Take control of your sweet tooth!

Do you find it difficult to concentrate mid-day with a sugar craving? Are you searching the cupboards in the evening to satisfy that sweet tooth? What appeases it? Chocolate? Baked goods? Desserts?

Your sweet tooth can be managed with awareness, attention, and some coping tools.

Begin by Pausing for Reflection
Next time your sweet tooth starts coming on, use it as an opportunity to ask yourself some questions. What is causing this urge? Am I feeling this way out of routine or habit? Am I physically hungry? Or am I craving something to cope with an emotion or stress?

Hunger
If you are physically hungry, provide your body with nourishment before your sweet snack. This is an important practice before and after bariatric surgery. After providing your body with the nourishment it needs, you may find your craving dissipate and you may even forgo the treat. If not, you can feel good about fueling your body before indulging. You may notice it takes a lot less of that sweet something to satisfy your craving. When responding to a hunger cue between meals try selecting foods rich in protein and fibre, such as a handful of nuts or a portion of yogurt with berries.
 
Stress
When you start to reflect on what is triggering your craving, ask yourself if it is in response to stress. While we may feel better temporarily from that sugar surge, food won’t provide you the satisfaction you are looking for. Instead, manage your stress by taking your mind away from food and onto something that is good for your body. Take a short walk, call a friend, or close your eyes and practice deep breathing. Give yourself some time, is the craving still there? 

Balance
Sometimes, cravings can be caused by an imbalance in the diet and overall lack of protein, fibre, or whole grains/starches. Failing to nourish our bodies regularly throughout the day with lean protein sources, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains could be to blame. These foods are fundamental to each meal to help regulate hunger, provide nourishment, and fuel our bodies.