Sugar Cravings – How to beat them!
First of all you need to recognize that you actually have a craving. Think about the times that you reach for the sugary snack or drink. When you do, are you actually hungry or maybe you’re really thirsty? Is it boredom / stress / anxiety that’s making you feel that a sugary snack will help?
Whatever it is until you consciously recognize what you’re doing you’re not going to be able to stop the vicious circle. Here are some things you can do that may help:
- Change your behavior: When you want that sugary snack take your mind off it by drinking some water, going for a walk, run up & down the stairs, dance around, just do something to distract yourself.
- Brush your teeth or have some chewing gum. In studies the taste or even smell of mint can prevent hunger pangs.
- Have a Fibre drink or add more fibrous fruits and veg to your meals as this will help to fill you up.
- Eat more protein with meals, the body has to work harder to process protein so not only do you use more energy the protein takes longer to digest which means your body feels full up for longer.
- Don’t skip meals or ever let yourself get starving hungry. Even if you think you have the Willpower not to eat, willpower eventually runs out and you’ll eat even more sugary foods.
- Have a cheat meal – eat what you like and don’t worry about it. Surprisingly this can help to reset your hunger hormones Grehlin, CCK and Leptin and this aids Fat Loss. But don’t cheat every day as this will defeat the object!
- Talk about it – weird I know but if it’s stress or anxiety that’s causing you to reach for the biscuits you need to get the problem out and talk about it. In the very least even just writing it all down and then throwing the piece of paper away after can really help release your feelings.
- Try a cup of cocoa….see below
Cocoa translated from it’s scientific name means ‘ food of the Gods ‘ and in ancient times was thought to make people immortal.
Although not the case ( as far as we know! ) it done have some fantastic nutritional properties that can help to increase fat loss and to beat sugar cravings.
Organic cocoa powder ( in it’s most natural form without added milk products and sugar ) is full of Phytonutrients, chemicals and neurotransmitters which help to create a feeling of happiness within our bodies. One of the most well known is phentethlamine (PEA) which helps the body to release opium like compounds ( known as endorphins ) and increase the levels of dopamine in the brain. Endorphine and dopamine both produce a sense of well being .
Other feel good chemicals in cocoa are serotonin ( makes us feel calm ) and tyramine ( reduces anxiety and balances mood ) and in fact anti depressant drugs are usually prescribed to increase seratonin and dopamine levels in our brains to help us feel better.
The bottom line is that cocoa is a great food and can reduce cravings and help us feel full without those feelings of guilt or remorse, it has tons of magnesium and is also a great source of fibre.
So to make your cocoa: Add 1-2 tablespoons of raw organic cocoa power to 8-12f fluid oz’s of freshly boiled water. If you do need to sweeten it then add xylitol, agave nectar or stevia to it. If you want to add in some protein then try adding it to almond milk as well, either hot or cold!