We’ve teamed up with eumom to give you the best advice when it comes to feeding your family. Today, we’re talking about how to beat sugar cravings.
Why is sugar so addictive? Do you beat yourself up about having treats and swear the diet starts tomorrow? Summer is a particularly hard time to resist, when ice cream, cocktails and beers (yes there’s sugar in alcohol) and sweets are so abundant.
Studies have shown that sugar affects your brain causing worse cravings than cocaine use. When sugar is consumed, a transmitter in the brain called dopamine is released to create a feel-good high. This feeling quickly disappears and our body then craves it again.
As sugar is so addictive, it takes serious willpower to resist the cravings. To help mums who have become frustrated with their bodies, fad diets and health in general, here’s a list of tips to avoid succumbing to the sweet fix.
Eat protein at every meal
Eating protein means you don’t go hungry. Include eggs, salmon, chicken breast, grass-fed beef, tuna, almonds / almond butter and Greek yoghurt in your daily diet to avoid reaching for that chocolate bar mid-afternoon.
Brush your teeth or chew sugar-free gum
A minty taste in your mouth means you are less likely to start snacking on what’s around you.
Drink green tea or hot water with lemon
A lot of the time, when your body craves a snack you are not actually hungry. Rather, your brain is just bored. Prepare yourself a hot drink which takes enough time to consume that by the time your cup is empty; your mind will be elsewhere. (This is particularly helpful when you want to graze on something while you watch TV/are entertaining guests for tea etc.)
Stevia is a virtually calorie free, sweet herb that can be purchased in granular form (e.g. Canderel Green). For guilt-free baked goods, use stevia sweetner and oat flour.
While honey has more calories than table sugar and can promote tooth decay, if it’s a choice between the two, opt for honey as it has anti-bacterial qualities and other health benefits. (The best kind of honey to buy is raw organic/natural varieties.)
Cinnamon is the healthiest sugar substitute, with only six calories per teaspoon (as opposed to sugar’s 15). Cinnamon can be added to baked goods, porridge, chamomile tea etc. It regulates blood sugar in the body by slowing down how fast the stomach empties.
Don’t buy it!
Simple; If it’s not in the press or the fridge, the chances are you’re not going to make your way to the shop and get it. Fill your presses with fresh fruit, vegetables, nuts (eat in moderation due to high calorie content).
Choose healthy snacks
Adapt your tastes to incorporate healthy snacks instead of calorie-laced goods. If you prefer savoury, try make vegetable crisps from kale, sweet potato wedges or snack on low fat popcorn or homemade trail mix. If you love sweet sugary snacks, make a fruit salad. Other options include apple slices with peanut butter, vegetables and hummus dip, homemade fruit popsicles and low fat smoothies.
At eumom, we’re first for parenting, first for moms and we believe the best part of parenting is celebrating memorable moments together. From big announcements, to joyful arrivals, from first steps to first days of school, we are here for you.