Cravings for sugar and the carbohydrates that act like sugar are the bane of each of us who is striving to make healthier lifestyle choices. Those pesky cravings are often triggered by eating high glycemic carbs, but can also be caused by such things as medication, hormonal surges and boredom.
High glycemic carbohydrates cause surges in your blood sugar. They also cause a sudden drop in energy shortly afterward, leaving you with late-morning and late-afternoon tiredness and often the desire for a nap. The best way to gain control is to break the cycle, eliminate the carbs that trigger the cravings. It is not easy, but the reward is worth the first few weeks of "withdrawal". Your blood sugar should begin to stabilize, you should have more energy and your body should gradually reach a healthy level for you.
Here are some strategies that have worked for many people:
- Eliminate all carbohydrates and drinks that are above 35 on the glycemic index for at least 2 weeks. You may experience headaches and lightheadedness, but this will pass. Your body wants its expected carb-rush. (Click here for the Glycemic Index. ) After the first few weeks, you can being adding foods higher on the index, but try to stay on the lower half.
- Do eat three meals each day, along with low glycemic, high protein snacks (like eggs, nuts, cheese, peanut butter, etc). Cravings for sweets can be caused by too little protein in your diet.
- Do control your portion size. After the first few weeks you will find that you are satisfied with less food. The food you will be eating will be richer in nutrients than are starchy and sugary carbs.
- Add spices to your food. Cinnamon, cloves, and bay leaf have been shown to be helpful in reducing sugar cravings.
- Drink lots of water. Keep water at your desk or on hand during the day and in the evening. Your intake of other beverages does not count toward your water intake.
- When drinking juice, choose lower glycemic juices like apple juice and orange juice, and do dilute them with water. A better choice is to eat the whole fruit and drink water. A serving of juice is very small, four ounces. An eight-ounce glass of juice is too much. Avoid high glycemic fruits altogether.
- Never drink soft drinks. Sugar free drinks can interfere with a proper calcium-phosphorus ratio.
- Include chromium rich foods in your choices. These include mushrooms, peanuts, dried beans.
- Ginseng and green tea have been shown to be helpful in stabilizing blood sugar. Sip on these with your meals or snacks.
- Supplements are often helpful in controlling your cravings: a good mineral supplement, high potency B-complex vitamins with biotin, glutamic acid (L-glutamine) and chromium picolinate. Some available supplements are formulated specifically for blood sugar support. Be aware that it can take up to three days for the supplements to begin to work. Give it time.
- Caffeine can create problems with blood sugar. It can create a desire to overeat later. If you have noticed that this is happening for you, try to eliminate or cut back on caffeine.
- Artificial sweeteners can trigger sugar cravings in some people. Be aware of your own body's response to these sweeteners and to other foods.
- Make yourself move. Even moderate exercise can help to control your appetite.
- Some medications can raise your blood sugar. Be sure to talk with your doctor if you are on medications and ask about possible alternatives if needed.
- Never eat in the dark. People tend to eat more in dim lighting.
- One last suggestion that may work is to brush your teeth when the temptation for sweets creeps in.
The most important way to succeed is to pay attention to your body. Decide what works with your lifestyle. Many people are helped by keeping a food journal and writing down everything they eat.
Find the strategies that work best for you and incorporate them into your lifestyle. And, don't give up! It takes longer for some than for others. For instance, women especially have a harder time controlling cravings and blood sugar because estrogen can elevate insulin.
Let us know which strategies work best for you by logging in to our forum. Your contribution might be of help to someone else.
Taken from: http://www.shakeoffthesugar.net/sugar-cravings.html