Simple ways to trick your body into thinking it’s eating sugar

Managing sugar cravings can be tough, especially at 3pm or after dinner when you’re watching TV and all you feel like is that chocolate bar. But with some mind games, you can train yourself into thinking your eating sugar. These tips will also help cut those cravings for good.

#1 Swap the sweet treats for fruit

Yes, I know it sounds boring, but training your tastebuds to enjoy the natural sweetness provided by fresh fruit means highly sweet foods will start to taste too sweet! Next time you’re craving those lollies, reach for some berries, that slice of cake? Reach for a pear first. Chocolate? Go for a banana. It may even help to tell yourself that if you still want the sweet treat 30 minutes after the fruit you can have it… chances are you’ll be entirely satisfied and not looking for sweets at all!

#2 Eat enough low GI carbs, fibre, protein and fat at main meals

Not eating enough carbs can result in cravings for sweet things, so incorporating them into main meals makes sense. Low GI choices such as chickpeas, lentils, quinoa and sweet potato are super easy to include, satisfying, and provide fab additional health benefits as well.

#3 Choose options that don’t contain as much added sugar

For example dark chocolate instead of milk. This helps you still feel you’re getting the treat, but with much less sugar added in.

Things to not have instead? Inclusion of artificial sweeteners may have a negative impact on gut health, weight, and may actually increase taste for sweetness. Choosing these drinks and snacks may help manage that craving in the short term, but are not such great options in the long term.

Be it caramel slice, chocolate cake or whatever other sweet treat you like best, keep in mind that a small amount of sugar is not poison; enjoying the occasional treat (and by enjoy I mean eating slowly and savouring every bite) is a totally acceptable – and encouraged – part of life.

Chloe McLeod is an accredited practicing dietitian. For more from Chloe, head here.

While we’re on the topic, here’s your guide to blood sugar levels. Plus we investigate whether the no-sugar diet is actually good for you.

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