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How to beat sugar cravings

Date: Aug 06, 2018    By: Genesis Fitness

Sugar cravings, two small words which can spell disaster for anyone who is trying to lose weight. In fact, cravings are one of the main reasons so many diets fail. So how the heck can you beat them?

Don’t worry - there are lots of easy ways to beat your sugar cravings. Let’s first look at the most common reasons they occur and the best ways to deal with them.

Sugar cravings can mean you are lacking something in your diet, or you aren’t getting enough wholesome healthy foods. Skipping meals, eating at irregular hours, stress, lack of sleep, anxiety, boredom and not getting a good night’s sleep, can all bring on cravings.

Drink lots of fluids: dehydration or thirst is often confused with hunger or a food craving, drink a glass of water when you get the urge to snack. Wait 10 minutes and it should pass. Keep cravings at bay by drinking herbal teas throughout the day.

Healthy snacks: have a ready supply of dates, nuts, sunflower seeds, carrot sticks or fruit to keep you going until meal times.

Plan your meals: having a healthy meal, already bought or made, will stop spontaneous trips to the supermarket. Research has shown if you head to the shops when you are ravenous, your impulse will be to stock up on high calorie treats, instead of healthy foods. Be warned!

Aim to have one good source of protein with some of your meals, as protein helps you feel full for longer. Also include small amounts of healthy fats, such as avocado, virgin olive oil, nuts and seeds, which send messages to your brain, telling it you are full up. A diet rich in fruit, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, leafy greens, dairy products, seeds and nuts will certainly help reduce cravings, by providing your body with what it needs.

The best advice on getting a healthy balanced diet, is from a qualified dietitian. Make an appointment or visit the Dietitians Association of Australia website and try their Healthy Eating quiz.

Go big at breakfast: the humble porridge oat is a secret weapon against sugar cravings! Containing beta-glucan fibre, oats keeps you full for hours, provide an energy boost, reduces blood glucose levels and can assist in reducing blood pressure and LDL cholesterol levels. Eat with chia seeds - another nutritional powerhouse, fruit, seeds and nuts.

Emotional triggers: as mentioned previously, stress, lack of sleep, anxiety, boredom and not getting a good night’s sleep, can all bring on cravings. Identifying exactly what triggers your stress, can be very useful. Knowing when you are likely to have a craving, allows you the opportunity to do something before it strikes. In the short- term, healthy snacks or fluids may stop you reaching for the chocolate, but a long-term solution is needed.

Mindful eating is a gentle but powerful technique, which has been proven to help you recognise the emotional trigger behind your cravings. Learn online, download the free Smiling Mind app or go see a professional for expert help.

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