As I’m writing this, I’m approximately 39,000ft in the air, headed home from Portland (my happy place). It was a fabulous trip but let me tell you…I feel bloated, I look puffy, and my energy has tanked. Hubby feels the same. Why is that? Sugar! Freaking sugar. We were in gluten-free paradise, surrounded by every goodie imaginable. We had gluten free bagels, muffins, cookies, dairy-free ice cream, scones…seriously, the list goes on. Needless to say, I need to break free from sugar.
Thankfully, I know how to break free from these current cravings and prevent myself from continuing to eat it. Here are 5 of my favorite ways to reduce cravings:
Have protein at every meal
It doesn’t have to be meat, but could also be nuts or seeds, fish, eggs or quinoa. There is no set amount of grams needed either, but I do always encourage my clients to reach for a little protein. The reason behind this? Protein is digested slowly (especially in comparison to sugar or refined grains which are processed much like sugar), so your blood sugar will remain more balanced. When you balance blood sugar levels, you decrease cravings. Additionally, protein is broken down into amino acids and used to make neurotransmitters like serotonin, which regulates our mood and decreases those pesky cravings.
Fruit is loaded with valuable nutrients, fiber and water. And when you combine it with protein and/or fat, this slows down the burning of fructose and gives you more energy. Fruit is also natures own sugar- it’s sweet on it’s own! And if you pair something like an apple with nut butter, it tastes even sweeter.
Yes, I’ve got snacks with me on the plane- cashews, an Epic bar, and an apple. One of my favorite sayings is “fail to plan, plan to fail.” If you’re a bit of a sugar addict, or even just find yourself craving it often, chances are if you don’t have food with you, you’ll be reaching for something with sugar. And again, the more you eat it, the more you crave it.
Drink some water
Many people confuse hunger with thirst, when they are actually dehydrated. Oftentimes you can drink a glass of water and forget all about those sugar cravings (part of my issue this trip was truly lack of water). Make sure you are drinking plenty of water each day, aiming for 1/2 your body weight in ounces.
Consider l-glutamine if your cravings are outta control. Glutamine is an amino acid that acts as a fuel for the brain, after glucose. It works wonders for stopping cravings (not to mention it’s quite healing for the gut). I usually suggest 500mg on an empty stomach, but as always, check with your healthcare practitioner first.