5 Ways to Overcome Your Sugar Cravings

Getting in control of your sugar cravings will lead to plenty of improvements to your health during this holiday season. Overcoming your sugar cravings will:

  • strengthen your immune system
  • boost your energy
  • improve your mood
  • enhance your sleep quality
  • help clear up skin irritations (acne, breakouts, eczema, psoriasis)

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The time between Thanksgiving and New Years is hands down, the most challenging to resist sugar temptations. It only takes on bite to trigger your sweet tooth and then it is a downhill slope from there.  Next, we begin to make the excuse ” I will get back on track in January.” Sound familiar?

So how can you get your sugar cravings back in control?

1. Eat a protein-based breakfast- starting your day with a carbohydrate based breakfast (Cereal, toast, bagels, juice) is going to trigger your sweet tooth. You are also depriving your body and your mind much needed nutrients to stabilize your energy. Here is a video of a great protein-based breakfast (good for both men and women, just adjust quantities): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iuH71rDeMB0

2. Set a Goal- if you are trying to change an unfavorable habit, it is essential to set goals. An affective goal should be challenging and quantitative. For example: “My goal is to eliminate sugar from my diet for 14 days.” Write your goal down in places that you will see it every day. Share your goal with at least 2 people.

3. Clean out your home– When there are candy bars, chocolate, ice cream or cookies in your home, it becomes much more difficult to resist. Remember that the choices you make in the grocery store affect how you eat at home. Don’t wait until your chocolate stash is finished, go ahead and toss it out now!

4. Sugar replacements– If you still want a sweet taste without the addictive qualities of sugar, choose a natural sugar alternative like Stevia or Xylitol. These sweeteners come from natural sources, they do not affect the blood sugar, and have no carcinogenic effects.

5. Pack a snack– Make sure to always have a snack handy. Waiting more than 4 hours to eat is a poor decision if you tend to have sugar cravings. When we wait too long to eat, our blood sugar levels drop and we crave sugar to get it back up.  Eating a quality snack will help stabilize the blood sugar as opposed to causing a blood sugar spike.                     Click here for examples of quality snack options 

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Carbohydrates 101

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If your goals are weight loss, controlling diabetes or managing blood sugar for hypertension, hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia, be sure to place emphasis on quality carbohydrates:

-natural (vs. processed)
-high-fiber
-unrefined
– and unprocessed

Through the Atkins diet and several other nutrition trends, we have become afraid of carbohydrates. Often times we believe that carbohydrates are THE answer to weight loss and managing blood sugar. The problem is that when you cut them out completely the body craves more sugar for energy, leading us right back to the carbohydrates we have been desperately trying to avoid. Clearly, cutting out all carbohydrates or severely limiting carbohydrate intake is NOT “the” answer.

Think of carbohydrates as your fuel. They provide the body with energy. Rather than cutting out them out completely (which has proven to be extremely harmful to health), choose better quality carbohydrates and moderate your portion size. Another key nutrition concept-that will help regulate the affect of carbohydrates on the body- is to consume fiber, fats and protein with carbohydrates as opposed to eating the carbohydrate on its own.

Here are some of my favorite “healthy carbs”:

  • apples
  • Berries
  • cherries (in season now!)
  • grapefruit (also in season now!)
  • beets
  • carrots
  • sweet potatoes
  • quinoa
  • brown rice
  • adzuki beans

When it comes to your health, these choices far surpass the options for the processed white sugar and white flour products such as pizza and pasta.

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Notice: All the Same Color = Low Nutrients

The amount you consume depends on your body type, metabolism and fitness level however, about 1/2 cup of the healthy carbohydrate choices listed above, is a good average serving size.

Remember that you do not —and actually should not– completely eliminate carbohydrates from your diet. Make good choices, work on moderate portion sizes and create a balanced diet.

 

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