Whether your goals are to increase your energy, find a healthy weight, improve your skin or gut health, get rid of cravings or conquer that 3 pm energy slump, reducing your sugar intake can have a positive impact on achieving these health goals.
When you first reduce your sugar intake, it takes time for your body to adjust and cravings can be a challenge. Naturopath and nutritionist Casey-Lee Lyons from Live Love Nourish shares with us how to successfully beat sugar cravings with these simple and practical tips.
- Ensure your diet is nutritionally balanced with key macronutrients. Include good quality sources of protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats in your diet. Well-balanced meals support stable blood sugar levels and consistent energy levels.
- Aim to include a source of good quality protein and healthy fat in each meal. This will make your meal satiating and help keep cravings at bay.
- Ensure you include plenty of fresh vegetables (especially lots of greens and low starch veggies) in your main meals. The fibre in vegetables helps promote balanced blood sugar levels.
- Set up your kitchen for success. Clean out your pantry, remove any temptation and replace with healthier alternatives that will support your health goals.
- When cravings kick in, take your focus away from food and instead go for a walk outdoors, read a book, get some fresh air or catch up with a friend for a good laugh.
- Ensure you are eating enough good fats. Sources of good fat include avocado, nuts, seeds, coconut, tahini and extra virgin olive oil. Don’t be afraid of healthy fats, they are really important when it comes to maintaining a healthy diet.
- Make sure you’re drinking plenty of water. Dehydration can often be confused with hunger or cravings.
- Cravings can be much worse when you are stressed. Find ways that support you to reduce and manage stress. Have a bath, spend time outdoors, or do some gentle exercise to help.
- Make sure you are getting plenty of good quality sleep. Poor sleep increases the hunger hormone Ghrelin making you more likely to reach for quick energy such as sweet treats or energy rich snacks.
- Boost your meals with fresh, natural flavours such as fresh herbs, spices, fresh lemon or lime juice or chilli to help satisfy your palate without adding sweetness or sugar.
- Love savoury foods! The more sweet foods you eat, the more your palate will look for them.
- Add cinnamon to your meals and snacks. Cinnamon is known to help balance sugar levels and reduce sugar cravings. Cinnamon, as well as vanilla, add a natural sweetness to recipes.
- Approach quitting sugar holistically, and look at what might be triggering your sugar habit. For example, does stress, boredom, emotions, your monthly cycle, or fatigue trigger cravings? Consider what other areas of your lifestyle might be impacting why you reach for sugar. It is so much more than willpower
- Reduce sugar consumption with purpose by giving yourself a vision of why you want to, and remind yourself of this goal when cravings kick in. This will help you look at the bigger picture, rising above the cravings, and making choices in line with your health goals.
If you are looking for extra support to quit sugar with ease check out the 8 Weeks To Healthy and Happy Online Program, where I teach you how to make balanced meals with ease.
About the Author – Casey-Lee Lyons
Casey-Lee is a naturopath, nutritionist, recipe developer and founder of Live Love Nourish. She is passionate about inspiring health and happiness through easy-to-understand nutritional and lifestyle advice. Casey-Lee’s refreshing approach to gluten, dairy and sugar-free nutrition has helped many people improve their health, increase energy, find their natural weight, improve gut and digestive health, balance hormones, heal cravings and more.