Are you a complete sucker for chocolate and other sweet treats, finding them almost impossible to resist? Never fear!
Here are 12 tips from the experts at Australian NaturalCare to help you develop stronger willpower and fewer cravings.
- Eat breakfast every day. Going without, or eating something sweet or stodgy like a muesli bar or muffin, increases the likelihood you’ll experience cravings later
- Your best bet for breakfast (and every other meal for that matter) is a meal containing protein rich foods. Also if you have carbohydrates try and have carbohydrate foods with a low glycaemic index (GI), which break down slowly during digestion and help keep your blood glucose levels stable. Low GI foods help sustain the feeling of fullness until your next meal too – so you won’t just be less likely to snack on sugar, you’ll be less inclined to snack at all
- Include protein and healthy fats with every meal, as they slow down the rate at which carbohydrates are digested and absorbed. Again, this ensures more stable blood glucose levels and reduced feelings of hunger between meals. Good choices include raw nuts, seeds, avocado, fish and cold-pressed oils like olive oil.
- Support your blood sugar balance by taking a chromium supplement. This essential mineral helps transport glucose into the cells, and is required by the body for healthy blood sugar control
- If you must have something sweet, push through the morning and wait until after lunch before you indulge
- If it’s not there you can’t eat it, so resist temptation by not keeping chocolate or other sweets in the house, your handbag or in your desk drawer
- If you do decide to indulge in something sinful, chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa is a healthier choice than regular chocolate, and as an added bonus is packed with antioxidants, and may even have benefits for your heart health. Look for a product that contains at least 70% cocoa (sugar-free varieties are available too)
- The herb Gymnema is used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine to help maintain healthy blood glucose levels in healthy individuals. It may temporarily reduce the perception of sweetness and may also temporarily suppress the appetite
- Sometimes we think we’re hungry when we’re actually thirsty, so before reaching for a snack, drink a glass of filtered water and then wait a while to see whether the urge passes
- If you’re prone to sugar cravings during times when you’re feeling stressed, take steps to support your nervous system. Make sure you get enough sleep, eat plenty of nutritious foods, and find time for regular exercise – this will often help you cope better and may reduce your tendency to comfort eat. For extra support, consider taking supplements to top up nutrients that are essential for nervous system function, such as magnesium and the B-complex group of vitamins
- If you do decide to eat something sugary, don’t beat yourself up. It happens to all of us from time to time! Feeling guilty won’t help, and may even make you more inclined to succumb to your cravings again.
- Brindleberry is a natural source of hydroxycitric acid. Hydroxycitric acid may promote the sensation of fullness, thus aiding in suppression of the appetite.
NOTE: These diet and lifestyle tips are intended for normal healthy people. If you have a blood sugar disorder, do not take supplements or change your diet or exercise routine unless advised to do so and supervised by your healthcare professional. To do so may interfere with your blood sugar management and medication requirements.
For more natural health advice and to purchase vitamins and supplements online, go to www.ausnaturalcare.com.au or call 1300 365 020.