5 Tips to Help You Beat Sugar Cravings
With Halloween around the corner, who isn’t craving a sweet and salty ‘snack size’ treat?
Having a snack can be good for your metabolism (especially if you’ve done a hard workout). And we all know the importance of a ‘cheat’ every once and a while (#balance). But this isn’t about defending your right to snack. This is about those times when you can’t stop your cravings. When you go back to the candy bowl, again and again, trying to satisfy a seemingly unsatisfiable sweet tooth.
How can we stop unruly cravings?
Here are some tips to help beat sugar cravings and get you through this holiday season.
5 Tips to Help You Beat Sugar Cravings
Rest & Chill
Sleep and stress play a huge role in our sugar cravings. If your body is overtired, it wants an instant burst energy to keep it going. But when we reach for that quick fix (aka sugar) it sends our blood sugar spiking high, then crashing low, making us feel even more tired than we were to start.
To push through this, make sleep a priority. Aim for at least 6-8 hrs of sleep per night to help cut those sugar cravings. If you’re having a hard time sleeping SLEEPsmart may become your best friend. This product contains herbs like valerian, passionflower, and hops to help relax you to sleep, and melatonin to help keep you asleep. Result? You wake up feeling re-energized and ready to crush the day.
Stress can be another huge factor in why we crave sugar (and why we can’t fall asleep). For those stressful times leveling out your cortisol levels can help control your sugar cravings. ADRENAsmart is another super product that will help balance your cortisol levels, even if they are high or low. No more ‘stress’ cravings!
Get Your Protein
When you have a sugar craving, we can usually pinpoint it to your diet and something that is missing in it. In most cases, a lot of people aren’t getting enough protein at breakfast.
Starting your day off right with a high protein breakfast will help cut those cravings throughout the day. I love BEYOND YOURSELF vanilla ice cream whey protein powder, which you can add to smoothies or oatmeal.
Making sure your body is receiving the right vitamins and minerals is another way to help avoid cravings. To cover your bases (because no one eats ‘perfect’ all the time) try adding in a multivitamin into your daily routine. I’m a fan of BEYOND YOURSELF multivitamin, which is designed with athletes in mind.
Break Bad Habits
Has giving into your cravings turned into a part of your daily routine that you just can’t stop? You may be stuck in a cycle of unhealthy habits.
Find some healthy alternatives instead of grabbing something sweet post-meal or while you watch TV. Try a herbal tea like peppermint or licorice, which are both naturally sweet. If you love crunch, try grabbing some fresh veggies, or a (small) scoop of natural nut butter. You may just need a few days of new habits to break free of the old.
Get Some Air
It’s not a myth that sugar can lift your spirits. When we consume sugar, it lights up the reward centres in our brain. Trouble is it also triggers cravings – similar to addictive drugs.
If you feel like you always hit that mid-day slump, try getting outside for a burst of sunshine and fresh air. Getting your body moving is a great way to re-energize yourself naturally, while the sunshine helps to boost your levels of Vitamin D3 (which has been linked to improving mood and mental outlook). If the sun isn’t shining (like now, as we head into the darkest time of year), try supplementing with a daily dose of Vitamin D3 to keep your levels topped up.
Ditch the Processed Foods ASAP
Yes, you may be focused on quitting your nighttime raid of the candy drawer, but the truth is, sugar is everywhere.
Processed foods are filled with salt and sugar that make your body crave the sweet stuff even more. Plus it is void of vital nutrients, which can set you up for nutrient deficiencies and cravings. Ditch the processed foods, and try including more whole, natural foods in your diet. Making small swaps like making your own salad dressing, or sauces can dramatically cut down on your daily sugar intake.
To help you break the sugar cycle ensure you are getting enough sleep for your body, eat a balanced diet with enough protein, break bad habits, get outside, and stay away from processed foods. And if you do give in to a little (too much) temptation – hit the gym, drink some water, and start fresh the next day.
Do you have a nutrition question you want to have answered? Let us know! You can find us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. We are #ReflexNation.
About Your Author:
Jennifer Hutchings is a personal trainer, nationally qualified physique athlete, and member of Team Reflex. For more tips from Jennifer be sure to follow her on Instagram.