(Last Updated On: 31st July 2017)

We can start the day with the best intentions to eat healthily, but sometimes it just seems as if our bodies are against us. When those 3pm cravings for sugar kick in, it can be hard to resist reaching for the biscuit tin or grabbing a chocolate bar from the vending machine.

Cravings are one of the hardest obstacles to overcome when trying to lose weight and keep healthy, so one of the most common questions nutritionists get asked is: how can I stop myself from craving sugar? Luckily there are some quick fixes to kill your craving where it stands – and if you stay strong for a couple of days then you should notice the habit is soon broken. 

Here are 5 of the best ways to beat sugar cravings.

  1. Plan your snacks
    Eating regularly throughout the day will keep your blood sugar levels even and could stop that mid-afternoon pang from setting in. Make sure you always have healthy snacks such as nuts or raw vegetables on hand; these also release energy slowly so will keep you feeling fuller for longer than that chocolate bar too.
  2. Go for a walk
    Often boredom will make you dwell on a craving, so going on a quick walk could take your mind off it. You’ll probably find that once you’re back at your desk the craving has gone and you can focus on your healthy eating again.
  3. Increase your magnesium
    Chocolate is high in magnesium, which could mean that a chocolate craving is actually your body crying out for more of this mineral. Add magnesium supplements into your diet to see whether this makes a difference to your cravings.
  4. Avoid stress
    Did you know that when your body feels stressed, its blood sugar levels become unbalanced? This is because of the hormone that is released during stress called cortisol – and it could be contributing to your craving. If you think you’re feeling a little highly strung, then try a relaxing activity or having a calming cup of green tea first – you may notice that your craving disappears once you’ve calmed down.
  5. Never skip breakfast
    The importance of a healthy breakfast can never be emphasised enough, and filling up first thing could help eradicate those cravings later in the day. A large bowl of oats or similar can keep your blood sugar levels stable throughout the day, meaning you’re less likely to crave sweet things.

It’s also important to remember that what you think of as a craving is also somewhat of a habit. If you’re used to eating something sweet at a certain time each day then you’ll psychologically also feel like you ‘need’ it. However, once you’ve resisted the cravings for a couple of days using the techniques above, you’ll soon notice that your eating habits simply change, and you’ll no longer be thinking about that sweet treat.