Ditch the Sugar
Halloween marks the beginning of the long holiday season for many of us. It seems we just tuck away the Halloween decorations and then are reaching for turkeys, cornucopias and other symbols of Thanksgiving. One common concern I hear from my clients is trying to not only find a way to limit the overall amount of food they are eating but most particularly the sugar in their diet. Here are some ideas that have been helpful for me and my clients over the years.
Don’t allow yourself to get too hungry. Eat on a regular basis. When people get too hungry, they often find themselves making poor choices and reaching for the most readily available energy source. Sugar fills that energy need quick. Unfortunately, it also is used by the body quickly leading to blood sugar spikes and feelings of hunger.
Eat protein. Eating protein with every meal helps keep you feeling full longer and keeps your blood sugar balanced. This more sustained fuel will keep the cravings at bay.
Go for a walk. Exercise serves two purposes- it moves you away from the sugar you are craving and it releases endorphins to help curb sugar cravings.
Get a good night’s rest. When our body is sleep deprived, it impacts our hunger and satiety hormones, making cravings more likely.
Find substitutes: Eating fruit such as apples, oranges or pears is a great way to satisfy sugar cravings while also giving yourself a healthy dose of vitamins, minerals and fiber.
If none of these suggestions are working, it might be time to allow yourself a little of what you are craving. Often consuming a small amount will allow you to move past the focus on sugar and keep you from feeling denied. If you are worried that once you start you won’t be able to stop, set a limit of one square of chocolate or a fun sized bar. Often a little indulgence is all your body needs to eliminate the craving.