Hands up if you struggle with sugar cravings?
I'm expecting to hear a 'hell yes' from most of you!
Sugar is addictive but often diet and deficiencies can play a big part in your cravings.
Check you're getting enough of the following:
✅ Protein | Protein and fats slow the release of sugar into your bloodstream. When you don’t consume enough of them your blood sugar can rise and fall at an abnormal rate. The result? Your body craves quick energy from sugar. Aim to include 20g to 30g of protein with every meal and snack (meat, fish, dairy, eggs, nuts and legumes are all good sources) 👍
✅ Sleep | Your internal clock plays a significant role in managing the hormones ghrelin and leptin, which promote and suppress food intake. Abnormal sleep or sleep deprivation can be severely detrimental to your waistline when you give into those cravings. Aim for 7 to 9 hours of good quality sleep a night.
✅ Calcium, Zinc, Chromium, and Magnesium | These crucial minerals help maintain hydration status, which, when you aren’t properly hydrated, can make you crave sugar when you might just be thirsty. Together, these minerals are involved in hundreds of processes in your body that control the way you think, move, and feel. Think nuts & seeds, eggs, cruciferous vegetables and avocados.
And this leads on to......
✅ Water | Dehydration can often cause sugar (and hunger) cravings. If you find yourself reaching for the snack cupboard, drink a large glass of water first and give it 10 minutes to see if the craving subsides.
✅ Diet | Often those dreaded sugar cravings crop up mid afternoon. Prevent that urge to reach for the biscuit tin by eating well from the moment you wake up. Skipping meals or leaving long periods of time between eating plays havoc with our blood sugar levels so make sure you're eating a good breakfast, eating every 2 to 3 hours and including protein with every meal and snack (as above). You should notice a big difference in your energy levels and have less of an urge for sugar later in the day.
If sugar is an issue for you, try these simple fixes to start and always ensure you have some healthier alternatives to hand. Here are some good options:
🍏 Nut butter and apple slices
🥜 Nut butter on 2 Ryvita
🍨 Greek yoghurt and berries
🍓 Portion of fruit (berries are lowest in sugar)
🍫 A couple of pieces of very dark chocolate (70% +)
🍥 Good quality protein bar (Grenade Bars are yummy)
🍬 Chewing gum! It works as a good distraction!