So you have ditched the booze, or lost a bit of weight, or started on your fitness journey, or whatever goal you set yourself at the start of the year….BUT (and it could lead to a big butt!) you are still main-lining the sugar and if anything it’s getting worse.   One of our Sober Club members wrote..

‘Help I wonder if any one can advise? I’m 2 and a half weeks into ditching the booze and am craving sugar constantly, will this pass and what’s happening to me at this stage?’

It’s very common for us to reach for sugar, as humans we seek pleasure of course, we want to ‘self soothe’ especially if there is anxiety, trauma or stress.  We often ‘use’ sugar to remove ourselves from whatever pain or discomfort we are feeling, even if only for a short time.  It doesn’t help that as children we were taught to see sugar as a ‘reward’, ‘Well done, here’s some chocolate confectionery’ (a bar of the brown stuff was actually the ‘prize’ at my school sports days!) or to make things better… ‘Oh poor you, you’ve fallen over and grazed your knee…have some cake’.

If we recognise that sugar is BAD for us, may as well be clear on that, there are no benefits to empty calories from white refined sugar, What’s the answer?,

We need to address the problem from a few perspectives, firstly from an emotional perspective we need to ask ourselves when we crave sugar, what is it that we really want and need in that moment?  It may be that we are really craving connection, relaxation or perhaps we need some ‘me time’ or to be creative. The true answer is rarely…several doughnuts or a bag of sweets.  More often than not, we don’t need to consume anything, we are looking for sweetness in our life, so we need to be prepped in advance as to another way to fill that void.

Simple selfcare and mindfulness tools can help,  from focusing on breathing, getting out for a walk in nature, doing some EFT tapping, (tapping on certain pressure points to reduce the ‘emotional charge’ linked to the craving, or dropping into the body, sometimes the answer lies in the somatic.  If we are feeling any kind of anxiety, craving or stress, a simple antidote might be to put on a track of music we love and just dance!

From the physiological perspective, we may be actually hungry, in which we do need ‘energy’, but we would be much better regularly eating protein and good fats to keep the blood sugar levels regulated .  Obviously it’s important to keep hydrated with plently of water, and certain supplements can help with sugar cravings too, such as L – Glutamine and Amino Acids, its thought that a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar helps reduce cravings too   If you are really struggling with cravings, over eating, or binge eating consider working with an expert in Food Addiction 

When I working with clients who are ditching the booze, I recommend a mid-afternoon green juice with half an apple, chunks of lemon, fresh ginger, and blended into a smoothie with some spinach, avocado and coconut water.  No-one craves sugar, or alcohol after that!

For the times when quite honestly only the actual sweet stuff will hit the spot, then try some more natural alternatives, it’s hard to beat an avocado chocolate mousse, or an energy ball made with ground nuts, raw cacao and sweetened with dates.  You can pop a date in the freezer and it tastes like a truffle, and blend yoghurt with fruit and freeze for a very healthy yet sweet treat.

Chocolate pudding

It goes without saying, artificial sweeteners are even worse, so never opt for anything low sugar or ‘diet’, but do consider plant based alternatives such as Stevia, Inulin Syrup and raw coconut nectar.

If you’re ditching the booze, you know my mantra: Keep the ritual, change the ingredients, opt for a nice alcohol free drink, or mix your own cocktail without alcohol, but be careful of tonics that contain sweeteners, and kombucha with added sugar, there are lots of v low sugar options available.  Click here to see some of our competitions to win some alcohol free drinks to sample.

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