Struggling to give up the 3pm sugar hit?
Feeling like you can’t make it after dinner without a little something something?
Trying to avoid the sweets being offered around at work?
The feeling is REAL!!
When you try and avoid something, it puts it at the forefront of your mind and then you can’t stop thinking about it!
Sugar cravings are difficult to give up as sugar is addictive. Our brains are trained to enjoy sweetness and less so sour and bitter flavours.
We all know that excess sugar is not ideal for our health so how can we reduce our sugar consumption?
- Ensure your meals are macronutrient balanced including fats, protein and complex carbohydrates. Ensuring your meals are balanced makes you feel fuller for longer making it less likely you will go searching for snacks.
- Get adequate sleep - when we are tired, we begin searching for energy externally. Our body can breakdown sugar quickly for energy which is why its what we crave.
- Exercise - it sounds ridiculous but moving encourages us to crave foods that are good for us!
- When we crave sugar, it can be the bacteria in our intestine releasing hormones so they too can have a sugar hit! Our beneficial bacteria don’t need sugar, they need fibre and vegetables!
- Herbal teas such as liquorice or cinnamon can reduce sugar cravings.
- Sugar in fruit is ok as it is balanced with fibre. Try and limit the amount of fruit you are consuming to less than 2 serves per day.
- Try and mix up your routine: sitting in the same position on the couch every night is screaming for you to fall into bad habits. Sit in a different position on the couch, undertake a different activity.
- Make your own treats if you are craving sweets so you can control the amount of sugar you are adding. Most recipes can have the sugar quantity reduced by 1/2 without impacting the taste significantly.
- Don’t try and go cold turkey - steadily reduce your sugar consumption so you are not feeling like you are missing our or having withdrawals!
- Eat whole foods! Whole foods do not contain added sugar, instead they are created as we were supposed to consume them!
- Create a support group or try and undertake the challenge with your family and friends to avoid being the only one “missing out”.
- Drink 2L of water daily. Sometimes we crave food because we are thirsty - our bodies are crazy right?!
- Using other sweeteners such as cinnamon, honey, maple syrup or rice malt syrup as alternatives to sugar. These can assist you while gradually reducing.
Naturopaths use a wide range of herbs and nutrients to reduce sugar cravings and support the process of reducing sugars in the diet.
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