The days of deprivation are over…
I will share one secret with you. I got off the yo yo dieting because I started to say yes to healthy treats and no to the junk.
You may not be like me and need your daily sweet. You may have no sugar cravings but after I birthed my second baby, I fell in love with chocolate. Chocolate is loaded with magnesium and antioxidants so I am feeling pretty good about this healthy addiction.
I work with so many people trying to lose weight or give up the diet and I always tell them to stop saying NO! I am not telling you to go out and have a bag of potato chips or eat a pizza filled with dairy and gluten because those foods will make you feel bloated ans awful, but I am saying a huge part of letting go of the diet is embracing saying YES to the good stuff.
My favorite sweet treat are Protein Balls. I have about 50 Protein Balls Recipes on my computer and they are a staple in my house.
If you are struggling to ditch the sugar cravings, here are my simple tips!
Reduce or eliminate caffeine. The ups and downs of caffeine include dehydration and blood sugar swings, and may cause sugar cravings to become more frequent.
Drink water. Sometimes sweet cravings are a sign of dehydration. Before you go for the sugar, have a glass of water and wait a few minutes to see what happens.
Eat sweet vegetables and fruit. They are naturally sweet, healthy and delicious. These include squash, sweet potatoes, and sweet yellow onions. The more you eat, the less you’ll crave sugar.
Use gentle sweets. Avoid chemicals, artificial sweeteners and foods with added sugar. Use gentle sweeteners like maple syrup, raw honey, dried fruit, and dates.
Get physically active. Start with simple activities like walking or yoga. Start with 10 minutes a day and gradually increase. Being active helps balance blood sugar levels, boosts energy, and reduces tension which will eliminate the need to self-medicate with sugar!
Get more sleep, rest and relaxation. Simple carbohydrates, such as sugar, are the most readily usable forms of energy for an exhausted body and mind. If you are in a chronic state of stress and/or sleep deprivation, your body will crave the quickest form of energy there is: sugar.
Evaluate the amount of animal food you eat. According to yin/yang principles of eating (such as in Macrobiotics and TCM), eating too much animal food (yang) can lead to cravings for sweets (yin). Imbalances can also occur with too little animal protein (for some individuals). Through experimentation and intuition, you can find which foods create balance for you as an individual.
Eliminate fat-free or low-fat packaged snack-foods. These foods contain high quantities of sugar to compensate for lack of flavor and fat, which will send you on the roller-coaster ride of sugar highs and lows.
Experiment with spices. Coriander, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and cardamom will naturally sweeten your foods and reduce cravings.
Slow down and find sweetness in non-food ways! Every craving is not a signal that your body biologically requires sugar. Cravings often have a psychological component. By identifying the psychological causes of food cravings and substituting lifestyle and relationship adjustments accordingly, you can begin to find balance and take charge of your health. When life becomes sweet enough itself, no additives are needed.
Do not forget to give yourself a break. I think too often we PLOW through our day, I know this happens for me, and then I feel tired and then my cravings are the worst. I make sure protein balls are in the fridge, green juices are made or a smoothie can be made on the quick. Just in case you have not grabbed the brand new 17 Smoothie eBook (then OMG grab it now), because we are doing a LIVE & FREE 7 day smoothie challenge starting on September 18th, 2014!