How to Cope with Sweet Cravings

Do you have a sweet tooth that is sabotaging your diet efforts? Whether it’s chocolate, candy, cake or ice cream, we all have sweet cravings that can expand our waistline. If you need help coping with your cravings, Truestar has the strategies you need to help deal with sweet cravings!

Physical Hunger vs. Emotional Hunger
Recognizing the difference between physical hunger and emotional hunger is the first step to developing a coping strategy for cravings. Physical hunger is when the stomach sends a signal to the brain telling it that it’s time to eat. Physical signs of hunger can include a feeling of emptiness in your stomach, rumbling sounds in your stomach and light-headedness. Emotional hunger is not accompanied by these physical hunger cues. When you eat to feed your emotions when you are stressed, anxious or bored, food is being used as a comfort—hence the notion of comfort foods. Unfortunately, the comfort foods we indulge in during times of stress tend to be unhealthy foods that are high in fat and sugar.

Craving Strategies
To control emotional eating and sweet cravings, try these coping strategies:

1. Elimination: The best approach to dealing with your cravings is to eliminate or avoid as many triggers as possible. For example, if you know your weakness is pastries, going into a bakery probably isn’t too smart. Or, if you stock up your home with sweets, even if it’s for your kids, the chances of you eating these foods are high. Be smart and assess all the situations in which you have a difficult time resisting food. This will help you will realize your weakness and then you can work to avoid the situations which feed your cravings.

2. Distraction: Finding a distraction from the cravings is a great coping strategy. By engaging in other activities during your vulnerable craving times, you can avoid giving into the temptation. For example, when a craving comes on, don’t give in immediately. Go do something else such as watch TV, read a book, go for a walk, do housework, call somebody, etc. Cravings normally don’t last very long and finding a distraction will usually help you avoid giving into the craving.

3. Confrontation: For some, confronting cravings can help avoid giving into them. Tell yourself that you have a choice and that you are in control of fighting the cravings. Be sure to reward yourself for outlasting the cravings. Congratulate yourself for not eating that dessert you would normally have.

Truestar can help!
A good way to identify the triggers that make us crave sweets is to keep a food journal. Record what and when you eat as well as the emotions you recognize when you eat. Research shows that those who are most likely to be successful at losing weight and keeping it off use journals to monitor their thoughts, feelings, goals and strategies. You can also use the Truestar Food Trakker to monitor your intake and see the nutritional breakdown of your meals.

It is also important to eat balanced meals throughout the day. We recommend eating hormonally balanced meals and snacks throughout the day. Starving your body will only cause your blood sugar to plummet and increase the likelihood of binging late at night. Getting regular exercise, the proper vitamins and supplements, adequate sleep and having a healthy attitude can help cope with cravings.