It’s the time of the year when there are plenty of sweet treats lying around, so this month we’re talking about how to reduce your cravings and stop eating all the unhealthy sugar-bombs!
Are you sick of getting uncontrollable cravings for the sweet stuff? Are you on a roller coaster of energy overdoses by constantly fuelling up on sugary treats and caffeine? Are you convincing yourself that your diet is healthy because you eat lots of fruit or fruit-sweetened yogurt, drink fruit juices, and only sweeten your food with honey and maple syrup? (It’s all still sugar by the way!)
If you want to quit the sugar highs and lows, sugar cravings, and your “need” to sweeten your foods and drinks, then you need to read this post. This week I am sharing with you my seven top tips for kicking your sugar habit.
Here we go…
- Don’t drink your sugar
It’s quite simple: in order to reduce the sheer volume of sugar that you consume in a day, ditch the sugary drinks. I’m talking about fizzy drinks, pop, juice (yep, juice!), and energy drinks. Basically, anything that has ‘sugar’ in its list of ingredients. Yes, drinking water might be boring but you can jazz it up by infusing it with slices of lemon, lime or orange, or things like ginger, or mint leaves. Herbal teas are also fine.
- Stop adding sugar to foods and drinks
If you’re adding the white stuff by the spoonful to your tea, coffee, cereal, porridge, puddings, etc., then stop! You might have to do this gradually with things like tea and coffee to become accustomed to the flavour, but whatever you do, do not be tempted to switch to artificial sweeteners as these still keep your taste buds accustomed to the sweet flavours, and quite frankly, they are toxic.
- Sweeten with fruit
Use mashed banana or raspberries to sweeten your oatmeal. Frozen berries (thawed) add a lovely sweet flavour to breakfast. Bake with fruit such as apple or apricots, and add cinnamon for a spicy sweetness. Cinnamon is also great for managing your blood sugar, so is an excellent addition to your food!
- Fill up on fat
Note: NOT ALL FATS MAKE YOU FAT!!! I’ve been saying this for a long time, and it’s just now creeping into the mainstream. Adding sources of healthy fats to your meals will keep you fuller for longer. Be sure to include avocados, eggs, coconut oil, butter, extra virgin olive oil, raw unsalted nuts and seeds, and oily fish on a regular basis to ensure you’re getting your fill of the good fats. Include a portion of healthy fats with every meal and snack to keep those blood sugar levels from skyrocketing and plummeting all day long.
- Pump up the protein
So many meals and snacks are based around carbohydrates, but these won’t satiate you for very long. Including protein at every meal and snack will stabilize your blood sugar and help to avoid those cravings. In addition to the healthy fats mentioned above, make sure you include good quality (ideally organic, free-range or grass-fed) chicken, beef, lamb, seafood, Greek/natural yogurt, lentils, and beans.
- Don’t keep it in the house
This is something I tell my clients time and time again. If your cupboards are still loaded with chocolate, cookies, candies, cakes, or whatever, you are going to need one heck of a strong willpower to not eat what’s in your cupboards, especially when you are tired and stressed. Instead, just get rid of them! Your body is not a garbage bin, so chuck them all out!
- Do 10 jumping jacks
If you’re really struggling with a craving, do some exercise instead. This will create a healthy distraction, and help take your mind off it. Exercise reduces cravings and raises feel-good endorphin levels. Do some jumping jacks, lunges, skipping, or go for a walk/run around the block. Move your body, have a large glass of water, and wait for your craving to pass. Then, give yourself a big pat on the back for not succumbing to the craving!
So, which tips resonate with you the most that you can start to implement TODAY? (Don’t just wait until Jan. 1!) I promise you, you’ll feel so much better when you haven’t got the sweet stuff coursing round your veins.
Written by Lorraine Crowe
Co-owner of Body Solace Studio
Certified Holistic Nutrition Coach and Pilates Instructor