It’s 9:00 pm and you’re winding down from a long day. You’re chilling out while reading or watching TV and then it strikes – the need for sugar. You’re tempted to go through the pantry to find some chocolate. Maybe there’s ice cream in the freezer. You’ve been so disciplined about what you eat, but on this night, you can’t help but give in.
As a holistic health coach, I’m often asked for strategies to mitigate sugar cravings. It is a common occurrence and sometimes, even the most disciplined person needs a few tips to get by. You need holistic diabetes coaching.
While there are several strategies you can employ to control or beat sugar cravings in a healthy manner, you still need to use common sense and practice portion control. Being mindful about what you are eating and how you are eating it will go a long way. Becoming aware of your own body and how it feels when you consume certain foods will help you identify what your body needs. You are fuelling an amazing machine that will respond accordingly to what goes into it! With that said, these are the six most common strategies that work successfully for my clients:
- Hydrate – The majority of us are walking around in a state of perpetual dehydration without even knowing it. Drinking enough water will lessen your cravings and make you feel fuller for longer. As an added bonus, your skin, joints, organs, and tissues will be happier and perform easier and more effectively.
- Stock up on fruit – Prunes, pears, plums, oranges and grapefruits are high in water content, fiber and vitamins, which is what makes them control your cravings. I recommend that you make small packets of dried cranberries, blueberries, and/or raisins with almonds or walnuts and stash them in your car, office desk, and at home. When the craving strikes, you’re reaching for dried fruit and nuts instead of a slice of chocolate cake or ice cream. One last note about buying dried fruit – READ THE LABEL!! A surprising amount of dried fruit packages have added sugar, dyes and other additives that aren’t good for you.
- Combine your foods – Whenever you feel like having something sweet, combine it with something healthy. For example, if you feel like having chocolate, have a bite of dark chocolate with some almond butter. Or make your own dark chocolate-covered strawberries.
- Eat your food on regular intervals – Eating on an unpredictable schedule or skipping meals altogether catapults your body into a state of starvation, which gives rise to cravings for sugary or starchy foods so that your body can produce energy. If you give your body enough proper fuel to function, it will not send signals to go in search of sugar.
- Increase your carbohydrate intake – Your body needs “good” carbohydrates. If you don’t consume enough carbs, your body will feel the need for starchy foods and sweets. Include foods like sweet potatoes, yams, carrots, brown rice, wild rice, buckwheat, mocha, millet, or quinoa, for example.
- Do a 10-day sugar detox – This is intense, but worth it. After 10 days, your cravings will be non-existent. What better way to beat cravings by not having them at all?
It’s 9:00 pm and the sugar craving strikes. You open up the refrigerator and reach for a few fresh, delicious strawberries. Your craving is satisfied and you made a very healthy choice. Now that feels good!