We’ve all been there. Whether it is that 3/4pm afternoon slump, triggered by lowered mood or just fancy a sweet boost, when the sugar cravings kick in and you give in to temptation; your happy and pleasure levels rise as a result, providing a blissful high; however, soon after, you’re on a downward slope of energy.
This is otherwise known as the blood sugar rollercoaster, which can send our energy, mood, productivity and general wellbeing up and down all day! When our energy is low and we trough, our body sends signals to our brain to tell us to find quick energy to get us back up into a normal blood sugar/energy range. And those quick energy sources tend to be found in foods containing large amounts of sugar – and ta-da, sugar cravings! Unfortunately, if we consume highly sugary foods when this occurs, we get a peak and another fall, setting us back up into the same situation.
While ignoring these cravings is easier said than done, there are some easy tricks you can use to effectively overcome your sweet tooth.
- Balance your blood sugar levels
Start balancing your blood sugar levels. You can do this by eating healthy balanced meals with protein, good quality fats, complex carbs and veggies galore. Often when people skip fat in their meals, they can be left grazing all day or reaching for sugar to tide them over. Add olive oil, avocado, nuts or seeds to dishes to keep you full. Ensure you have a source of protein at each meal or snack to help balance your blood sugar levels and keep you satiated. E.g. eggs, nuts, seeds, beans, pulses, dairy, meat, fish etc.
- Vamp up naturally sweet options
Fruit can be a great way to get a touch of sweetness and a whole bunch of nutrients! However, for many of us, fruit just doesn’t cut it! Try teaming fruit with something more filling and decadent. For example dip strawberries in some 70% plus dark chocolate, or team half a banana or apple with some runny crunchy nut butter!
- Notice Stress Eating
Learn to listen to your body and be intuitive. If you begin to notice that your reach for sugary foods when you are stressed/anxious/sad/happy/excited, then try to break this behaviour. Instead, replace a habit with a habit and adopt a different technique such as going for a walk, calling a friend, making a cup of herbal tea or getting into nature.
- Always be prepared
Avoid your blood sugar getting too low by always being prepared with a few nuts, oatcakes and boiled eggs, a homemade protein ball or roasted chickpeas to help with those hunger pangs when they pop up.
- Get Creative in The Kitchen
Having some healthy sweet treats to reach for when those cravings come around can be a game changer. Batch cook a bunch of healthy muffins/cookies/protein bites and keep them in the freezer. Defrost one at a time when you feel like something sweet. Clarissa’s go to are here oat and chocolate chip cookies, recipe here – https://www.instagram.com/p/B-l5rtuH8rg/