If you battle with sugar cravings, you’re not alone.
The truth is, sugar has powerful addictive qualities, which is one of the main reasons it can be hard to stop eating it once you start. Not only that, it has a host of nasty side effects that can greatly impact your health.
Also, keep in mind that indulging in a temporary craving will not solve whatever emotion you may be feeling. Your frustration, anger, sadness, loneliness, fear, etc is still going to be there once you eat that donut, cookie, cake, pie or candy bar. It may feel good in the moment, but it will be fleeting. And it may leave you feeling a bit worse than before (guilty, remorseful, bloated, yucky).
Fortunately, your cravings WILL get under control if you cut the sugar, get back to more balanced eating, and use the right tools to get you back on track. We have a few tricks up our sleeve so you can get back to nourishing your body and feeling great, minus the sabotage!
So listen up: Your cravings do NOT have to get the best of you. What you need are some tools to deal with them once they strike.
Check out our quick 3 minute video or read below for our tips to get you on your way.
1). Use peppermint essential oil
Peppermint oil has been found to reduce cravings and curb appetite. A 2011 study found that individuals who inhaled peppermint every two hours were less hungry than those who did not. In fact they consumed an average of 2,800 fewer calories per week.1
In addition, peppermint can help fight fatigue by boosting energy and increasing alertness. By the way, fatigue is another reason you reach for a sweet pick-me-up.2 We suggest carrying a bottle of peppermint oil with you at all times. Take a whiff or lick a drop off your palm when a craving hits you. You can get the peppermint oil we use here.
2). Drink a full glass of water with lemon
This tip tackles 3 birds with one stone. First, the water itself can fill you up, just enough to quell a craving. Second, many cravings occur simply from being dehydrated so see how you feel after drinking a glass. Third, the sour taste in the lemon, much like the minty taste of the peppermint oil, can also help ward off a craving. By putting a more acid/sour taste in the mouth, you are “feeding” your taste buds with an alternate taste sensation and wiping out the desire for something sweet.
3). Eat something nourishing with a hint of sweetness
What to do if you find yourself in a situation where you ARE physically hungry but wanting something sweet? Your best bet is to eat something healthy that also satisfies your desire for sweetness. The great thing about this is that when you eat something healthy that is also a little bit sweet, you are training your taste buds to favor the taste of wholesome, real foods instead of processed, overly sweet foods. Our Sweet Treats handout gives you a bunch of ideas so be sure to check it out.
Keep in mind, fighting sugar cravings is less about willpower and more about having the tools to deal with them. Let us know if you try any of these tips!
For more actionable guidance on nutrition for women over 50: Check out PM Meal Mastery,™ a scientifically-backed nutrition plan for optimal health, energy, and confidence after menopause. PM Meal Mastery is the nutritional program for post menopausal women who want to fuel their bodies, feel their best, and live an active, engaged life.