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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How do I develop the self-control to stay away from sweet things?

    I have a very sweet tooth and have trouble resisting chocolate! I'm finding it hard to find the motivation to only have 1 piece. What can I do to try manage my sweet tooth?
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  • 3

    Thanks

    Samantha Ling

    Dietitian, Nutritionist

    Samantha is an Accredited Practicing Dietitian (APD), consultant and food and nutrition enthusiast. Samantha works in a private practice on the Central Coast, NSW, Rostant ... View Profile

    Curbing your cravings is very similar to that television add to quit smoking - the more you exercise your self control the stronger it will get….like a muscle! While that is not very helpful in the early stages of controlling your sweet tooth, try these snacking tips:

    1. Eat regular meals so that you are less likely to snack in-between meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner - even morning tea, afternoon tea and supper depending on your own individual preference)

    2. Change your state of mind from “I can't have that” “I must avoid …” “….is bad for me” etc etc to more positive thinking :
    “I'll have a piece of that after dinner” or “I can have that chocolate bar but I choose not to…”
    A balanced diet is about enjoying everything in moderation - indulging in your sweet tooth is perfectly okay. What you need to watch is your PORTION and HOW OFTEN you indulge.  If you go cold turkey on your sweet tooth you're probably more likely to over-indulge and lose control when given the opportunity.

    3. Buy portion controlled products so that you can't over-eat. E.g. portion controlled ice-creams (~100g cups or individually wrapped ice-creams), regular sized chocolate bars (55g not the king-size) etc

    4. Start small - slowly reduce your the amount you are eating. Eg. If you have 5 chocolate bars a day (55g) and 1 litre of fruit juice aim to reduce it to 2 chocolate bars and 1/2 litre of fruit juice to start with.

    5. Don't keep the temptation in the house if you know you're not going to be able to control yourself

    6. Plan when you will have your ‘treat’ - this helps some people control their cravings during the day as they have something to look forward to 

    7. Choose ‘diet’ or ‘low kJ/calorie’ varietites - E.g diet ice-cream, diet jelly etc

    8. Enjoy fruit based sweet treats - E.g fruit salad, strawberries dipped in melted chocolate, sorbet etc

    Good luck!

    For more information and tips on how to curb your cravings it may be worthwhile visiting an Accredited Practicing Dietitian.

  • 1

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    Anonymous

    Thank you Samantha. What you wrote makes a lot of sense and I'm going to start taking that all into account more seriously now.

  • 1

    Thanks

    Samantha Ling

    Dietitian, Nutritionist

    Samantha is an Accredited Practicing Dietitian (APD), consultant and food and nutrition enthusiast. Samantha works in a private practice on the Central Coast, NSW, Rostant ... View Profile

    Good luck :- )

  • 1

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    Peta Adams

    Dietitian

    I am an Accredited Practising Dietitian locally born and working within the Riverina.I have a passion for helping people to achieve their nutrition goals, coaching ... View Profile

    A comprehensive and informative answer Samantha and not much more I could add, however a few other strategies do come to mind.

    Thinking of other things and smells is useful to curb food cravings, such as freshly cut grass or peppermint or smell of tree's, anything to take your mind off the cravings seems to work.

    Another strategy is to brush your teeth after your evening meal or chew peppermint gum. The smell and taste of mint and fresh can be enough to either reduce your desire for sweet and change the taste of the sweet. Any food has an unpleasant taste after chewing gum or brushing your teeth.

    And as Samantha said, Good Luck.

  • 2

    Thanks

    Karen Amos

    Counsellor, Personal Trainer

    Walk and Talk is just what you need to begin living a life that you love. I'm Karen Amos and at Walk and Talk Australia ... View Profile

    I too have had to curb my enthusiasm for chocolate.  I have taken 2 actions.
    1.  Replaced milk with yummy dark chocolate - Lindt to be precise - it is rich, sweet enough and really special, so I don't indulge in large quantities;
    2. I have cut alot of sugar from my eating and I have found the sweet cravings to have gone!

    I wish it hadn't been so simple.  Cutting the sugar was the most difficult, but I did endure the headache for a week and it has paid off.  I am normally a cake queen, but I haven't felt this way about cake since November and even though I am a bit sad about breaking up with cake, I'm not missing it nearly as much as I thought.  

    In the beginning I never set out to cut out the cake or chocolate, but as a result of feeding my body well, they have died a natural death.  The dark chocolate is there mainly to remind me that I can if I want to, but 3 weeks out of 4, I usually don't.

    Kindly, Karen

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