I don’t know about you, but there are times when my cravings get out of control. In the past, instead of resisting, more often than not I’d give into the cravings. Rather than satisfying me, the more refined sugar or carbs I’d eat, the more I’d want.
GO AWAY SUGAR CRAVINGS
The cravings are actually easier to overcome than we think! After all we aren’t born wanting processed foods, it’s something our bodies learn to want, and can just as easily unlearn.
Yes, sugar tastes good and “Sweet is the first taste humans prefer from birth,” says Christine Gerbstadt, MD, RD, a dietitian and American Dietetic Association (ADA) spokeswoman. “Carbohydrates stimulate the release of the feel-good brain chemical serotonin.” (www.webmd.com)
Try having a square of chocolate to beat the cravings, and resist eating the whole bar.
WAYS TO EASE UP YOUR SUGAR CRAVINGS
Overcoming the sugar monster is different for everyone, so try the different solutions below until you find what works for you.
• For some, going ‘Cold Turkey’ works best, after about a week cravings should almost completely disappear. It’s difficult to start with but gets easier and is worth the challenge.
• On the opposite approach, you could also try eating much smaller portion so that you don’t feel deprived. If you can’t quit sugar completely, practicing portion control will at least help keep excess calories, fat, carbs and sugar down. Think a truffle (not the box), small FroYo not covered in syrup & extras, a cookie rather than a pint/packet/huge slice(s) of anything! Although the occasional splurge is fine, make sure it’s not a daily habit.
• Try combining something unhealthy with something healthy e.g. yogurt and honey, dark chocolate coated almonds, chocolate dipped fruit. This won’t curb cravings but it will help you eat in a more balanced way.
• Keep a healthy snack to hand like dried fruit, fruit, raw unsalted nuts. Sometimes satisfying hunger first, or just the habit of hand-to-mouth will curb your craving.
• Eat regularly so that you don’t get too hungry, or let your sugar levels drop too low, as that will only make cravings worse.
• Fill up on protein, or fiber-rich foods like whole grains, fruit, and vegetables that are low in GI (see Harvard.edu’s GI Chart for reference): Harvard Health Publication GI Chart
· Eat a diverse and nutrient dense diet. Any time your body isn’t getting enough of the essential micronutrients, (vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids) can lead to increased food cravings. It’s a vicious circle! Sugar blocks the absorption of essential minerals, including calcium and magnesium. Deficiency in these two micronutrients actually causes sugar cravings! Eating sugar makes you want more sugar. Adding magnesium and calcium or a properly formulated multivitamin to your diet may help rid of your cravings and break the cycle.
A little naughty, a little nice, it’s all about balance and eating real food(s).
If you fall of track, don’t be too hard on yourself or use it as an excuse to stay off track. Enjoy it for the treat it was and then choose to eat healthily again.
You may also like: Study Links Eating High GI Carbs to Stimulation of Addiction Center in Brain
Put that sugar monster to rest, or at least make him snooze! What tips do you have to help resist refined sugars? Share them with us below.