Erratic eating habits caused by busy, stressful lifestyles are making us fat. If you find yourself craving a sugar hit, the chances are your blood-sugar levels are low. Going long periods without food, eating highly processed snacks rather than proper meals, and missing meals, can all result in low blood-sugar levels which lead to cravings for high sugar / high carbohydrate snacks.
The problem is, when we reach for the biscuit tin or grab a bar from the sweet counter, we're setting ourselves up for a fall. Eating these foods has the effect of raising blood-sugar very quickly: excess insulin is released to cope with the sugar influx which can result in an even lower dip in blood sugar - and more cravings for sweet food!
The secret is to keep blood-sugar levels on an even keel all through the day, here's some tips to help you:
People who eat breakfast actually tend to be slimmer than people who don't! By not eating breakfast you are setting yourself up for mid-morning hunger pangs that crave to be filled with a quick energy hit in the form of a sugary snack. Try to include some protein with your breakfast: an egg, yoghurt, milk, and something high in fibre: wholemeal bread, bran flakes, an apple.
Make sure you eat regular, proper meals.
A meal will fill you up for longer if you include some protein, a small amount of fat, and plenty of fibre.
Don't deny yourself chocolate and sweet things completely
You'll almost certainly feel the need to rebel if your favourite treats are banned - but don't eat them between, or instead of, meals. Add your sweet treat to the end of a normal well-balanced meal - this will ensure your body absorbs the high sugar item more slowly, preventing the sugar high / low that causes cravings.
When you need a snack…
Go for something like an apple, some grapes, nuts or a yoghurt rather than highly processed sweets and chocolate.