Frequently Asked Questions
What can I do about sweet cravings?
The program is designed to address old eating habits that no longer serve you and replace them with a healthy approach to eating.
If you want to achieve this you will need to change some of the things you have been used to doing (habits). Adding sweet treats cancels out any benefit from using the meal replacements.
Sugar cravings are very real, but they can be managed and reduced – as with many addictions you can go “cold turkey” if you are feeling strong, or wean off gradually. If you can identify the time you are craving the sugar and also what action you usually take (eg a sweet treat after dinner every night), this is the first step to making a change. Interestingly a recent study has shown that a 15 min walk will produce a similar feel good “rush” as eating chocolate would stimulate in the brain, hence the cravings get easier to resist. So give that a go if you can.
There are some sweeter choices that can be eaten in moderate portions in the breakfast and lunch plans (eg yoghurt, plain sweet biscuits such as milk arrowroot,sweeter fruit) or you can choose sweet things that use sugar-substitutes (eg diet jelly) so that you get the sweetness without the calories, or you can work on reducing the craving by not feeding it, by distracting yourself, and also counteracting with a savoury or neutral taste.
Some suggestions include:
- Green tea or licorice tea
- Water with lemon wedge
- a small savoury snack (from the Free Food list – see the recipe section for some ideas)
- have some air-popped popcorn or a punnet of strawberries
- Chew sugar-free gum
- Go for a walk
- Phone a friend
- Gardening or other activity to keep your hands busy
- Identify if there is an emotional trigger and plan alternate strategies
Even artificial sweeteners can still trigger sugar cravings so it's better to try gradually weaning yourself off natural sugar rather than swapping it for artificial substitutes where possible. As you gradually switch out the more refined carbs for whole choices, your taste buds adjust, and you’ll likely find yourself craving less sweet things.