menu

 

Actyive Blog

read it

  Contact us
telephone 01223 654321
Tackling Sugar Cravings

Tackling Sugar Cravings

by Carys Brunner |  18 Jul 2017

As some of you know, I have given up added sugar for Lent.  Its not that I feel I need to lose any weight, but purely for 2 reasons - I hate the way it makes me feel - high for a short time before I feel tired and sluggish, and also I waste valuable calories on chemical c**p, instead of foods that are going to make me stronger, happier, more energetic, recover quicker and healthier.  So seeing as I am only on day 2 and all I can think about is sugar (because I can't have it), I thought I'd write about it too .

So one of the reasons we become addicted to sugar is its taste.  When our taste buds evolved, there was a limited supply of fruit, which was rare and hard to come across, therefore if our ancestors came across fruit and ate it, they were able to eat as much of it as they liked because it gave them energy and vital calories easily.    So our taste buds like sugar.  Now days, everywhere we turn, there is sugar - candy, chocolate, cakes, biscuits etc.  Meanwhile, our taste buds remain unchanged, making us prone to overeating sugary foods.  So what is the best way to beat a sugar addiction, if you have one - Go cold turkey.  There is no reducing intake, cold turkey is the only way.  Now I am not talking about fruit etc, but more manufactured added sugar.  So as the sugar cravings kick in, I am busy thinking and researching ways to beat them and make the process less awful.

The first thing to look at is what feelings are identified with the urgency for sugar, as normally something has stirred those thoughts - stress, sadness, anger, tiredness, boredom, dissatisfaction.  So before you reach for the sugary snack, think what emotion, thought or circumstance has recently occurred and try to deal with the emotions themselves first, because the sugary snack is just a delay - after it's worn off, the emotions are still there.  Good examples are deep breathing, a good cry if everything has got too much, a run/cycle to release some aggression, etc.  My favourites I feel will be pummelling the punch bag and my eldest daughter's favourite - shouting at the toilet, and I might, just might, listen to my iwatch when it tells me to breathe for the millionth time today (seems to sense when I need to )

Next is how to reduce the cravings.

Eat more

Make sure you are consuming good levels of healthy fats and lean proteins, so a thumb sized amount of fat with every meal, and a fistful of protein.  Don't skip your complex carbohydrates, we need them to function, sleep well and think.

Include

Look at adding magnesium, chorium and zinc rich foods, such as dark leafy greens, nuts, brown rice, broccoli, sweet potatoes, apples, whole grains, eggs and oysters

Add

Spice up your meals with cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom as they will help satisfy the need for a sweet taste, whilst regulating your blood sugar levels and reducing your sugar cravings.

Reduce

Try and reduce your levels of processed foods as they have hidden sugar.  Processed sweeteners have also been shown to have an bad effect on our blood sugar levels (but natural sweeteners are more reliable such as Xylitol and Erthritol as they have no effect on our blood sugar levels and even offer some health benefits)

Improve

Get more sleep and exercise.  Tiredness will lead to cravings, so prioritise your sleep.  Exercise will also help tackle the cravings and makes you less likely to reach for something sweet after a session

So if you are tackling your sugar cravings this Lent - good luck

 Back

Healthy Gut, Healthy Mind

After the success of my first coffee workshop on Healthy Gut, Healthy Mind, I thought you might like a little summary of what we covered and talked about. I've been intrigued by gut health for several years having struggled with a history IBS and in the last couple of years, depression. Over the years, with help from specialists, I have found a link with eating gluten and my depression symptoms - eat gluten, depression comes back to bite. But how can that be the case? How can what I eat affect my head?...

Read More

Food is more than calories

How do you see food - as something that gives us fuel, something that tastes good, a chance to socialise? How many of you would have said health? Food is exactly that - health. Everything we eat provides are body with energy, macronutrients, but also vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and a whole host of other healthy benefits. ...

Read More

Why We Should All Eat Slower

Sounds like such a simple concept - eating slowly. But must of us were taught to hurry up when we were little and eating at the table. Nowadays life is busy and hectic, so we use eating as a way of feeling, rather than relaxing. However there are numerous benefits to sitting down at the table and actually enjoying a meal, leisurely....

Read More