So many of us experience sugar cravings which can make it really hard to stick to a healthy diet.
Cravings are purely driven by the brain’s need for a “reward” – not the body’s need for nutrients and so here are a few simple tweaks you can make to your daily routine to try and reduce them as much as possible:
Eat protein at breakfast
Starting the day with protein-rich foods such as eggs, meat, fish or protein powder as opposed to sugary cereals or processed carbohydrates (bread, muffins, croissants) will keep you blood sugar levels right from the start of the day which will curb cravings for the rest of the day.
Ensure every snack includes protein and healthy fats
Protein and healthy fats are the keys to feeling satisfied and satiated. So if you are going to snack, pair a piece of fruit with nuts or nut butter, have 1-2 boiled eggs or add some yoghurt to your protein powder.
Avoid refined carbohydrate as much as possible
Sugar cravings are a vicious cycle spurred on eating the one thing that we think will satisfy our cravings – refined carbohydrates aka sugar. But if we give in the energy boost is only temporary before we come crashing right back down again and reach for some more.
Chances are you’re actually just thirsty. Have a big glass of water if you’re having cravings and wait 15 minutes to see if they pass. 9 times out of 10 they will!
Avoid artificial sweeteners
Our bodies react to artificial sweeteners exactly the same way as natural sugar and so you aren’t doing yourself any favours by choosing a diet soft drink or “low calorie” treat. Your cravings will come back to haunt you just like they would if you had the real thing.
Manage your stress
The more stressed we are the more cravings we experience – simple as that! So the next time you have the urge for something sugary at 4pm – take 15 minutes to walk outside into the fresh air and take a few deep breaths.
Eat when you’re hungry
Try to prevent yourself from becoming too hungry between meals. If you really are hungry and you’re not just dehydrated or chasing a reward then eat a healthy, protein rich snack to keep you going until the next main meal.