I've been there, I know what it's like and how hard it is to quit sugar. 7+ years ago if you put chocolate in front of me I would have demolished the whole thing in one sitting. And if someone offered me a slice of cake and told me to stop at one slice I would look at them and think they are crazy. Quitting sugar is a real problem, and something I help clients with on a weekly basis in clinic.
If you've ever experienced sugar cravings you'll understand that there's more than just willpower involved! So I don't want you to feel alone, or ashamed for not being able to stop at a few squares of chocolate, one slice of cake, or a few delicious tim-tams. As a nutritionist and health ambassador I'm here for you and I want to hold your hand to help you beat your sugar cravings for good. If I can do it, so can you!! And if you need help please don't feel shy to reach out.
There are numerous factors to consider when it comes to sugar cravings such as your stress levels, your emotions, how well you sleep, what you eat, your hormones and your gut bacteria to name a few. As mentioned above I've been living a sugar free life for over 7 years and haven't had serious cravings or sugar binge since. It's really is such a good feeling to be be free from cravings. Now don't get wrong, I do still indulge in "unhealthy" high sugar foods such as milk chocolate, cakes, brownies, chocolate biscuits but I've after eating one serving I'm more than satisfied and actually feel sick if I eat anymore. Once you quit sugar your taste buds change, and when you feel more energy, have better digestion, clear skin, balanced hormones and are craving free you don't want to go back to being a victim of sugar. You look at it more of a weekly or occasional treat instead of a daily treat.
I want to share with you some of my top nutritionist approved tips to beat sugar cravings for good!
- Ensure your diet is nutritionally balanced. Make sure each main meal include good quality sources of protein (meat, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds, legumes, lentils, tempeh, tofu), healthy fats (avocado, coconut oil/milk/cream, nuts, seeds, olive oil, hummus, pesto, nut butters, cheese, greek or coconut yoghurt) and complex carbohydrates (oats, brown rice, quinoa, millet, buckwheat, sweet potato, pumpkin). A well balanced diet supports stable blood sugar levels and steady energy levels. Protein and healthy fats are especially important to keep cravings at bay. If you are unsure how eat a well balanced diet I can teach you how through a nutrition consultation.
- Make sure you consume plenty of fresh vegetables daily, especially with lunch and dinner as the fibre in vegetables help to promote balanced blood sugar levels.
- Swap high sugar snacks for wholefoods snacks. A few of my personal favourites are my chocolate bliss balls, coconut fat balls, homemade paleo protein bar, chocolate protein energy bar, sugar free protein bliss balls, coconut banana bread topped with nut butter or tahini, homemade chocolate bark, raw chocolate mousse, and 70% dark chocolate.
- Clean out your kitchen cupboards and fridge. Remove all temptation and replace with the healthier alternatives listed above. A well stocked kitchen is a great support.
- Make sure you're drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated, at least 2L daily. Dehydration can often be confused with hunger or cravings.
- Don't under estimate the power sleep! Ensure you're getting 7-8 hours of good quality sleep each night. Lack of sleep increase the hunger hormone ghrenlin making you more likely to reach for a sugary 'pick-me-up' energy rich snack later in the day.
- Stressed? Find ways to de-stress! Cravings are worse when you are stressed. Set aside 5-10 minutes daily to unwind, enjoy a bath, go for a walk, meditate, focus on deep belly breathing, stretch, do yoga or some other form of gentle exercise, or simply go outside and get some fresh air.
- Spice up your life by adding cinnamon to your recipes. Cinnamon is known to help balance sugar levels and reduce sweet cravings. Cinnamon, as well as vanilla, gives a naturally sweet tone to recipes.
- Approach quitting sugar holistically. Be open to looking at what lies beneath your sugar habit. For example, do you eat out of boredom, or when you're stressed, feeling emotional or maybe you had a bad night sleep the night before? Be honest with yourself and consider what other areas of your lifestyle might be impacting your relationship with sugar.
I understand quitting sugar can feeling overwhelming, but with a little support you absolutely can. With the right advice and guidance I believe you can do it! If you need support and guidance for quitting sugar and regaining your vitality I'd love to help. Please email me via the contact page. I'm here for you!