If you crave something sweet after a meal, I have some good news for you…You’re not alone. In fact, I’d go as far to say this is THE most common sugar habit there is.
I’ve interviewed, coached, talked sugar habits to 100’s of people and this comes up time and time again. It’s so common, I’d say it’s almost normal!
In addition to this I really do have experience of the post-meal sweet habit myself. Trust me, I habitually HAD to eat something sweet after lunch and dinner as if my life depended on it for YEARS. Eventually I broke free and I’m living proof that you can change what feels like a rock solid routine & habit.
I’m going to share with you some clever things you can do to curb the post-meal sweet craving, but first, work out if you need them…
How To Know If The Post-Meal Sweet Habit Is Out Of Control?
Eating sweet after a meal isn’t necessarily unhealthy if it’s small, moderated and you don’t actually need it to an obsessive extent.
However, it can feed an unhealthy relationship with sugar where you’re noticing your need for the fix getting bigger (thus eating more sugar) or you’re starting seeing some anxiety around the habit.
Ask Yourself The Following:
–Do you find yourself getting slightly anxious if a post-meal sweet fix isn’t available? You go to extra effort to get it e.g. going out in the rain or using up time when you’re busy?
–You start taking your own dessert to your friend’s or relative’s house and you have to have some (even if they don’t).
–You can’t concentrate after a lunch meeting until you’ve fixed yourself up with a cup of tea and a small bit of chocolate?
–Have you ever not ordered a dessert but then dived into someone else’s or even worse, eaten their leftovers out of desperation?
–You always keep a bit of something sweet with you so you’re never without?
–If you can relate to some of the above, then try some of the following to help curb that post-meal sweet fix:
1. Believe That You Can Change This Habit.
Start with your beliefs and thoughts. If you keep telling yourself you never will, you possibly won’t.
2. Swap Milk Chocolate For Dark Chocolate.
Of course there’s still sugar in dark chocolate but it’s a lot less. Also, the darker you go, the lower it gets. I’ve reviewed a load of different brands here.
3. Embrace Hot Drinks.
Tea: think herbal, green etc. and coffee think: espresso, black coffee – not cappuccinos and hot chocolate. This works wonders at cleansing out the taste of your savoury foods. A shot of espresso can help to speed your metabolism too. However I wouldn’t recommend drinking too much coffee too near to bed!
4. Try A Few Glugs Of Coconut Water.
Again naturally sweet but not too crazy in fructose or sugar (check the brand carefully). This also works really well at breakfast if you find yourself craving sweet after an egg based dish (I did!).
5. Add Cinnamon To Something
It’s a natural craving buster. Yoghurt, chai tea, or just some hot milk can all work well with cinnamon added.
6. Unsweetened Cacao Powder In Milk
Ok you might cry out for it to be sweeter at first, but you can get used to it (I promise). Raw cacao powder is even better because the antioxidants haven’t been heat-zapped out. If you’re really desperate, you can add some stevia or brown rice syrup, but I’d try to avoid these so you don’t develop a habit of eating a sugar substitute.
7. Cashew Nut Snack Packs.
I have these a lot these days. They are creamy and satisfying. Also handy to have if you’ve not had enough fat or protein in your lunch. Often if a craving strikes and find myself out and about, a small snack of cashew nuts does the trick.
8. Coconut Flakes To Mix It Up.
Harder to find but these are really nice. I grab the unsweetened variety and toasted ones from Holland & Barratt as a bit of a treat every now and then. Watch out though, these can be addictive in their own right!
9. Swap Fruity Yoghurts For Natural Full Fat Creamy Yoghurt.
Try adding cacao nibs, nuts and seeds to your yoghurt for texture. Again the natural lactose helps put that sweet taste in your mouth and the creaminess can cleanse the palate.
10. Try Avoiding Onions For A While.
Onions leave a stronger aftertaste in your mouth that can increase post-meal sugar cravings where you’re dying to change the taste in your mouth. Try actively avoiding onions for a while to get you through the worst.
11. Give It Time
Accept the post meal sweet fix requires repeated implementation for long term habit change. You have to find something you like (very important) and then you have to rinse and repeat for at least 30 days (& even longer in some cases) to really change.
12. Focus On One Post-Meal Fix At A Time.
Don’t try and change lunch and dinner at once unless you’re on a specific programme that’s structured to more intensely change your habits. For one month just focus on post-lunch and then for next move onto post-dinner. Dinner sweet fixes generally tend to be a lot harder to shift because your will power is lower.