TEN TOOLS TO COMBAT SUGAR CRAVINGS
Often sugar cravings are a sign of dehydration. Before you give in to that sweet tooth be sure to quench your thirst. You may just find that craving loses its grip on you. I love to add a tiny pinch of sea salt and squirt of lemon to my room temp water. Because of its mineral content, sea salt is a great source of electrolytes and lemon is the king of citrus when it comes to those electrolytes!
- Sweet is one of the five basic tastes that our taste buds perceive and guess what? Nature has provided plenty of sweetness for our satisfaction. To avoid craving artificial sweets (which have no nutritional value!) be sure to incorporate plenty of naturally sweet foods into your diet. Sweet potatoes, butternut squash, strawberries, yams and cinnamon are my favorites.
- SLEEP!!! When we are sleep deprived our bodies look to a quick fix for energy and we are vulnerable to those sugar cravings. If you find yourself constantly fatigued it is time to analyze your sleep habits. Of course we are not going to always be able to get that idealized 8 hours of sleep. A great trick to combat fatigue is a simple 5 minute eyes closed reset when that feeling of utter exhaustion hits you.
- Kick the caffeine to the curb, or at least decrease your intake. The highs and lows of this stimulant include blood sugar swings, dehydration and mineral depletion. All of which will increase your cravings for the white stuff.
- If you are going to use sweeteners, opt for the gentle ones. These include maple syrup, brown rice syrup, raw honey, dates, blackstrap molasses, coconut sugar, stevia and monk fruit.
- Move daily. Whether this is walking, jogging, swimming, dancing, gardening – get that beautiful body in motion! Even just 15 minutes a day will help balance your blood sugar levels and reduce tension.
- Forget about fat-free. Typically when makers remove the fat, they add in sugar to compensate. Plus, fat free processed foods are far from satiating and will leave you hungry. Which of course leads to sugar cravings.
- Take inventory of how much protein you are eating. Adequate protein intake is a sure way to stabilize blood sugar levels and stave off sugar cravings. Be sure to choose high-quality whole food sources like lean meats, fish, chicken, nuts, and legumes. To figure out your daily requirements, it is wise to run the calculations based on your age, weight, activity level and health goals. Here is a great free calculator from bodybuilding’s website: https://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/calpro.htm
- Add some spice to your life! They will naturally sweeten your food and satisfy your sweet tooth. My favorite is cinnamon which has also been shown in research studies to lower blood sugar levels. Other sweet spices to experiment with are nutmeg, cloves, cardamom and coriander.
- Make life sweeter! Enjoy extra time with and hugs from family – soon enough you can add friends to that hug list too I hope (post pandemic). While your body can survive with zero processed sugar, we all know it that it needs connection to thrive. Be good to yourself and practice self love and care. Warm baths, walks in nature, meditation, stretching, massage and breathing exercises are all easy ways to give yourself a little TLC.