As you all know by now I have been on a new healthy lifestyle for the past 8 months. I have lost 26kg, started exercising regularly and I feel better about myself now than I have ever felt in the past 33 years. Sweets have been my lifelong jam… I understand perfectly what people are talking about when they say they can’t control themselves with sugar, and it’s rough resisting all the temptations around us – sometimes it feels that food and sweets are surrounding me everywhere i go. There have been days where all I could think of was getting my hands on a piece of chocolate and all those days have led me to being obese for a big part of my life.
The sugar addiction is real, and I know the feeling of not being able to stop yourself.
Last week I posted on my personal facebook account that I have lost 25kg which was a huge achievement for me. I had huge support from my friends over 300 likes and over a 100 private messages and comments and many people have asked me if i have any tips on how to overcome sugar cravings.
Despite how difficult it can be, there are some steps you can take to ease up on your daily sugar intake.
1. CHROMIUM SUPPLEMENTS
Chromium is an essential trace mineral that has received much attention as a dietary supplement because good dietary sources of chromium are scarce and intake is generally low. Cravings for starchy and sugar-laden foods are common and are a type of addiction that involves similar mechanisms engaged by opiates and the pain/pleasure center of the brain. chromium supplementation helps to stabilize blood sugar levels and diminish the desire for carbohydrate-laden foods.
2.EAT MORE HEALTHY FATS.
I find that if I don’t eat enough fats throughout the day, my sugar cravings are more intense. I try to get enough oils (olive oil, coconut oil), nuts (almonds, peanut butter, cashews), avocado, or Salmon to keep my body happy and satiated with the good kind of fats.
3. TRY SOMETHING ELSE FIRST.
At this point we all know that more water throughout the day makes us fuller for longer, but in the moment when I’m craving something sweet, I try to chug a big glass of water with lemon or berries first, and it usually fills me up – many times hunger pangs are just cravings and if you have water or wait long enough they will disappear. I have learnt that if i am not hungry enough to eat an apple then I am probably not hungry but just craving something … lets be honest how many of us have just raided the kitchen for that something good after a long day – not because we are hungry but cos we just need the comfort? Let’s be stronger than our cravings. If that doesn’t work, I go for a piece of fruit. or a handful of berries or cherries.
Those steps usually do the job. The trick is to wait 10 minutes after the fruit and usually in that period the craving disappears into thin air like magic.
4. HAVE SOME FRUIT.
The tip above is great for when cravings hit, but I try to avoid them before they even start by prepping fruit for dessert after lunch and/or dinner every day. I often chop up a few different things (currently loving peaches with blueberries).
In the summer, we eat lots of watermelon and cherries and a fun snack are frozen grapes.
Smoothie bowls are also great fruit-based dessert options! Ive started making this amazing smoothie with oats; chia seeds; apple; cinnamon and nutmeg its super healthy and tastes like Apple pie 🙂
5. GO COLD TURKEY FOR SOME TIME.
If you have a serious problem with sugar, like you need it every day multiple times a day, a good detox is always the best answer in my opinion. This is what i had to do – I went cold turkey for several weeks. It doesn’t mean you need to cut it out forever, just a short period of time to reset your system. I always suggest at least a week but you could go longer if you feel like it. Cut out all processed sugars including maple syrup, honey, agave, etc. Look at labels and be strict! If you can cut sweet fruits like bananas and cherries, that will help too. Stick with berries (fresh not dried) for when the cravings hit.
6. INDULGE EVERY SO OFTEN.
Going cold turkey is great but not for the long haul. No one in their right mind could survive it! Let yourself enjoy sugar once in a while, but make it special. Savor every bite and don’t wolf it down. I am not saying you can do this everyday – its more like a once every 8 week treat but its needed sometimes and it will do your body good to indulge once in a while.
SOME HEALTHIER SUBSTITUTES
Craving ice cream? I make my “Fresh fruit sorbet” by blending frozen fruit, coconut milk, vanilla extract, and whatever flavor I’m craving (usually strawberries or melons) in my Thermomix <3
Craving chocolate? Try three squares of dark chocolate and savor every small bite.
Craving fruity candy? Eat a berry bowl with a drizzle of honey or frozen grapes.
Craving cookies? Eat 3-4 dates or a whole apple, chopped up with peanut butter and cinnamon.