Sugar cravings are all too common in our fast-paced, 24/7 lives. When we mindlessly race through the day and aren’t conscious of making healthy food choices, it’s highly likely we’re going to need a pick-me-up snack – usually in the form of a pre-packaged item full of refined sugar.
If you’re on the journey to live a healthy life, then combatting sugar cravings is a must. The good news is that giving up sugar doesn’t need to be restrictive or difficult. When I changed my lifestyle, I gave up eating processed foods and set out to create daily rituals that support my choices. Here are some of the principles that have worked for myself and the JSHealth community.
My tips for going sugar free:
- Incorporate apple cider vinegar: ACV contains acetic acids which have been proven to regulate blood sugar levels, thereby reducing sugar cravings. Add one or two tablespoons to a large water bottle and sip it throughout the day.
- Eat regular meals: Eating three wholesome meals and two snacks keeps you satiated and energised, meaning you’re less likely to experience the 3pm slump.
- Don’t eat fruit in the afternoon: In my clinical experience, I’ve seen that eating fruit in the afternoon triggers sugar cravings later in the day. When my clients ate fruit in the morning and on an empty stomach, they reported reduced cravings.
- Make nutritious alternatives: From time to time, we all love indulging in a treat and I absolutely believe that indulgence plays an important part in living a healthy life. Spend some time on the weekend to prepare wholesome treats for the week ahead.
- Add lemon juice to your meals: The acidity in lemons has been proven to prevent fluctuations in blood sugar. I love a squeeze of fresh lemon over my salads, roasted veggies and one-pan dinners.
- Enjoy protein and good fats at every meal: These macronutrients keep your blood sugar levels stable, which reduces your sweet cravings. For protein, enjoy good quality red meat, organic chicken and fish. For healthy fats, eat avocado, salmon, coconut oil, oilve oil, nuts and seeds.
- Try magnesium: Studies have shown that magnesium moderates blood glucose levels. I take around 500mg at night.
- Add fibre to your meals: Not only is fibre essential for good digestion, but it helps you stay satiated after each meal, which prevents you from impulsively reaching for a sweet treat. Enjoy leafy green vegetables, whole grains (such as quinoa, brown rice and millet) and low-GI veggies such as pumpkin and sweet potato.
- Practise stress management: Often, sugar cravings are due to our stress levels and emotional needs. Taking time to de-compress and practising mindfulness can help us to tune in with our bodies and make conscious choices. Go into the JSHealth stress-free zone for 20 to 30 minutes a day by taking a walk in nature, reading a book or having a nap.
- Enjoy a healthy afternoon snack: When I feel myself getting hungry in the afternoon, I have a high protein snack. Some of my favourite options are Greek yoghurt with nuts and cinnamon, veggie sticks with hummus or my sugar-free protein balls.
My online 8-week Program is full of delicious and easy recipes to help you reach your health goals.