Sugar cravings are extremely common. Many people crave sweets, but they may also rely on refined carbohydrates such as breads and other baked goods. The resulting blood sugar spikes and dips leave you feeling fatigued and can cause symptoms such as anxiety, dizziness, headaches and brain fog. The good news is that some simple tweaks in your diet can nip those blood sugar fluctuations in the bud.
6 Sugar Craving Tips
1. Begin and fill your day with protein and healthy fats
Protein and fat keep you sated for longer and ward off any mid-morning sugar cravings. For breakfast, try eggs with avocado and baked beans, or a protein-filled smoothie.
Breakfast Smoothie: I love a smoothie with 1 cup coconut water, a dollop of coconut milk, ½ banana, ¼ cup frozen organic blueberries, 1 tbsp chia seeds, 1 tbsp flax seeds, 5 almonds, 1 scoop pea protein and ¼ tsp cinnamon.
2. Include protein with each meal / snack
Keep up your protein intake throughout the day with legumes, fish, eggs, fresh lean meat, nuts (almonds, cashews and walnuts are great) and linseed sunflower & almond (LSA) mix in oats. This will help to avoid that mid-afternoon slump and stop you reaching for the cookie jar.
3. Eat regularly and don’t skip meals
Going without food for too long leads to blood sugar fluctuations, so eat a healthy meal or snack every 4 hours to maintain stable blood sugar levels. Avoid any refined sugar as it will only make you crave more of it.
4. Be prepared
If you are going to an event or party, don’t arrive ravenous! Have a small protein-rich snack before you go. A hard-boiled egg, some organic chicken, carrot/celery sticks with hummus, and brown rice crackers with avocado or almond brazil & cashew (ABC) butter are all great options. Once there, choose fresh salads, veggies and protein over empty carbs such as potato chips and bread rolls.
5. Reduce alcohol
The body processes alcohol as sugar, so moderate your intake to prevent blood sugar spikes. Always eat before you drink, have no more than 2 alcoholic drinks at a time, and alternate them with water to stay hydrated.
6. Be kind to yourself
Know that sugar cravings have little to do with a lack of willpower – they are simply your body’s way of communicating with you. Ask yourself if you are thirsty (you may just need a glass of water) or if your last meal was too long ago (reach for protein and fats). When cravings become too hard to resist, have a square of dark chocolate or a cup of licorice tea, and truly savour it.
If you have issues with sugar cravings, hypoglycemia or diabetes, get in touch to find out more about how I can help.
Naturopath BHlthSc. (Nat) NHAA ECNH
Christine Carley is a qualified naturopath supporting her clients with chronic conditions, hormonal and gut health, stress, anxiety, fatigue and sleep. She has a strong commitment to her clients and offers ongoing holistic treatment plans. She has been facilitating trans-personal and mindfulness practices for 17 years. She currently practices at Western Health Collective in West Footscray, Melbourne, Australia and is available for online consultations.