GUEST POST: Dealing With Sugar Cravings – JENNA HOPE

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Let’s face it sugar cravings are something which we all experience from time to time although some deal with these cravings more regularly than others.

Firstly, whilst this article is here to provide you with some top tips for sugar cravings you should also know that to some degree it’s totally normal. It’s really important to become aware of your cravings and your blood sugar levels in order to identify when it becomes a problem at which point you should look for some more personalised help.

In order to understand how to manage your cravings let’s first look at when and why cravings can occur.

  1. Unbalanced blood sugar levels

If you’re on a constant blood sugar rollercoaster your blood sugar levels are going to be continuously spiking and crashing. When your blood sugar levels fall very low you’re more likely to crave higher sugar foods.

  1. Habit

Habits are another reason why you might crave certain foods at certain times. If you’ve conditioned your brain into buying a chocolate every time you pass the newspaper stand at the station or fill up with petrol you’ll be more likely to crave when you’re presented with your triggers. You’d also be amazed at how quickly habits can form without you even realising. If you’re noticing that you always pick up a coffee and muffin on your way home then start to break your triggers by walking a different route.

  1. Severe food restriction

When you restrict your food intake naturally, you’re more likely to crave foods which will provide fast releasing energy (read: sugar).

  1. Emotional hunger
    If you’re someone who turns to food in times of stress, anxiety or even joy then you’re much more likely to crave certain foods in response to your mood changes.
  2. Hormonal changes
    Sometimes at certain times of the month the only thing which is going to make you happy is chocolate. My advice to you during these times. Eat it and enjoy it… Every single bite!

 

These may all sound familiar in certain situations but what can you do about them? Before you read on, you should know that sometimes (even when it’s not a set time of the month) the only thing which will satisfy your craving is to eat the chocolate that’s been staring you in the face and that’s absolutely FINE!!!

For other times when you’re trying to manage more regular cravings here are my top tips for doing so:

 

  1. Balance your blood sugar levels
    Start balancing your blood sugar levels. You can do this by eating healthy balanced meals little and often. Ensure you have a source of protein at each meal or snack to help balance your blood sugar levels. E.g. eggs, nuts, seeds, beans, pulses, meat, fish, nut butter etc.

 

  1. Notice your habits
    Start noticing the patterns in your habits and trying to break behaviours. E.g. as mentioned above walk another route home, avoid walking straight into the kitchen when you get home or avoid eating in the car.

 

  1. Share your emotions
    If you’re suppressing your emotions or not talking to someone about something this can often come out through your cravings. Ensure that you’re being honest and open with yourself and those around you.

 

  1. Always be prepared
    Avoid your blood sugar getting too low by always being prepared with a few nuts or roasted beans to help with those hunger pangs when they pop up.

 

  1. Switch up your routine
    If you’re someone who craves sweet food in front of the TV after dinner then why not switch up your routine… Go for a walk, call a friend or have a bath. Switching up your routine can help to break those triggers which you’ve programmed your brain to respond to.

 

Those are my top tips for helping to manage your sugar cravings. Should you feel that your cravings are less manageable and are having an impact on your life and your relationship with food then please seek professional advice or feel free to get in touch at jennahope@jennahopenutrition.com

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