So, you’ve ditched the sweet stuff. For the first few days you’re flying high on green veggies and avocado – feeling like a brand new you.
But then, your body starts to realise that you’ve taken away ALL the sugar! Your brain’s sugar craving hormones begin to have a sweet little meltdown and you find yourself longing for that morning muffin, muesli bar and after dinner treat (read: half a pack of biscuits!).
If this sounds all too familiar, don’t sweat it. You’re not alone! We’ve all felt overwhelmed by our sugar cravings at some point (yes, even us) so here are some of the best sugar craving busters we’ve discovered at IQS.
1. Coconut oil.
This is a tried-and-tested trick in the IQS repertoire. “After lunch I still get sweet, ‘I need something more’ cravings,” says Sarah. “So this is my fail-proof trick. I eat two tablespoons of coconut oil. It satisfies my need for something sweet and KILLS appetite for about four to five hours.”
2. Liquorice tea.
The IQS team must literally sweat liquorice tea – we’re all drinking it! With the most amazing sweet aftertaste, you’ll have a hard time believing that it’s naturally sugar-free (unlike the liquorice sweets you can buy).
3. Sweet potato.
Sweet potato (or kumara) is one of the most delicious foods on this planet – fact. The very small amount of sugar will satisfy your cravings, while the starch stops you from overdoing it. Oh, and did we mention that sweet potatoes are ridiculously good for you?
4. Carrot sticks.
Carrots are another sweet veggie with lots of fibre to fill you up. Keep an emergency box of carrot sticks in the fridge, ready to be dipped into guacamole or hummus when the cravings strike.
One of the things people miss most when they quit sugar is soft drinks. We suggest you skip the crappy diet pop and go for 100ml of gut-lovin’ kombucha when you need a fizzy hit. Just make sure it’s a low-sugar brand (we prefer it to be around 1g of sugar per 100ml).
6. Nut butter.
Nuts are full of good fats and proteins, making them perfect for sugar cravings. Almonds and cashews are naturally sweet, too. (Hot tip: if you make your own nut butter, add a heaped teaspoon of cinnamon to the mix to make the most delicious thing you’ve ever tasted.)
7. 85 per cent dark chocolate.
While you’ll have to give up your Twix bars, there’s nothing wrong with a little good quality cacao. A 100g block of 85 per cent dark chocolate has just over a teaspoon of sugar (not that you could finish a whole block!). To take it even further, try a 90 per cent dark chocolate. So good.
We originally published this post in June 2016. We updated it in June 2017.