Towards the end of the afternoon, many of us feel low on energy – and that’s when we’re more likely to succumb to a sugar stash.

Here’s how to curb your cravings and stick to your healthy diet intentions:

  1. Keep goodies out of sight. The more visible sweets are – and the closer we are to them – the more we eat, so keep the biscuits as far away from your desk as possible.
  2. Too often we’ll skip breakfast or forget about lunch, only to have a craving strike later in the day. Think ahead and plan a healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner that includes carbohydrates, protein and good fats.
  3. Keep low-kilojoule ‘finger’ foods, such as grapes, berries or cherry tomatoes, on your desk to snack on. Or fill up on two crisp-breads with cottage cheese.
  4. Crave-proof your home and office. The simplest way to quash a craving is to ban crave-worthy foods from your environment. If you do buy biscuits or chocolate, choose small packages to avoid going overboard.
  5. Eat every three hours. One of the biggest culprits is falling blood sugar levels. If you keep those levels steady, you simply won’t crave the same things.
  6. Chocolate isn’t great for your waistline but the dark kind may help you feel fuller. University of Copenhagen researchers found that people who ate dark chocolate had fewer cravings afterwards than those who ate milk chocolate.
  7. How can you tell the difference between a craving and genuine hunger? Wait 10 minutes and see if your hunger has increased. If you’re genuinely hungry, an apple will look tasty.
  8. If your food cravings hit when you’re anxious or stressed, seek consolation in other ways. Address your stress. What is it that you really need? A comforting conversation with a colleague, a walk or a shoulder massage from a friend may do the job.
  9. Distract yourself. If you’ve been working in front of a computer but feel the need to eat, do something else. Make a phone call or read the paper. Changing your mind-set might be all you need.
  10. Go for a walk. If you exercise and your cravings aren’t physiological, you’ll feel better straightaway. If they are physical, you won’t be able to get into your workout properly, which is a sign that you need to eat.