Thursday, 18 October 2012

6 things to try before reaching for the chocolate

These past few weeks, I've been struggling to get through some days without something sweet - chocolate, biscuits, cake.... I know something has to be done when it gets to the point of feeling like I need it to get through the day. It's a matter of getting out of the habit, re-programming and actively adopting / resuming healthy eating, exercise and a healthy lifestyle in general.

Often our desire for something sweet comes from tiredness, debydration, boredom or inactivity and it's therefore easy to take steps to rectify the source of our sweet cravings. Here are 6 things to try before reaching for the chocolate / cake / biscuits:
  1. Drink some water. Have a big glass right on the spot. I was reading recently we should ideally sip water throughout the day rather than drinking a big glass here or there. If we're not drinking water regularly though, chances are we are dehydrated and need a big glass or two at that moment. 
  2. Exercise. Go for a brisk walk around the block or if you are tied to the house with a sleeping baby or whatever, then run up and down the stairs a few times, do some jogging on the spot, some star jumps  / jumping jacks. It will invigorate you.
  3. Do a task. Tell yourself you need to do something to 'earn' your treat. Busy yourself with something active like a cleaning job, hoovering, a bit of gardening.
  4. Distract yourself. Make a phonecall, write an email or a letter, tidy up a pile of paperwork, update your calendar, start preparing a meal, invite a friend over, do a niggling task you've been procrastinating on like working on a photo album, clearing out some stuff.
  5. Eat something healthy. Rather than going for the biscuit, chocolate or whatever, first eat something healthy. Try a handful of nuts and seeds, a piece of fresh fruit or a slice of wholegrain toast spread with something savoury.
  6.  Have an early night. This clearly is not something to try at the moment you are reaching for the chocolate but I felt it needed to be included! If we're tired, our energy levels and our willpower are affected during the day. Getting enough sleep is an important part of leading a healthy lifestyle. If it's not easy to make yourself go to bed early, schedule it in at the beginning of the week. Choose one or two evenings in the week ahead when you must be in bed by 9pm (or whatever time you feel works for you) and stick to it! 
In an ideal world, trying some or all of the above will help you resist the urge for the chocolate / cake / biscuits and the more you resist, the weaker the cravings will become. By incorporating healthy habits like drinking enough water, getting enough sleep and actively making healthy food choices on a regular basis, you won't need the sweet fix to get you through the day.
What is your sweet vice and how do you deal with it if you ever feel like it's getting the better of you? Can you add to the tips above?
photo credit


  1. Oh I too have been having this issue for a little while now, total lack of energy I think due to hormonal imbalance (awaiting blood tests to confirm) and a bit of a sweet treat dependancy. It's a vicious circle when you need a sugar hit and have gotten out of the healthy shopping habit it's far too easy to reach for the chocolate.

    I'm a fan of a handful of nuts at times, but other times it just won't do. So sometimes I like a little kiddies yoghurt or some sorbet (just from the supermarket - it's quite cheap)with some berries mixed in. :)

    1. You're absolutely right that it's a vicious circle. Hope you get to the bottom of whether you do have a hormonal imbalance. Sorbet and berries sounds like a good, healthier choice when you really do crave something sweet.


Thank you for reading. I'd love to have your comments and thoughts!