Cutting Back on Sugary Snacks

Hey folks! So I’m currently in Paris hence the day late Sunday journal, but I thought this one was too good to hold back on. I’m also currently documenting my stay here to make a series of posts on finding the healthy and green attractions here – look out for that next week!

Recently, snacking has been a little bit of a problem for me. I’ve managed to evolve my usual three meals-a-day to being healthy, plant-based dishes, but there’s always that snack-time craving that crops up mid-afternoon and after dinner! Growing up, these were always my snack times – that four o’clock sugary welcome home from school and the post-dinner binge were daily occurrences, so it’s no wonder that I’m finding it hard to kick the habit. On top of that is the mentality of rewarding myself after eating so well during the day – I’m starting to find that by eating so many more fruits and vegetables that when I do eat processed refined-sugar foods, I get a sort of “sugar high” – where my mind goes a little too fast for a short period of time, just like caffeine used to make me feel.

On the one hand, this is a good indicator that I’m doing well in the majority of my food choices, but it’s also been quite detrimental to my mood (i.e. chocolate crashes) and thus my sugar cravings and fulfilment of said cravings are becoming somewhat of an “addiction”. This is not the mindful eating I’ve been practicing! So in order to move away from these unnatural peaks and troughs of sugar levels, here are a few tips I have been practicing this week – they’re not foolproof, but a good start!

  1. At your most likely snack times, eat fresh, ripe fruit. The natural sugars will be processed better by your body, and your intake of fibre is an added bonus. On top of this, by eating something which isn’t so sugar-rich, you’ll get extra nutrients as well as filling up faster, thus eating less sugar.
  2. Also drink a large glass of water with your snacks. This will help you fill your stomach and will up your water consumption for the day too – win-win!
  3. If fresh fruit is not something you want to be reaching for in the evenings (especially close to bedtime, with the natural acids reacting badly with teeth overnight – you should not brush your teeth for at least an hour after eating fruit), try drinking green or herbal teas with a drop of honey or a fruit-based syrup. This will give you a sweet taste to savour, and hopefully you’ll feel all cosy and ready for bed sooner too.
  4. Try making snacks for times like these that offer more nutrients than your usual refined-sugar foods. I’d suggest looking at chia seed puddings, date balls, homemade breakfast bars or even a slice of toast with nut butter on. 
  5. Don’t punish yourself if you do snack. With mindful eating, it’s not just about being aware about what you put in your body and enjoying your cooking, but it’s also there to understand moderation and appreciate taste! I’ve fallen into the trap of feeling guilty after eating a naughty snack, but even I proactively post recipes of not so healthy foods because we’re allowed to have treats. Living a life full of enjoyment and feeling good is the main thing to take away from anything I post on here, and sometimes that does call for stepping away from certain diet goals and personal limitations. What does need to be remembered is to treat these instances as a one-off and not turn it into a habit.
All of these steps have been helping me, although the fifth one is definitely something I need to practice – no-one is perfect! Even by writing this blog, it helps me be more mindful of my food and my aims for my diet – and hopefully it will help you too.


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