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Ask the Nutritionist: Is There Way To ‘Cure’ A Sweet Tooth?

posted: 06/21/16
by: Ashley Lauretta
woman eating chocolate cake
iStock

Never met a dessert you didn't want to eat immediately? Your genes may have something to do with that -- our DNA determines how sensitive we are to certain flavors. And the higher your threshold is for sweets, the more you may need to get your fix. If you're constantly craving something sweet, there is no quick-fix or prescription. But there's good news! At the very least, you can manage your sweet tooth with a little mindfulness.

When you eat something sweet, a signal is sent to the reward centers in your brain. However, you can retrain your body -- and your brain -- to help minimize cravings.

"A woman can manage a sweet tooth by choosing high quality sweets and savoring them--mindfully and slowly," shares Georgie Fear, RD, CSSD, founder of One by One Nutrition and author of Lean Habits For Lifelong Weight Loss.

So, how exactly do you eat mindfully? Fear breaks down a series of three steps to get you there.

Minimize distractions

Have you ever grabbed a pint of ice cream while watching a movie? You may have looked down and been surprised at just how much you had eaten; it's because you were distracted. When you are multitasking while snacking, it is all too easy to keep reaching for more.

"Mindful eating starts with minimizing distractions," she explains. "Put down the phone, wait until after your dessert to open the book, and definitely don't eat while driving!"

Slow down

The next step is to take your time. Slowing down and drawing out how long it takes to eat something not only gives you time to enjoy your food--it also gives you time to digest it.

"Slow down and place your attention on how the food tastes," adds Fear. "Really give it 100 percent of your attention and let each bite stay in your mouth a few seconds, rather than 'chomp chomp gulp.'"

Use all of your senses

It's much easier to know that you are full when you are watching for it. Taking advantage of your other senses not only adds to the enjoyment, but also brings your awareness to a new place. It is easier to identify when you are ready to stop eating when using your whole body to experience your food.

"Bring your other senses in. Does the food have a pleasant smell or appearance?" notes Fear. "Notice that, and enjoy it."

Not only will you know when to stop and eat less--you will enjoy it even more!