Sugar cravings can really put a wrench in your health goals. You just can’t resist those donuts in the break room. You know you are going to regret it, but you do it anyway. This leaves you feeling guilty, like a failure, and like you’ll never be able to say no to those tantalizing sweets. I feel you, I’ve been there far too many times myself.
But, good news. Once we understand what’s going on, have some helpful tips up our sleeves to overcome cravings, and put them in action… you will feel much more in control of your cravings!
1. Keep Your Stress Levels in Check
Stress has such a powerful effect on your body. When you are in a constant state of stress, your body releases hormones to go to combat for you. This disrupts many of your body’s processes, causing chaos and imbalances that lead to weight gain, cravings, poor sleep, and a slew of other health issues.
These high-stress situations can cause your body to produce an abundance of cortisol, the stress hormone, which can produce those sugar cravings you’re battling. Luckily, there are many things that you can proactively do to lower your stress levels and keep them balanced.
I know it may sound like a far-fetched dream, in today’s society, where stress is simply a part of life… but keeping your stress levels balanced is a powerful way to ditch those sugar cravings.
Some natural ways to lower your stress levels include exercising regularly, acupuncture or massage, breathing exercises, practicing yoga, spending time outside regularly and keeping a gratitude journal.
2. Make it Hard to Get Your Hands On It
Keep your kitchen free of temptation. If your cupboards aren’t filled to the brim with sugary treats, you will be much less likely to indulge in them. Once you rid your kitchen of junk foods that aren’t aligned with your health goals, you’ll have to put forth an effort to cave into your cravings. For example — when a craving strikes and your kitchen is junk-food-free — you’ll need to leave your house, travel to the nearest store, shop, drive back home, and partake in your box of cookies. Needing to put forth this effort will hopefully deter you from giving into your cravings (if that is your goal!).
Therefore, keep your kitchen junk-food free and packed with healthy foods, and you will be leaving temptation out of the picture. Better yet, find healthy alternatives to dessert that will satisfy your sweet tooth!
Start going through your pantry, fridge and kitchen to begin the "de-junking" process. It doesn't have to be all at once, as that may be incredibly overwhelming. Life changes take time, so set a goal for yourself and being the steps to achieve a junk-free kitchen.
3. Keep Your Kitchen Stocked with Healthy Foods
Make healthy foods convenient. One of the main reasons people eat junk food is because it is convenient at the moment — not that it’s the tastiest or best option. It’s already prepared, and all you have to do is dig right in. Therefore, making sure you are prepared for when cravings hit is a huge success determiner.
If you’re well prepped with clean, healthy snacks that you can dig into whenever the urge strikes, you will be much more likely to choose these healthier options in the moment. Find some staples that you can enjoy as healthy snacks and have them prepared at all times. Make this a part of your weekly grocery/food prep routine so that it becomes second nature for you.
Pick a few favorite clean eating snack recipes to keep around, and try making one this week.
You can google “Clean Eating Snacks” or check out my favorite recipe blogs for ideas. These can be as simple as cut up apple with almond butter or baked apples with cinnamon. Simple and delicious!
4. Start Your Day Off Right
One especially essential way to banish your sugar cravings is to start your day with a healthy, balanced breakfast. When you start your day with a big bowl (or three) of sugary, processed cereal — you are jump-starting your sugar cravings right off the bat and will continue to desire sugar throughout the day. Therefore, it is terribly important to have a healthy, protein-packed breakfast that will fuel you throughout your day in a healthy, sustainable way.
Another imperative factor to keeping your cravings at bay is keeping yourself hydrated. Dehydration can cause cravings of many kinds, especially sugar, so being proactive about keeping yourself hydrated will give you one leg up on kicking those sugar cravings. Also, being hydrated feels so great and impacts so much more than just cravings!
Start your day off with a healthy, protein-packed breakfast.
Brainstorm some new recipes and ideas for healthy, clean breakfasts that will keep you fueled up and sustained until lunch.
If you would like some personal support in becoming the best version of yourself, I'd be more than happy to chat with you about your health goals.