Ahh, the dreaded question, “how do I manage or decrease my sugar cravings?” Well, its actually a little simpler than you think, says the registered dietitian! Let’s jump right into it.
Strategy #1: Habitual change
There are several strategies and approaches we can take to minimize our cravings for ANYTHING! The biggest suggestion that I have, that will impact not only your cravings but your overall health in general is this; make your best effort to eat something every 2-4 hours, whether it be a full meal or a snack (if you choose a snack, please be sure to pair protein and carbohydrate together, but, we’ll get to that part). By doing this, we’re effectively managing our blood sugars. This is going to make sure I energy levels don’t go from high highs to low lows. When our blood sugar rapidly rises and rapidly falls, we’re increasing our carbohydrate sensitivity, meaning, it will continue on with this path and you may experience things like fatigue, lethargy, diarrhea, gas, bloating, etc.
Now, why is it so important that we’re pairing a protein and a carbohydrate together? Well, your body expends more energy to digest protein. This will leave you feeling fuller longer, but it also causes the body to work a little harder during digestion, which in turn does NOT spike your blood sugars quite as much. Here are a few of my dietitian-approvedFAVORITE snacks:
2 hard boiled eggs + 2oz of cheese
Chocolate milk (the gold-standard post workout)
Carrot sticks OR pretzel thins & hummus
Sliced veggies + ranch (I mix some plain greek yogurt with a dry ranch seasoning to make a high protein ranch dressing. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed!)
Cottage cheese + peaches
Strategy #2: Let’s train the gut!
As a dietitian, I spend A LOT of my time doing research, reading the latest research articles, newly released books, watching webinars, and professional meetings so I can be sure I’m bringing the latest and greatest information to all of you. So, here is what the current research and researchers are saying about SWEET cravings: Researchers examined gut bacteria in those with chocolate cravings. The findings showed that the little bacteria that lives in your gut can manipulate your behavior by altering your taste receptors (did you know that virtually all of your hormones are produced in your gut?) To crave more of the foods that help them to grow. This means that those with strong sweet cravings have a more profound population of bacteria that are nourished from sugar. So, to minimize this, is to take away their food source so the bacteria die off.
Now, I take an “all foods fit” approach to nutrition. Meaning, I don’t think we need to remove ANYTHING from our diet. You’ll never hear me say we need to remove cakes, cookies, candy, sweets, etc. I think they all have a time and place. But, by minimizing our intake of those not so beneficial foods, we’re also supporting our gut microbiome that in turn supports all aspects of our health; mood, mental health, physical health, and so on! All of these are very small, reasonable changes that I think will make a BIG difference for you, your health, and your energy levels in the future! If you try it, PLEASE let me know how you’re feeling after a week or two. I always love to hear how things are progressing!
If you’ve got any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at email@example.com or swing into my office inside the Buffalo location!