Six Tips to Lower your Sugar Cravings

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Merran Lusher

Six Tips to Lower your Sugar Cravings

Posted by Merran Lusher 31 Days Ago

Over the last 30 years, the drive towards convenience foods to support our busy, working lives has sky rocketed and with that – sugar cravings, and the evolution, or should I say devolution of our taste buds. The advance in technology and demands of our modern age have had a massive impact on our diet, lifestyle and subsequent physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health and wellbeing. 

There are many culprits we could point the finger at, but one seemingly harmless standout that has won international acclaim, having infiltrated the lives and pantries of millions of loyal subjects, is our sweet and salacious friend…SUGAR.

Six tips to lower your sugar cravings. 

In a recent edition, I exposed sugar for the addictive, harmful and seductive siren that she is and challenged you with the some thought-provoking questions. So today, I want to shed some light and share with you my top tips on how to reduce your intake and beat sugar cravings:

  1. Avoid or limit food with a high ‘glycaemic index’ (GI): highly processed, white, refined, sugary foods, which break down rapidly in the bloodstream. Thus causing both a sharp rise and fall in blood glucose levels and subsequent energy levels. When our energy levels are low – this is the time we reach for the sweet stuff. Take note.
  2. Always eat breakfast: replace that morning pain au chocolat with a healthier option. Porridge with ground flaxseeds, coconut oil and cinnamon, or eggs and avocado on rye with a drizzle of olive oil are excellent food choices. A protein rich super food breakfast smoothie or even just a banana and a few walnuts will make all the difference. Breakfast is key as it sets up our blood glucose levels for the day helping us to go the distance. 
  3. Drink more water: some studies link dehydration to an increase in sugar cravings. 
  4. Opt for low sugar fruit: rich in fructose, some fruit can adversely spike our blood sugar levels, just like sugar can. My advice?
    • Avoid fruit juices. Unsweetened grapefruit juice, cranberry, pomegranate and lemon water are the general exceptions.
    • Opt for fresh, whole, low sugar fruit such as green apples, pears, berries, lemons, pomegranates and grapefruit.
    • To avoid a sugar crash, eat fruit with a little protein e.g. a few nuts.
    • If you suffer from fatigue, avoid eating fruit until after 12pm. Your adrenals will thank you for it.
  • 5) Eat a balance of healthy carbs, protein and healthy fats throughout the day: these macronutrient food groups typically contain a low to medium glycemic index (GI), which when eaten in combination, can help to support your energy levels over a much longer period of time. So you get the benefit of an immediate energy hit along with a more sustained energy release throughout the day. So here’s how to break them down.
    • Complex carbohydrates: quinoa, brown rice, rye, sweet potato and rolled oats are good examples of foods that provide our bodies with a healthy source of fast releasing energy.
    • Organic protein: eggs, chicken, turkey, lamb, beef, dairy produce and wild fish. Good vegetarian sources include lentils, pulses and beans, nuts, seeds, quinoa, amaranth, tempeh, whey, hemp and pea protein powder. Protein provides our bodies with a source of slow releasing energy.
    • Healthy (organic) fats: olive oil, coconut oil, butter, hempseed oil, flaxseed oil and the oil contained within nuts, seeds and avocados. Fats provide our bodies with even slower releasing sustained energy.

6) Eat a mid morning and mid afternoon protein rich snack: good examples include a banana and a small handful of walnuts, an organic/free range boiled egg, a low sugar health food bar, an energy ball, an oatcake with cheese, or veggie sticks with hummus. The key is to eat every 2-3 hours.  If you leave it too long until your next meal, your blood sugars will drop and those seductive cravings will return.

A typical office scenario:

Lunch – 1pm; Afternoon slump – around 4pm. Tea and a biscuit anyone? Quite the contrary my friends. The solution is to eat an afternoon protein rich snack around 3:30pm. By fuelling your body with a sustained energy source in advance of your usual slump, you will miraculously cruise through to the end of your working day with a spring in your step.

It’s common not to feel hungry when working a busy day, troubleshooting this and fire fighting that. This is a classic sympathetic nervous system response where the brain translates a busy/stressful day in the office, as a threat to your survival. Adrenalin and cortisol levels spike, causing the body to switch over into ‘running from danger mode’. Appetite is subsequently supressed and you just keep going and going.

So when your energy levels eventually crash and you reach for that afternoon coke, coffee, or chocolate bar ‘to pick you up’, you would be forgiven for thinking that it has nothing to do with the need for food…and yet this couldn’t be further from the truth. 

Modern day stressors may have replaced age-old stressors like running from tigers - but the physiological response is still the same. Stress hormones spike, appetite is supressed, blood sugars levels crash and low energy levels quickly follow. 

Naturopathic nutrients, spices and herbal medicines to balance your sugar cravings:

  • Nutrients: chromium, alpha lipoic acid, B complex, vitamin C, CoQ10, magnesium and zinc.
  • Medicinal and culinary spices: cinnamon, fenugreek, turmeric, ginger and chilli powder.
  • Medicinal and culinary herbs: gymnema, maca, milk thistle, bitter melon, green tea, parsley and rosemary.

The above nutraceuticals are general suggestions and of course every ‘body’ is different. Sugar cravings can also be a sign of adrenal depletion, nutrient deficiencies, liver insufficiency, Candida, parasites and more. For a tailor approach to balance your sugar cravings, seek the services of a registered naturopath or nutritionist. 

Final thoughts:

Keep hydrated. Sugar cravings can spike when we are dehydrated and particularly after exercising. Drinking adequate water is also essential for the health and regulation of so many other bodily functions. It’s a win-win. 

If you are conscious about wanting to reduce your sugar consumption, use the 80/20 rule of thumb. Be good 80% of the time, and 20% of the time, enjoy yourself. After all, It’s not about depriving yourself of deliciousness – it’s about empowering yourself with the knowledge to make healthy, conscious food choices.

Merran Lusher

Article written by Merran Lusher - London

An expert in holistic healthcare, Merran integrates a unique blend of functional naturopathic nutritional medicine with BodyTalk - a scientifically proven form of energy medicine. With an exceptional success rate she intuitively works with her clients to help identify, fix and balance an extensive range of mind body conditions.

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Energy Medicine
Herbal Medicine
Nutritional Therapy

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