What is a good way to fight my sweet tooth? I am very good about eating healthy and clean until after dinner when I crave sweets. I have tried drinking chocolate cashew milk, but I still tend to eat a cookie or two.
It sounds like you’ve gotten yourself into a bad habit of eating sweets at night. It’s important to break the routine, figure out why you’re craving sweets and take a step towards prevention.
After dinner, to signal an end to eating after dinner and to rid your mouth of lingering tastes, brush your teeth or use mouthwash at the very least. Also, drink a full glass of water. Put all your dishes away and remove yourself from the kitchen as it is now ‘closed.’
Now, determine the reason you go to cookies for a perk. Are you really hungry? Feel like you need a reward? Low on energy? Do you reach for the bag unconsciously? Take some time to note how you feel physically and emotionally after dinner.
Based on why your habit has developed, play defense earlier in the day. If hungry at night, make sure your clean and healthy eating includes sufficient calories throughout the day, starting with breakfast. Incorporate peanut butter, avocados or pesto late in the afternoon or at dinner. If sweets are more of a simple indulgence, find other pleasures that are inexpensive and quick. Perhaps a short game, a shoulder rub or a magazine read. When feeling rundown at the end of the day, instead of reaching for chocolate, try a 10-minute breathing exercise or meditating to help yourself relax. Alternatively, do some calisthenics for a quick pick-me-up. Make sure your lunch and dinner are not heavy in carbohydrates, which can prompt a serotonin-induced lull. Do leave fresh carrot and celery sticks available to crunch on. Lastly, if you find a cookie in your hand when you’re not even hungry, get them out of the house!
– Debbie J., MS, RD
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