Sugar is delicious! We all love sugar! We all craaaave sugar. You know that feeling when you get an urge for something sweet. It can be a funny feeling, but it can almost be a disempowering feeling.
Ever get to the point where you feel like you can’t do anything else or even think about anything else until you have that sweet?
We’ve all been there.
What if you knew it wasn’t all in your head? Or that your sugar cravings are actually indicative of something you need?
Maybe your nutrient and mineral levels are off from foods or activities earlier in the day and causing you to reach for treats. Maybe you don’t want sugar at all, or are really just craving something sweet. This could be affection or love for you. It could be self care, It could be a yoga class, dancing, or hula hooping. Below are 11 tips to check out when it comes to fighting those nagging cravings.
11 TIPS FOR DEALING WITH SUGAR CRAVINGS
- Reduce or eliminate caffeine. The ups and downs of caffeine include dehydration and blood sugar swings, and may cause sugar cravings to become more frequent.
- Drink water. Sometimes sweet cravings are a sign of dehydration. Before you go for the sugar, have a glass of water and wait a few minutes to see what happens.
- Eat sweet vegetables and fruit. They are naturally sweet, healthy, and delicious. The more you eat, the less you’ll crave sugar.
- Avoid chemicalized, artificial sweeteners and foods with added sugar. Use gentle sweeteners like maple syrup, brown rice syrup, dried fruit, stevia, and barley malt.
- Get physically active. Start with simple activities like walking or yoga. Start with 10 minutes a day and gradually increase. Being active helps balance blood sugar levels, boosts energy, and reduces tension which will eliminate the need to self-medicate with sugar!
- Get more sleep, rest, and relaxation. Simple carbohydrates, such as sugar, are the most readily usable forms of energy for an exhausted body and mind. If you are in a chronic state of stress and/or sleep deprivation, your body will crave the quickest form of energy there is – sugar.
- Fill in nutritional gaps. Magnesium is one of the most common mineral deficiencies, and can lead to cravings (especially sweet cravings) and muscle cramps. By taking magnesium isotonically before you go to bed each night you’ll allow your body to relax and drift off into a sleepy mode. I take this Magnesium along with Bliss, a combination of calming herbs, each night before I go to sleep. What about melatonin? Save it for times when you need to get your sleep cycles back on track (flying to a different time zone would be a good call for this). You don’t want your body to become reliant on it, but every once in a while it’s okay. Try PRIME dreamz to get your sleep cycle back on track.
- Evaluate the amount of animal food you eat. According to yin-yang principles of eating (such as in Macrobiotics and Traditional Chinese Medicine), eating too much animal food (yang) can lead to cravings for sweets (yin). Imbalances can also occur with too little animal protein (for some individuals). Through experimentation and intuition, you can find which foods create balance for you as an individual.
- Eliminate fat-free or low-fat packaged snack foods. These foods contain high quantities of sugar to compensate for lack of flavor and fat, which will send you on the roller coaster ride of sugar highs and lows.
- Experiment with spices. Coriander, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and cardamom will naturally sweeten your foods and reduce cravings.
- Slow down and find sweetness in non-food ways! Every craving is not a signal that your body biologically requires sugar. Cravings often have a psychological component. By identifying the psychological causes of food cravings and substituting lifestyle and relationship adjustments accordingly, you can begin to find balance and take charge of your health. When life becomes sweet enough itself, no additives are needed!
Adapted from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition
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