We have all been there. You crave something and go in search for it. A lot of times it is the “sweet tooth” directing the cravings and the search. It could be after a meal or mid afternoon snack time or even late at night.
Over the years of practice and experience from my clients I have narrowed the “win” over the cravings in just 3 simple strategies. Depending on when and where you can choose what fits best.
- Chewing Gum/Mint: Simply popping one in your mouth after lunch or dinner will change the feeling in your mouth and take your mind off the sweet tooth. Especially after a spicy (Thai/Indian) meal, cool water followed by a mint works wonders. If you happen to be in a restaurant, and the dessert menu appears, it gives you some time to think about it. Don’t even open that menu! Stock up on your favorite flavor of the gum or mints. Keep one in every purse and at your desk.
- Water: Drink plenty of water all day long. Especially after a meal to change the taste in your mouth. It also helps clean some leftover food particles from your teeth and gums. Cold water helps to calm your palate after hot, spicy foods. Warm water (plain or flavored with lemon, lime or herbal tea) is a great between meals to quench the snack desire. Go ahead put on that kettle and make yourself some calming tea!
- Brush your teeth after every meal. Want to reduce the urge to eat something more? Brushing immediately after a meal has the same effect of eating a mint but lasts longer. The fresh, clean feel in your mouth will help you keep the sweet craving at bay. If carrying a toothbrush and paste around is not an option, think of the little finger brushes and travel size toothpaste you can tuck away. It also gives you an excuse to walk away from the table and keep some distance between you and the food.
Pick the strategy that works best for the occasion, place and your liking. The most important part is “self control” and these are just the tools to help along. Once you exercise the control, you will feel empowered and likely do it again. You can win over the cravings.