10 tips to help you curb your sugar cravings for good
Mood swings? Unbearable sugar cravings, which consume your whole mind and body? Not satisfied until you’ve demolished that chocolate bar? If this sounds like you and the millions of other people that struggle to keep their sugar demons at bay then this list of tips will help you rid those all consuming cravings and promote a healthier lifestyle.
Giving up sugar does not have to be a dismal affair. You can replace toxic sugars for more natural substitutes, whilst simultaneously satisfying your body and nourishing it at the same time. Not only can you still eat chocolate, your energy levels will be maximized while helping you kick the sugar habit for good.
1. Get enough sleep – the majority of people not getting enough sleep crave sugar as a means of energy, they will normally reach for carbohydrates that are laden with sugar. This is counter productive as the high sugar content can spike your blood sugar levels, giving you an instant high but a come down effect will result, consequently making you tired and craving more sugar or stimulants such as coffee. Getting a good night sleep will make you more energized and keep your cravings at bay.
2. Drink water – we often mistake dehydration for hunger, resulting in sugar cravings and a desire to eat, when simply all we need is H20. Water is also imperative for the healthy functioning of the human body. Don’t forget to drink 2-3litres of water a day, which can include coconut water, herbal teas and filtered water.
3. Eat regularly – too busy to eat? This could be your fatal downfall. Simply not having enough time to eat, or having long periods of time between meals can trigger sugar cravings. It is important to treat your body like a fire and fuel that furnace, eating little and often helps maintain blood sugar levels preventing cravings and over eating. Aim to eat a small meal or snack 5-6 times a day.
4. Eat breakfast – the most important meal of the day. It is important to eat a good breakfast and this will set you up for the day, firstly encouraging you to eat well throughout the day but most importantly steadying your blood sugar levels helping to reduce or omit cravings. Tasty tip: try having two soft-boiled eggs with a half of an avocado and a small sliced tomato.
5. Choose fruit – sweet, delicious, nutritious and full of fiber. Fruit is the perfect substitute to sugar, the fiber helps keep you full and the natural sugars satisfy the taste buds. Not only is fruit low in calories its vitamins and minerals help boost your immune system and fight free radicals (those nasty’s that encourage premature aging and cancers).
6. Brush your teeth – by brushing your teeth you are cleaning your mouth and teeth and preventing damage from the food you have eaten, but you are also preventing cravings. The strong minty fresh flavour will keep cravings at bay and prevent unnecessary snacking on sugar rich goods, keeping you on track.
7. Get physically active – exercise releases endorphins, the happy chemicals in your body that make you feel good and energise you. Remember how it feels once you have finished a good exercise session or a 5km jog? You feel energetic, happy and sugar cravings are reduced. Exercise encourages you to make sensible choices, resulting in eating healthier. Just taking a brisk walk in your lunch break will do the trick.
8. Follow healthy meal plans – fail to prepare, prepare to fail as the old saying goes…. I cannot advocate this enough. If you are one of those that can easily get swayed when it comes to choosing what lunch to have and then find yourself chowing down a hamburger and fries all of a sudden, then here are two words of advice…MEAL PREP! It’s vital to plan what you are eating in advance to ensure that you stay on track keeping those sugar cravings at bay.
9. Swap milk chocolate for dark chocolate – there is still added sugar in dark chocolate but far less, however there is no cow’s milk which can also contribute to health problems (please read my blog post on milk), and its high in antioxidants, therefore making is a healthy substitute. Make sure you choose a minimum of 70% cocoa solids for the most nutritional benefits.
10. Spice up your life – experiment with different spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves etc. Not only are these spices full of immune boosting properties and diseases fighting qualities, cooked or added correctly they can combat your sugar craving satisfying you sweet desire. Try adding cinnamon to your oats, cooking with curries and stews or even making your own tea with star anise, cinnamon, nutmeg and a sprinkle of clove.
Hope these simple tips help keep your sugar habit at bay this holiday season.