I can’t begin to tell you how many of my clients have daily sugar cravings due to all of the above challenges. One of my top most important solutions to quit the sugar addiction: Stay fueled!
By eating every 3-4 hours people can control their hunger levels. When a person is tired, stressed, and hungry on top of that, you better believe they will crave sugar. Why? Sugar is a carbohydrate which provides your body with quick energy. When you aren’t eating enough or when you are stressed, your body craves sugar to get energy quickly. Another reason for the sugar craze when we are stressed is from our happy hormones (dopamine and serotonin) being reduced. Sugar/carbohydrates boost those happy hormones. So that piece of chocolate is the perfect solution to increase your happy hormone.
Now you know why you crave sugar. What can you do to prevent sugar attacks?
Here are some quick solutions to control your hunger and your stress and reduce sugar cravings:
#1. Eat a hearty breakfast full of fiber and protein.
• ¾ cup high-fiber cereal + 1 cup milk + 1 fruit + 2 Tbsp ground flaxmeal
• ½ -1 cup cooked oatmeal + 1 cup greek yogurt + 1 cup berries + 1 Tbsp chia seeds
• 1 high-fiber English muffin + 2 egg whites or 1 egg scrambled + 1 cup plain yogurt + 1 banana
#2. Eat every 3-4 hours. Make sure to have an afternoon snack. If you notice your sugar cravings coming along around 4pm, you need to eat a snack around 3:30pm to control your hunger, prevent cravings, and take a break from the stressful day. Pick a snack that you love!
Some snack examples:
• 1 string cheese + 1 piece of fruit + 6 almonds
• 1 tortilla + 1-2 oz turkey + 1 slice cheese. Make a wrap (you can add salsa & lettuce, too)
• 1 cup plain yogurt + ½ cup fruit + 4 walnut halves
• 4 Ak-mak crackers + 2 slices of cheese
• ¼ cup hummus + 1 cup carrots or sugar snap peas
#3. Remember to breath! Make sure to take a breathing break every hour! Take 5 deep breaths. It should only take about 30 seconds, so you can get back to the job ASAP. This will help to calm your brain and allow you to refocus.
These simple tips will help reduce your sugar cravings and you will soon realize that you may not be as addicted to sugar as you thought! It’s all about controlling your cravings and feeding your soul. Bon appétit!
By Sarah Koszyk, MA, RDN