It’s the same story everyday, the afternoon comes around and I am immediately reaching for the sugary snacks and the caffeine! I just couldn’t make it through the day without having some kind of craving. Can you relate? That was until I learned the four steps to stop my daily cravings in their tracks!
Our blood sugar levels have everything to do with what we are craving and when. I like to think of it as a “blood sugar roller coaster”, the ride our body takes when we spike our blood sugar and come crashing down, resulting in intense cravings to get us back up.
The blood sugar roller coaster is triggered when eating carbohydrate as a snack or meal. The carbohydrates are turned into blood sugar, resulting in blood sugar spikes. Some time later, our blood sugar crashes and we are left with an intense craving for sugar and/or caffeine. If we give into this craving and reach for a muffin and double shot espresso, we jump right back on the blood sugar roller coaster, spiking blood sugar levels before they come crashing down once more. This cycle repeats its self throughout the day.
The key to crushing your cravings is balancing blood sugar levels. It is easier than you might think! These 4 simple steps will balance your blood sugar and crush your cravings!
1.Drink More Water
2.The Fiber + Fat + Protein Formula
3.Eat Regular Meals
4.Get Adequate Sleep
- Drink More Water
Drinking enough water can help maintain balanced blood sugar levels. Experts suggest drinking at least half of your bodyweight in ounces of water. For example if you weigh 180 pounds, you should be drinking a minimum of 90 ounces of water per day.
Drinking enough water helps rehydrate the blood and allows the kidneys to flush out excess blood sugar through urine. Less water in your system means a higher concentration of blood sugar.
Don’t like the taste of water? Try adding some lemon, mint or berries to improve the taste. I also suggest getting a fun water bottle or glass that makes it a little more exciting to drink water! Utilize a water tracking app if you need a bit of help remembering how much you have drank each day.
- The Fiber + Fat + Protein Formula
Simple carbohydrates snacks and meals trigger huge spikes to blood sugar levels. Fat and protein do not raise blood sugar levels like carbohydrates do but can actually help manage them. The meals and snacks you eat can either spike blood sugar, increasing cravings or can help stabilize it, preventing cravings.
The Fiber + Fat + Protein formula is the magic bullet in creating craving crushing meals and snacks. This formula slows the absorption of sugar, helping keep blood sugar levels stable and keeps cravings at bay. It also keeps you full for hours!
Fiber- Eating foods high in dietary fiber helps control blood sugar levels. Unlike refined carbohydrates (like white flour), unrefined sources of fiber do not spike blood sugar because they do not require insulin to digest. Fiber takes longer for the body digest, so can keep you feeling fuller longer.
Great sources of high quality fiber:
Fat- Eating meals and snacks that include high quality sources of fat helps fill you up, balance blood sugar and minimize cravings. It is important to get your fat from high quality sources and avoid trans fats and animal fats as much as possible. This will ensure you get a healthy balance of Omega 3 Fatty Acids & Omega 6 Fatty Acids and minimal saturated fats.
Great sources of high quality fat:
-Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Protein- When we don’t consume enough protein, cravings can be intense! Especially for sugar. Protein is important to add to meals and snacks because it fills you up quickly and keeps you full longer. Meaning you won’t be reaching for snacks as often, and won’t be triggering the blood sugar roller coaster.
Great sources of high quality protein:
-Grass Fed Beef
-Wild Caught Seafood
You don’t have to give up the foods you love, find the highest quality versions of the food you love and combine them following the Fiber + Fat + Protein formula to stabilize blood sugar and eliminate cravings.
- Eat Regular Meals
Eating regular meals (and not skipping meals) can help keep blood sugar stable and reduce cravings. Skipping meals can increase blood sugar levels. The body thrives on consistency, and our eating patterns are no exception.
Eating irregular meals can keep us stuck on the blood sugar roller coaster, jumping up and down between blood sugar levels that are too high and blood sugar levels that are too low. Eating irregular meals could be the culprit behind intense cravings.
By eating meals regularly throughout the day, the body is supplied with adequate fuel to maintain energy and combat fatigue. Erratic blood sugar levels can also make it more challenging to lose weight, if you are actively trying to do so.
- Get Adequate Sleep
Getting enough sleep is necessary to keep blood sugar levels stable. Not sleeping enough depletes our energy. The body then looks for energy sources, typically in the form of sugar and caffeine, throwing us back on the blood sugar roller coaster.
Lack of sleep also increases the hunger hormone, ghrelin. Ghrelin is responsible for stimulating appetite, and increasing food intake. Ghrelin is produced by the stomach but acts on the brain’s pleasure centers, making us reach for the foods that make us feel good, hello cravings!
Adults should aim to get 7-9 hours of sleep per night for overall health and keeping blood sugar levels and ghrelin levels at normal ranges.
Challenge yourself to get to bed one hour earlier each night! Even a small improvement in your sleep schedule can be beneficial for your hormones and blood sugar. Making you a craving free, energized goddess!
I have been able to kiss goodbye to that midday craving for a latte and chocolate croissant from the coffee shop, and you can too! Applying these 4 steps to your life can help you crush the cravings, experience more stable energy levels and leave you feeling more satisfied!
Milan Lekay is a Certified Nutrition Coach that helps yo-yo dieters make simple changes to their nutrition & lifestyle to create real, sustainable weight loss & never have the need to start another diet again. Grab her free guide “How To Actually Lose Weight & Ditch YoYo Diets in 3 Simple Steps” at www.milanlekay.com