Do you find yourself reaching for sugar as a workout reward, stress reliever, or food addiction? A lot of us do, sugar cravings are common, and we might not really think about why this happens. Internally, several factors influence our cravings including: sleep deprivation, adrenal fatigue, menstruation, food allergies, and intestinal microflora. When encountering physical or mental stressors, our appetites becomes suppressed, and the brain mobilizes stored glucose to the bloodstream and vital muscles. This offensive depletes our system of glucose. It’s necessary to replenish those stores, but when we refill with high glycemic index foods (candy, pop, chips, etc), we really are doing our bodies a disservice and performance can falter.
Sugar is very addictive, notwithstanding knowledge of the adverse health effects, is why we have trouble avoiding it. If you are ready to stop the cravings, try some of the methods below!
Avoid processed foods: These foods, often high in sugar, create a vicious cycle of addiction.
Satisfy your sweet tooth naturally: Certain fruits, such as: raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries, are high in fiber and lower on the glycemic index, making them a satiating alternative to added sugars.
Drink plenty of water: Your body may be craving sugar because it is dehydrated. Drink at least 64 ounces a day, and for every pound lost during exercise, another 8 ounces.
Stabilize your blood sugar: Eat small, healthy, meals throughout the day to stabilize blood sugar levels and reduce cravings. Try to avoid foods of a high glycemic index, as this creates spikes and subsequent crashes, making you crave more sugar! Incorporate more protein, it’s satiating and my reduce cravings.
Greens, eat lots of them: Nutrient-rich greens can increase energy levels and reduce sugar and processed food cravings.
Meditate: Daily meditation can reduce stress and minimize sugar cravings. Even if it is just a few minutes each day! This can be as simple as a 5-10 deep relaxing breaths 10 seconds in, 10 seconds out. It allows you to center thoughts and emotions, placing more control towards healthy decisions.
Get enough rest: Getting refreshing sleep is important for your overall health and can help to prevent cravings.
Cold Turkey: This works for some people! Toss out all the junk food! keeping them in close proximity is asking for trouble!
There are those conscious souls who can moderate junk food without binging and ruining progress. If you are one of those disciplined individuals, I extend my respect and congratulations! #JEALOUS
Conversely, there are those, like me, who cannot control themselves in the presence of junk food. We need to avoid them as much as possible. All it takes is a taste, a taste to spike binging! May the odds be ever in your favor! #HUNGERGAMES
It should go without saying that caving to cravings fuels the addiction, so we must learn to resist. Be stronger than the junk food! You can do it! Overtime, the cravings will eventually dissipate. It takes 21 days to make or break a habit - Let's do this!