How a balanced diet can help nix sugar cravings
Do you struggle with sugar cravings?
I used to be addicted to sugar! I’ve learned how to manage it and I’m no longer controlled by sugar, but it is an addictive substance that is really tough to conquer.
Here are some of my favorite tips to manage your sweet tooth:
1) Identify your triggers: When do you want sugar? Mid-afternoon slump? Post-dinner? Is it a time when you’re tired, stressed, bored, sad, or feeling other emotions you don’t want to deal with? If you don’t know this about yourself yet, pay attention to your body and use this week to write down when your cravings hit.
2) Plan Alternatives: I find I’m drawn to sugar when nothing else appeals to me. Make a list of go-to foods that could be a replacement snack or dessert for you. Some examples might be an apple and cheese, trail mix with raw nuts and dried fruit, plain yogurt with banana slices or fresh berries, or sweet veggies (red pepper, carrots, beets).
3) Increase your protein: High protein foods and healthy fats are best for satiety and can keep you content, especially when combined with lots of vegetables. You can also incorporate protein rich whole grains, such as quinoa, amaranth or millet.
4) Incorporate Sweet Vegetables: It’s natural to crave sweeter tasting foods. Plan to include sweet vegetables (sweet potatoes, carrots, beets, cooked onions). Other vegetables that can help stabilize blood sugar and reduce sugar cravings include green cabbage, red radishes and daikon.
5) Enjoy Nature’s Candy: Whole fruit, especially with the skin, is packed with all sorts of nutrients, and can help satisfy a sweet craving.
6) Create a Balanced Meal Plan: Put it all together in a meal plan with breakfast, lunch and dinner ideas. Make a list of good snack options as well, and place it somewhere visible- on your refrigerator or a bulletin board in the kitchen. If your intake of fat, protein and carbs is balanced, your cravings will drop significantly.
7) Remove it! Whenever possible, get it out of sight and out of your home.
Filling up on the right balance of nutrient dense foods is one of the best ways to squash the desire for sweets.