Many of us crave sugar when we are lacking in energy and are looking for a pick me up to get over that afternoon slump. Eating or drinking something high in sugar will temporarily give us a boost of energy but is usually short lived and we find ourselves craving even more sugary treats. It can become a never-ending cycle, which will eventually lead to negative health issues.
So why not start today and nip your sugar cravings in the bud. Start by understanding the root cause of your sugar cravings and take positive steps to bring these cravings under control.
Firstly are you eating enough protein?
Protein helps stabilise your blood sugar levels and helps to keep cravings at bay.
Start the your day with eggs a complete protein or add nuts and seeds to your muesli. If you are short on time in the morning add a good quality protein powder to your green smoothie it only takes a couple of minutes to blast in your blender and off you go. Plan your breakfasts ahead of time, so you don’t slip back into old habits. No excuses, where there’s a will there’s a way.
It is also important to stay hydrated. Some people find themselves eating when in fact its not hunger but THIRST. Try to drink water before eating anything. It is essential for us to drink at least 8 glasses or a minimum 2 litres of water per day. This of course must be increased depending on activity levels and body size.
Avoid sugary snacks as they create blood sugar dysregulation, which in turn sends your body and mood on a rollercoaster of energy ups and downs. If you have something sweet go for a piece of whole fruit ensure you complement the fruit with a fat or protein, which will help slow down digestion and regulate blood sugar levels. When blood sugar levels are balanced you will reduce cravings for sugar and will feel more satisfied.
Examples of food combining can be as easy as an apple and any nut butter, or a handful of nuts and seeds with an orange or Greek yoghurt, avocado with oat cakes, carrot sticks with hummus or home made bliss balls are just a few ideas to get you started.
If you really have a sweet tooth then make all you’re sweet snacks at home. Use wholefoods that way you know exactly what ingredients are in the foods you eat and you can control how much natural sweeteners you add to each recipe. It’s also cost efficient.
I hear in clinic regularly that no one has time to prepare food from scratch. To me this is a shortsighted excuse. Look after your body now and as you age your body will return the favour and look after you giving you more time to have fun and explore your world in good health instead of ill health. It really can be that easy. Invest in yourself and your body’s good health and you will save beyond measure down the road of life.
Remember Hippocrates said, “Each of the substances of a man’s diet acts upon his body and changes it in someway and upon these changes his whole life depends”
If you feel like you need some help adjusting your diet or addressing health concerns such as diabetes why not book in for a comprehensive evaluation by our Naturopathic Nutritionist and Herbalist. Shirley will spend time asking you about your body systems and will put together a detailed treatment plan tailored to your lifestyle.
It’s worth investing in your health now for a long a healthy life.
Nutritionist and Western Herbalist
BHSc. NM, Adv. Dip WHM