Been having some very powerful sweet cravings today. And indeed all weekend. I could make an excuse and say been bit of a stressful weekend as I had a highly personal piece in the Guardian on Saturday which I won’t say anything further about here. But sometimes stress, as I’ve mentioned before, can cause sweet cravings.
So, what d’you do when you really want something sweet but are trying to avoid it? One word. Protein. Here’s how you can beat the sweet desire!
Eat meat and kill the binge
A while ago I interviewed Paulette Maisner who has worked with people suffering from eating disorders, in particular those who binge and are bulimic. I recall her telling that eating protein regularly is necessary to help beat the binge attacks.
I’ve noted this simple remedy here before on this blog. Want sugar, eat meat! Or protein of some kind. Because that’s really what your body wants, even though your brain is trying to trick you into eating sugar.
I’m trying this but confess I didn’t entirely succeed at the weekend. When I heard the tinkling of the ice-cream van coming down my road yesterday afternoon, i leapt up and leapt out. Bought a 99 which is wrong for me on so many levels!
I am supposed to be cutting dairy and I’ve mostly succeeded but, oh, ice-cream! It sated an almost overwhelming desire for a sugar rush. But today I am back on track and dairy free again, or trying to be.
I’ve given up cheese entirely now and like bread, don’t miss it. Ditto cream. I still though have a problem with sugar. Sometimes it’s like nothing else will do but something truly sweet.
Steak not chocolate
But I’m going to try with protein to kill sugar cravings. At lunchtime I discovered I had some steak in the ‘fridge! Now I realise most people know full well if they have steak in the ‘fridge but I forgot because I bought a large packet of it, 570 grams (about a pound and a quarter) on Sunday as it had been reduced from a tenner to three quid! ($7/€6). I’d put most of this into the freezer for the weekend – the steak was up the same day which is why it was so heavily reduced. But I saved a bit to have today!
So craving chocolate, I had the steak instead! And it worked. I remember years ago watching Rosemary’s Baby. Mia Farrow, playing the eponymous Rosemary, took a piece of raw steak, plonked it into a pan of sizzling butter for a few seconds, turned it over, and ate it. I thought, what a lovely way to eat steak! And why not? So I did!
Felt deliciously novel, if not naughty even, to just fry myself a bit of steak and eat it sans anything else save a few mushrooms I tossed into the pan at the last minute. Novelty value matters on a diet. You’re far more likely to stick to it if you keep it fun, fresh and different. Boredom is what kills so many diets. Not this one!