A top Australian nutritionist has revealed the eight strategies she swears by for beating sugar cravings, and why a sprinkling of cinnamon on your snacks and meals could be the secret to ditching sugar for good.
Jessica Sepel, from Sydney, said she follows the ’80/20 approach’ to diet, whereby she eats healthy nourishing wholefoods 80 per cent of the time and a little bit of what she loves the other 20.
The nutritionist shared the eight key tricks she relies on each week.
A top Australian nutritionist has revealed the eight strategies she swears by for beating sugar cravings (Jessica Sepel pictured)
The first – and one of the most important – rules for beating sugar cravings is to make sure you enjoy some protein every morning with your breakfast (Jessica pictured at home)
1. Eat protein every day at breakfast
The first – and one of the most important – rules for beating sugar cravings is to make sure you enjoy some protein every morning with your breakfast.
‘Dietary protein has been well established to improve appetite control through an increase in satiety,’ Jessica wrote on her website.
On the flipside, countless studies have shown that skipping breakfast can lead to increased hunger and a greater intake in energy throughout the day.
Some of the nutritionist’s favourite protein-rich breakfasts include boiled eggs with wholegrain toast, banana protein pancakes and spinach feta breakfast wraps.
2. Reduce artificial sweeteners
As well as cutting basic sugar from your diet, Jessica also said you need to avoid replacing it with artificial sweeteners.
A lot of these can be found in things like chewing gum, mints, sugar-free lollies, ice cream and chocolate.
‘Because artificial sweeteners taste so sweet, they actually further encourage the dependence on sugar,’ Jessica said.
If you continually expose yourself to artificial sweeteners, you will train your tastebuds to only crave sweet.
3. Try a sprinkling of cinnamon
If you want to beat sugar cravings, one of the best things you can do is add a sprinkling of cinnamon to your diet.
The reason why this works is because cinnamon helps to regulate total glucose levels.
In turn, when blood sugar levels are stable, you should see a dramatic reduction in your cravings.
Jessica loves adding cinnamon to porridge, yoghurt, smoothies and cereal – and said if she does it first thing, she won’t crave something sweet by 11am.
One of the biggest reasons why people crave sugar is because they are not eating enough of a balanced diet in their day-to-day lives, the nutritionist (pictured) said
4. Eat a balanced diet
One of the biggest reasons why people crave sugar is because they are not eating enough of a balanced diet in their day-to-day lives.
If you find yourself constantly reaching for a biscuit or bar of chocolate come 3pm, Jessica recommends you look at the macronutrients in your diet – and make sure you’re including plenty of fibre, protein, fat and complex carbohydrates.
By eating a varied diet, you’ll automatically reduce snacking and cravings.
5. Get enough sleep
While it mightn’t seem directly related, a lack of good quality sleep can alter the levels of your hunger and satiety hormones.
‘A study observed increased hunger, food cravings and larger selected portion sizes with a 33 per cent reduction in sleep,’ Jessica said.
The ideal amount for an adult is between seven and nine hours per night.
Try going to bed at a reasonable time during the weekend and seeing when you naturally wake up.
This should give you a rough idea of how much sleep you really need.
Jessica said you need to include a balanced array of macronutrients in your day-to-day diet with plenty of fibre, healthy fats, fruit and veg and complex carbs (a healthy plate pictured)
6. Eat mindfully
Eating mindfully is key to curbing the sugar cravings.
What this means in the everyday world is enjoying your meals without the distraction of your phone, TV or laptop.
‘Sit down to enjoy your meals and revel in the sensory delight of eating,’ Jessica said.
When we eat and are distracted, we often don’t realise we’re full and so continue to snack well into the night.
7. Take a supplement
Supplements can go a long way to helping you beat pesky sugar cravings.
For the nutritionist, her own JSHealth Vitamins Metabolism and Sugar Support Formula ($44.99) is her go-to.
‘I’ve included my favourite research-backed nutrients and herbs in this vitamin to support the metabolism, balance blood sugar levels and aid glucose metabolism, which may lead to less sugar cravings and therefore support weight balance,’ Jessica said.
Just two tablets a day, taken with breakfast and lunch, will make a difference to your overall health.
Finally, the nutritionist (pictured) said you should never restrict yourself if you want to be truly healthy
8. Don’t restrict yourself
Finally, the nutritionist said you should never restrict yourself if you want to be truly healthy.
Jessica allows herself a little of everything in moderation so she never feels like she needs to binge on sugar.
For more information about Jessica Sepel, you can visit her website here.