Tuesday Tip: Combat sugar cravings 🍬
Reducing sugar has loads of health benefits: boosting the immune system, improving mood and helping reduce calorie intake. But it’s hard to cut back and beat the cravings for sweet things. So after Easter (and no doubt a lot of sugar!) I thought I’d offer tips to combat those cravings.
#1 Regular meals – have balanced meals spread throughout the day to avoid getting overly hungry and reaching for a sugar fix. Ensure meals have a combination of protein, fats and fibre to keep you satisfied.
#2 Sleep – I’ve talked before about how important sleep is. Less sleep means more hunger hormone ghrelin is produced, so you’re likely to eat more. If you’re not getting enough sleep you’re also likely to reach for a sugar high to get you through your day.
#3 Boost natural sugars – try to up your intake of fruits and sweet vegetables early in the day to combat later cravings. Try berries, applies, sweet potato, beetroot etc, but eat them rather than drink their juice. It’s the fibre in them that helps to slow sugar absorption, thereby avoiding the sugar high and subsequent crash.
#4 Boost gut bacteria – recent research shows that gut bacteria affects which foods you crave. Fermented foods like yoghurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi etc actually reduce sugar cravings. They contain probiotics which supplement “good” bacteria in your gut and help them multiply.
#5 Eat Bitter foods – this is a toughie but bitterness counteracts sweet cravings. When you’re dying for something sweet if you can have something bitter instead it will reduce your craving. Things like grapefruit, rocket, radicchio, radishes and kale are good (try kale “crisps” as an easy snack option). Also after eating bitter food sweet foods taste even sweeter which means you can satisfy the craving with less sugar. So something like an apple will satisfy you when usually it wouldn’t.
Your taste buds regenerate every 3 weeks or so, so the longer you reduce your sugar intake and consume more bitter foods, the fewer sweet-craving taste buds you’ll have left making it easier in the long term.
So time to pair all that left over choc with a nice bowl of kale!
Happy Tuesday 🤗