“Just eat less sugar.” Seems easier said than done doesn’t it? Do you find your morning pastry leaves you craving something else just a few hours later? Often find yourself going for that arvo Twix bar to help push through your slump and THEN reach for a sugary cole to help you through the slump’s slump? You are not alone in your snack quest leading to other snack and the cycle continues.
When we crave sugar (or anything really) it generally means our body is missing something, sometimes lack nutrient-based and sometimes emotional based. We need to listen to our bodies and recognize when we truly need fuel and food or when we are using food as a way to reduce stress and pain. Hungry is when your body needs fuel, a craving is a desire to eat.
Turns out our brains actually love sugar and find it rewarding when our serotonin levels drop because of reasons and then when you eat that candy bar, your brain releases a mass rush of chemicals that make you feel okay for a short while. But WHY does that Freddo make you feel so good? Because your brain has associated that sugary treat with an increase in serotonin and it thinks it’s the only way to make you feel better. Turns out eating too much sugar can stoke your appetite rather than satisfy it.
Spice up your life
Get a bit spicy with your meals and add things like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom. They will not only naturally sweeten your food, but will also help balance your blood sugar and reduce sugar cravings.
Set up your day right with a protein-rich breakfast (like eggs or yogHurt). Having a protein filled breakfast helps keep your blood sugars levels balanceD. Eating protein with your meals is a great way to stay away from the dreaded chocolate attack!
Hug it out
Sometimes what we are seeking is comfort, not actually comfort food. Instead of dishing out a meal, why not try dishing out a few hugs! It’s a great way to fill you up. Hug your kids, your partner, your dog, your cat, everybody!
Now before you deem me insane, I promise this isn’t silly! Sniffing vanilla essence can help beat those sugar cravings as your senses are tricked into thinking that sweet craving has been satisfied!
Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth Naturally
Look for some natural solutions instead of those processed blocks of chocolate. Wizz up my TIFFXO Choc Banana Ice cream or reach for the antioxidant-rich blueberries to help get you through the afternoon. Cut up some veggie sticks or reach for the fruity herbal teas and keep fruit handy for when sugar cravings hit. You’ll get fibre and nutrients along with some sweetness.
Keep up with drinking all that water, you should always stay hydrated (and should be doing this anyway!). Sometimes our brains think we are asking for sugar when really what we need is a glass of the good stuff. Consuming sugar will actually dehydrate you and can stimulate appetite. Water will keep your appetite regulated and even suppress it. Pop some fruit slices in your water to jazz it up and feel a bit fancy.
Eat something ‘anti-chocolate’ – something sour like half a grapefruit, fermented food like kimchi, a squeeze of lemon in some water or a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water (ACV is awesome for your gut health and digestion). The acids found in these fruits help slow down digestion, keeping blood sugar levels from spiking and crashing, meaning you’re not reaching for that 3.30 muffin.
Skip a rope, not your meals.
Avoid skipping meals as it leads you to craving foods high in sugar or reaching for a convenient quick fix. By keeping up with your meal plan and eating regularly, you will not only keep your metabolism stable but you’ll decrease the risk of overeating at your next meal and making not as smart choices.
Brush your teeth or use some mouthwash after a chocolate treat to reset the day. This freshens the taste buds to stop cravings.
Have peppermint tea on hand. Not only can help it reduce bloating after eating, but the scent of mint is known to help control your appetite and suppress cravings. Bonus points? The peppermint will help keep you rancho relaxo and keep you on track.
Keep your fridge stocked with healthy foods and keep those meals regular so you are physiologically full on the day and any added sugary chocolate snacks are eaten as treats only. Make sure you plan ahead and have other snacks ready (I mean, have you seen my TIFFXO snack list?!) so you know there is something else available.
Curious like a cat
Start reading your food labels and you’ll soon realise how often sugar is added when we don’t realise – things like tomato sauce, crackers, and salad dressings are often secretly packed with sugar. TIFF TIP: Ingredients are listed in order of how much exists in the product. If sugar is listed first or second, it’s a red flag. Use this as an opportunity to make your own sauces and dressings. This way you know exactly what’s in there with no hidden surprises.
When a sugar craving hits, just get up and physically walk away. Go for a walk around the block, do a TIFFXO workout or even some office lunges. You’ll find your mind has been taken off that sugar craving and you have the natural release of endorphins from moving your body. Set up new habits and choices that don’t revolve around food. Go to the movies or book in that massage with a girlfriend instead of that local delicious cafe with all of those muffins.
If you’re gonna do it anyways…
Get the best, most expensive quality chocolate you can, I like a nice 85% dark chocolate. Allow yourself to mindfully enjoy the chocolate and remember – quality is better than quantity!
Don’t ever feel guilty about enjoying a treat. Life is about moderation! 80% nice Ninja and 20% naughty.
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