you can choose how to manage your daily sugar intake.
What's the daily allowance, I hear you say?
The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommended that "free sugars" should account for less than
12 teaspoons per day for the prevention of unhealthy weight gain and dental caries. They continue
to say that intake of less than 6 teaspoons per day would provide additional health benefits.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics reported in 2011-12, Australians consumed an average of 105 grams
of total sugars per day which is approximately 26 teaspoons!
The takeaway is that there are no strict guidelines. However, it's important to know how all
that sugar impacts your body in order to keep it under control.
Tip 3: FORGET THE ALL OR NOTHING RULE of dieting
Sometimes we get carried away and find any excuse to give up when on a diet.
But we are all human, and it will happen that we'll make an exception or simply take a break
from our routine.
Weight management and the lifestyle shift that comes with it are not over at the first piece
of cake you allow yourself to indulge in.
It's just a treat, and you have the power to choose a different option for your next meal.
So, enjoy that piece of cake or chocolate and jump right back on track for your next meal!
Tip 4: Ask yourself, "What do I really need now?"
When you have sugar cravings, ask yourself, "What do I really
need right now?"
For any reason it my be, we suggest you tap into your inner self and listen to what your body
is really trying to tell you.
Are you thirsty?
Are you bored?
Are you hungry?
Are you stressed?
You are probably familiar with all of the above. With the information on hand, start creating
solutions which are quick to access when you do feel bored or stressed.
Here are some ideas:
- Drink some water.
- Go for a quick walk.
- Store your snacks where you can't see them easily. What's out of sight is out of mind!
It will make a difference..gradually!
Tip 5: CHALLENGE YOUR FOOD HABITS - GO DEEPER!
When food management gets hard, it's time to look within.
do you eat the way you do? Are there any underlying food habits you developed over time?
I heard patients say, "I'm one of four children. If I didn't eat quickly as a child, there would
be no food left for me," or, "I'm feeling really down and anxious right now, food just makes me
This is known as emotional eating, and our expert Sue Jones uses a combination of counselling
and hypnotherapy to help clients overcome it.
Such issues are deep and hard to fight alone. So if you are experiencing something similar,
I encourage you to seek professional help.
On a final note...
Life is not meant to be about food restrictions and the daily battle of staying on track.
Our philosophy in the clinic centers around a lifestyle change that is sustainable,
enjoyable and above all, lasts.
If you need assistance with your weight management strategy, come see one of our experts.
Through our many years of experience, we know how difficult and personal it can be. Our team
will listen to your needs and support you in every step of the way with an individual approach.