Good morning. It’s Friday! 😀
We don’t have too much going on here for the weekend and I’m in love with that, hah! Don’t you love free weekends? They rock more and more the older I get.
Weekends, for me, can be the two biggest days of the week where I fall off a bit when it comes to healthy eating and that’s largely based around my love for sweets.
That’s what today’s post is all about — those damn sugar cravings we probably all get every now then… some of us more other than others. 😉
Anyone that knows me knows that I have a serious sweet tooth. Even if I’m stuffed after a meal, if someone hands me a homemade cookie or gooey brownie, nine times out of ten, I’ll happily take it.
Some people are more “savory” but I’m “sweet” all the way.
As I continue living my healthiest life yet, I really wanted to start taking control of my sugar cravings. And as soon as I started this on Monday, I realized quickly that ditching sugar is hard.
That meant no more chocolate at work (we have tons at the reception area), no more weekly stops for ice cream (we love all kinds), and working to replace those sugary treats with healthier, more whole food options (more to come on that later).
After reading a bunch of articles about beating the sugar cravings, I thought I’d share the most helpful tips I found.
But first, why do we crave sugar?
Here are a few reasons.
1. For one, maybe you aren’t eating enough or eating the right foods our bodies are craving. When we’re starving, we tend to go for foods we know will make us feel good—and quick. That way our body can fuel up fast and we can feel better.
2. It could just be a habit. Maybe everyday, you walk with your colleagues to a coffee shop to beat that afternoon slump at the office. And what do you tend to grab? A sugary pick-me-up because it’s simply just routine.
3. You’ve been skimping on the fats and proteins in your diet. When you’re filling up on carbs but lacking on the other end of nutrition, you’ll be more quick to go for something sugary after. So instead of going for the big bowl of pasta or bread bowl, find more balanced meals that offer rich protein/healthy fat combos.
4. You’re overdoing it with processed foods. These salty, over processed, not so good for you foods are packed with salt. And salt… makes your cravings for sugar INTENSE. You don’t have to kick the salt to the curb completely but instead of chips and fries, go with olives or cheese, which have more natural salts.
This is not going to be easy.
Believe me, if anyone gets it… I get it.
When we’re feeling “hangry,” we want a quick solution, but often that temporary solution leads us down a dark road ending in a sugar crash.
You feel highhhhhh off life and then BOOM, you’re on the couch not feeling so hot. In fact, pretty crappy.
I would never tell you or even myself to ditch sugar completely because well, life is much “sweeter” when you’re enjoying it (and sometimes that means having cake at a party), but what I will suggest is that we can all give it a little more thought and attention.
So, what can we do about it?
Here’s how I plan on managing my sugar cravings and saying no to sweets more often than not:
- Enjoy foods with more natural sugar (fresh fruit and veggies all the way!)
- When at a social gathering, be smart about what I’m eating. If there are tons of dessert options at the table, pick the one I want most/haven’t had in awhile and savor it slowly. I don’t need every dessert offered even though that’s what I think I want.
- Be realistic about portions. My slice of cake doesn’t need to be mile high. Plus, half the time, I just want a bite or two of something to get that sweet taste. So, maybe that’s enough!
- Clean out the pantry. Ditch the things you know aren’t good for you or bring them to work to share with friends to get them out of the way.
- Treat myself once a week with dark chocolate. I’m not going to deprive myself of chocolate, so once a week, I’ll have a nibble of the good dark chocolate that Whole Foods has a great selection of. 😉
- Don’t go grocery shopping when I’m hungry. We’ve all heard this once before… and it couldn’t be more true. When you’re hungry, you’ll buy more stuff you don’t actually need/have on your list.
- Make more healthy sweet-like treats at home, like these All-Raw Almond Joy Bites. When I have healthy alternatives at the ready, I make smarter decisions.
Cutting sugar is not going to be easy, but I know that I depend on sugar too much and it’s time to check that bad habit!
I’ll never completely eliminate from my diet (because life’s too short), but I am planning on being WAY more realistic about my need for it.
If you’ve ditched sugar or have any tips for me, please holler!
Join me if you want.
Sweet tooth for life,
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