Why We’re Mad for Munchies and Sweet Treats (and How to Nip the cravings in the Bud)

How to beat food cravings

Oh, the call of a crunchy packet of crisps or the lure of a shimmering bag of Haribo. Sweet, sweet, Haribo (sorry I seem to have become sidetracked!!) Many of us know that feeling all too well (me included!) especially when it’s accompanied by the promise of a Netflix binge or time on the sofa. But have you ever paused mid-crunch or mid-chew and wondered, “Why on earth am I so into these junk foods and sugary delights?”

1. Blame It On Evolution

Our ancestors didn’t have the luxury of a corner shop stocked with chocolates and crisps. They had to make do with whatever nature provided. Naturally, sugary and fatty foods were energy-dense, which meant they were great for survival. So, our ancient brain thinks: “Calories? Good! Must eat!” Fast forward a few millennia, and we’re craving for doughnuts and chips. Evolution has played a little trick on us!

2. The Feel-Good Factor

Consuming sugar leads to a release of dopamine, the feel-good neurotransmitter. This essentially gives us a mini “high”. And who doesn’t like feeling good? It’s like Mother Nature’s way of saying, “Well done, you! Have a little pick-me-up!”

3. The Convenience of the Crunch

We’re living in a fast-paced world. Sometimes it just seems easier to grab a pre-packaged treat than to whip up a salad. Junk food is not only delicious, but it’s also really convenient.

So, How Do We Dodge These Delightful Dangers?

1. Out of Sight, Out of Mind

You’re less likely to munch mindlessly if those sugary treats aren’t within easy reach. Store them in hard-to-reach places, or better yet, keep a minimum amount in your house.

2. Become a Savvy Swapper

Instead of a bar of chocolate, how about some dark chocolate-covered almonds? The idea is to replace the uber-unhealthy with the slightly-less-naughty.

3. Hydrate to Feel Great

Sometimes our bodies confuse thirst with hunger. The next time you feel the urge to dive into a bag of sweets, drink a glass of water first. Wait 10 to 15 minutes, and you might find the craving has faded.

4. Mind Over Munchies

Mindfulness and meditation can help us recognise the difference between emotional hunger and physical hunger. Plus, it’s a great way to de-stress, and let’s be honest, sometimes we snack because we’re simply stressed.

5. Get Moving

Physical activity isn’t just about shedding pounds or staying fit; it can also help regulate appetite and reduce cravings. So the next time the sugar siren calls, perhaps take a brisk walk around the block or do a quick jig in your living room.

As I say to all of my clients, in the end, it’s not about banishing these treats altogether but understanding our cravings and finding balance. After all, life’s too short not to enjoy the occasional treat. Just remember – moderation is key! Cheers to smarter snacking! 🍪🥦🍬🥕

I can help you…

I am a Weight Loss Coach, successfully helping people just like you to lose weight and keep it off: