• Monday, 20 February 2017

    10 Ways To Beat Sugar Cravings*

    We all have those days where 'that chocolate bar is calling my name'! How many times have your reached for it, even though you were not hungry? According new research, refined sugar is eight times more addictive than cocaine... that's mental! Apart from giving us a rush of quick energy and a delicious experience, too much sugar in your diet can have tremendous health effects. It is recommended that each person should consume 30g of sugar per day, equating to 210g per week. However, recent evidence put forward by the NHS has shown that the average Briton will consume up to 700g of sugar per week, more than 490g over the recommended weekly allowance. Excess sugar can cause weight gain, premature ageing of the skin, diabetes, high cholesterol... and the list goes on. So here are a few of my top tips when it comes to beating sugar cravings!

    1. Do not skip breakfast! According to Shona Wilkinson, Nutritionist at Superfooduk.com, if we don't have breakfast, often by 11am or midday, we become hungry and crave sugar, as our blood sugar levels drop too low. Try two poached eggs on a slice of wholemeal bread with some rocket leaves or a pot of sugar-free yoghurt with nuts and berries.

    2. Portion Control: Cassandra Barns, Nutritonist advises, aim for foods that have a low glycaemic load, as their impact on blood sugar level is minimal and you’ll be less likely to experience blood glucose highs and lows that will have you reaching for the cookie jar. Make sure each meal includes protein, non-starchy vegetables and unrefined carbohydrates. Limit sweet tasting veg (parsnips, potato and carrots) and opt for green veg like broccoli and spinach, ideally making up half your plate.  Good protein  (lean turkey, eggs, fish, beans) are digested slowly and make you feel fuller for longer, carbs should be wholegrain varieties for the same reason.

    3. Think twice before you snack: A healthy snack between meals can help while you’re giving up sugar, as it stops your sugar levels dropping too low, which can cause sweet cravings. Good examples include: two oatcakes topped with a tablespoon of humus or guacamole or cottage cheese and half an avocado.  Avoid bananas and grapes and opt for berries as they are naturally low in sugar. Perhaps treat yourself to three squares of good quality dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa).

    4.  Look after your gut: Overgrowth of unhelpful yeasts in the gut, such as candida, can contribute to, or exacerbate sugar cravings.  Ironically, eating sugar and high-starch foods makes the candida overgrowth worse, so we become stuck in a catch-22 situation. Perhaps look into taking a high-strength, good quality probiotic supplement such as Immune Biotix from Quest Vitamins.

    5. Reduce Stress: Stress is one of the primary triggers for sugar cravings, as our body is being prepared for physical action (the ‘fight or flight’ syndrome). So try in any way you can to reduce stress, whether it is by delegating or reducing your workload, taking some gentle exercise, or practising yoga or meditation to help you relax. Reduced stress will often mean better sleep as well, which will mean better energy levels the next day.

    6. Eat Fresh: Sugar is hidden everywhere and even packaged foods that can appear healthy in reality can often be loaded with sweeteners and sugars (cereals are a major culprit). By preparing your own meals and snacks you can control exactly what kind and how much sugar is going into your diet. If you feel you want something sweet you can substitute sugar with other sweet flavours such as vanilla or citrus zest, which provides you with the flavour but not the calories. 

    7. Eat Often: Ensure you are eating little and often during the day to keep your blood sugar steadyIf you let yourself become ravenously hungry during the day you are more likely to suffer from energy slumps and reach for a quick sugary fix. This can lead you into a vicious cycle as a sugar hit won’t keep you feeling full for long, leaving you looking for your next sweet fix. However, by eating fresh food throughout the day, you will keep both your blood sugar levels and energy levels constant, helping you avoid that sweet sugar hit. 

    8. Include more Vitamin D in your diet: Vitamin D can help boost serotonin levels, your happy hormone. Cassandra explains, "when serotonin levels are low, most people immediately turn to simple carbohydrates like sugar and chocolate

    9. Trick your mind: Apparently Kendall Jenner painted her room pink in order to suppress hunger and cravings... not entirely sure how true that this though, but I guess it's worth a shot? If not, the scent of sweet aromas can trick the mind into thinking it has consumed food.

    10. Exercise: Moderate exercise helps us to feel energised, less sluggish, and healthier. It can help to control stress levels and also support blood sugar control to avoid dips that will induce cravings.

    Which tips will you be following?
    Much Love
    Eltoria x

    *Comments made by Cassandra Barns, Shona Wilkinson, mostly written by CCDPR.

    Eltoria- South West Beauty, Fashion and Lifestyle Blogger and South West YouTuber
    Be sure to check out my recent YouTube videos (click here)

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