“How can I control my sugar cravings?“– I usually get this question at my office. Truly if you eat balanced meals with high protein and fiber you will not experiencesugar cravings as often. You are setting yourself up for sugar cravings when you select the wrong combinations of food for lunch like a skimpy turkey sandwich on sourdough bread and a bag of chips. There is very little protein in the sandwich and absolutely no fiber. The protein along with the fiber will prevent blood sugar fluctuations which causes the craving for sugar. If you take a lunch that is composed of 4-6oz. of turkey on 100% whole wheat bread with a bowl of minestrone soup and an apple, I guarantee that you will not succumb to sweets.
I tell my clients who binge on sweets to make it a point to add sweetness to each meal. We can order honey turkey or honey ham for our sandwich. We can have honey mustard as a condiment. If we make tuna or chicken salad we should add dried cranberries, cut up grapes or even raisins. All fruit should be eaten close to a meal like a dessert. If you are hungry, do not expect fruits to fill you up. In fact, eating fruit on an empty stomach can make you more hungry. Clients tell me that they often end up eating several fruits which results in too many calories. All that we need in a day are two servings of fruit. Instead of eating all this fruit the calories can be set aside for desserts that we love more.
If indeed you have eaten a substantial meal as described above then we need to create a plan that will satisfy you and stop you from thinking about that chocolate bar all day. I have many clients that are chocolate fanatics who will buy high end chocolate bars like Godiva and allow themselves a square after lunch and one after dinner.This seems to do the trick and they no longer feel deprived. Several clients are finding comfort by making it a routine to have what I call a “dessert tea” after a meal. A very popular one is the Good Earth tea, very available at the markets and even Costco. I am also hearing that peppermint tea is working for people after their dinner meal.
I always tell my clients that if you have a craving out of nowhere then this can be dealt with. You must realize that if you wait it out it can pass rather quickly. All you need to do is execute a plan immediately such as calling a friend, go surf the internet or even better, step out the door and take a walk. One client told me she averted a sugar binge by going and getting some gas. As you get thru one sugar craving after another it builds confidence and you learn to be more organized about handling the urge.
I help my clients set up a reward system for themselves that will be worth holding out for.Many of them do not feel good about themselves and will not take extra care of their body and allow themselves manicures, pedicures, facials, massages and new style haircuts. I suggest them to give themselves the cost of the food item they were going out to get or eat right out of their cupboard and then save that money and treat themselves to these services.
Often I find clients enlist co-workers to join in their effort to stave off of sugar.They start getting rid of all the candy and junk in the office and create a team approach. Then they also go ahead and get family members to support them in this effort. All family members can certainly benefit from eating less sugar.They hold each other accountable and support one another through the tough times.
As a result of cleaning house my clients are always telling me that their clothes are feeling loser, their energy is terrific and they are more efficient at work and at home. You might think that there is no way that you can quit the sugar habit, but take it one day at a time. Look at your eating habits and learn about yourself when cravings hit. Set up your day so that you can become more successful. That includes being prepared, organized with high quality protein and fiber available and not having the sweets around to even tempt you.