We’ve all had them, at varying points in the day. The highs and lows of the sugar craving! Well, any cravings at all for that matter. We all have that one thing we crave – be it salt, sugar, fats or carbs. It can be a bit of a minefield knowing how to combat these cravings (short of locking all your cupboards!), but there are a few things you can do when you’re in the midst of an unhealthy craving!
1. Golden rule number one, understand your blood sugar levels and eat protein.
Everyday, our body goes through highs and lows of sugar levels. Call them peaks and troughs! When we consume sugar, of any form, it enters our blood stream extremely quickly, creating a ‘sugar high’. What goes up must come down and once the sugar has been absorbed into the system, you’ll experience a ‘sugar low’.It is here when cravings are extremely common! There are however, a few things you can do to help balance your blood sugar level. First of all, you can be aware of foods, which will make your blood sugar levels shoot up, which are called High Glycaemic foods. These are generally processed and refined products (e.g. white bread, rice, pasta etc). Try to consume more Low Glycaemic foods, such as legumes, wholegrain carbohydrates and grains. Secondly, consuming your sugars with protein will reduce the rate at which it enters your body. For example, if you’re having a portion of blueberries and strawberries (fruit has a very high sugar content), then why not pair with grain based porridge. Understanding how your body processes sugars and maintaining a steady blood sugar level will allow you to have better control over your cravings.
2. Find healthier replacements
This may seem alarmingly obvious but this can be extremely effective for battling a craving. If you’re craving crisps, why not try a vegetable crisp or make your salsa or guacamole from scratch with fresh ingredients. If it’s biscuits or cakes you crave, a square of dark chocolate, which is packed with antioxidants, could do the trick. You can try unsalted nuts and raisins, instead of honey roasted or salted nuts or try natural sweeteners like maple syrup or honey to satisfy a sugar craving. Explore your options; you may end up finding something you love!
3. Distraction – exercise, take a walk, meditate
The premise of this is simple – STEP AWAY FROM YOUR CRAVING!! Exercise is obviously a fabulous way to distract the mind from a craving, as well taking a deep breath and focusing on you with mindfulness or meditation. Just because we are craving something, it doesn’t mean our body needs it. Cravings are often linked to emotions. Escaping these emotions with distraction can often make that craving disappear.
4. Drink more water
It may seem hard to believe, but the body can often confuse dehydration for hunger. Make sure you are completely hydrated at all times. Not only does this service your body in so many other ways, but you may also find your cravings decrease.
We want to know about your experience with cravings. What do you crave the most often? Join the discussion, leave a comment below.