Sadly, we’ve been told for far too long that indulging in sweets is connected with a lack of self-will or some other character flaw. This is just not true! Craving sugar is not simply about willpower, nor is it simply about emotions. There may be several underlying physiologic causes feeding your desire for sugar. While every individual is unique—meaning that the reason for your cravings may have to do with biological factors that are different from the person’s sitting next to you—cravings for sweets follow a pretty basic cycle… a vicious cycle that goes something like this:
- You eat something high in refined sugar, and your blood glucose levels skyrocket.
- Soon after, your blood glucose levels come down from the high, and they crash.
- Your body, which is irritated at having low blood sugar, craves more sugar to boost your blood glucose levels back up.
- You give in to the craving and eat more sugar, which starts the process all over again.
So how do you prevent those sweet tooth munchies from pulling you back to the dark side? We’ve got a few simple strategies to help you.
- Incorporate high-quality vitamins and omega-3’s. A good supplement is essential to cover your nutritional bases. Micronutrients like vitamin C and the B vitamins are particularly helpful in calming sugar cravings by influencing serotonin production. Equally important are omega-3’s, which are crucial for regulating mood and inflammation — factors that are both associated with cravings.
- Increase your protein intake-One of the easiest first steps is to have protein with every meal. A piece of lean protein will help balance a carbohydrate filled (or sugary!) snack. The protein will help balance your blood sugar and avoid a sharp peak and crash after.
- Beat the cravings with Geranium Essential Oil-This amazing oil helps decrease sugar cravings and afternoon fatigue when applied regularly. Come to Synergy and let us show you the different geranium-containing blends that we carry.
- Snack! When done right, snacking, keeps your energy levels up and gives you more opportunities to get in all your nutritional needs. Here are 4 snacks that’ll boos your energy and help you feel great.
Sunflower Seeds-They’re packed with magnesium, copper, selenium and Vit E. Snacking on a handful can regulate your nerves and muscles and help reduce bad cholesterol.
Dark Chocolate-Just a small portion of this antioxidant and flavonoid-filled treat satisfies a sweet tooth. (1 oz dark chocolate with 70 percent or more cacao)
Pistachios (unsalted and in their shells)-They deliver natural antioxidants, Vit B6 and K, Potassium and help decrease bad cholesterol. Plus, the shells will slow you down.
Baked kale chips- Kaempferol, a flavonoid in kale, appears to prevent fat from accumulating around organs. How to make them? In a big bowl mix 2 cups of washed and dried kale with olive oil, sprinkle with pepper and salt. Transfer to a baking sheet and bake at 350º F until crisp (about 10 min.)
And finally, don’t dwell on mistakes-Okay, you overindulged. What’s the next step? “Forget about it,” “One meal doesn’t define your diet, so don’t assume that you’ve failed or fallen off the wagon.” Institute a simple rule: Follow any “cheat” meal with at least five healthy meals and snacks.