10 Tips to Banish Cravings For Good
Do you get cravings, or feel fatigue, irritable and tired when you miss a meal? Perhaps you have poor memory and concentration, afternoon fatigue and fat storing around the middle? These are all symptoms of a blood sugar imbalance.
What is blood sugar?
Blood sugar refers to the levels of glucose in the blood. When we eat foods that are high in carbohydrates such as bread, pasta, potatoes and cereal they are broken down in our digestive system into the molecule glucose. This glucose is released into the blood stream, and triggers the release of the hormone insulin. Insulin’s job is to push the glucose into the cells in the body where its converted to energy. However, if the cells have enough energy, or if we’re not utilising this sufficiently, the excess glucose is converted to fat and stored around the middle.
So what does all of this mean?
Ideally blood sugar levels should gently rise and fall throughout the day. However, for some people when the levels of glucose lurches from very high to low, we call it a blood sugar imbalance. When blood sugar comes down it’s around this time that we get the afternoon slump and brain fog. The body is very intuitive, it knows that it can get the quickest fix of glucose from sugar and so it triggers cravings for sugars or caffeine and soon we’re at the vending machine washing down a snickers with a cup of coffee and our blood sugar shoots up and the cycle begins again. So how can you balance your blood sugar? Below are top 10 tips to balancing blood sugar and reducing cravings.
10 Tips to Reducing Cravings:
1. Eat Little and Often
Try to eat every few hours and never miss meals, especially breakfast. Hunger puts a stress on the body and stress also has an impact on our blood sugar levels
2. Eat Complex Carbohydrates
Replacing refined/processed foods such as white bread, pasta and rice or processed meals with plenty of fibre-rich whole foods, such as wholegrain bread, brown rice, oats and whole-wheat pasta will help balance blood sugar
3. Avoid Sugary Foods
It goes without saying that sugary foods such as sweets, cakes, fizzy drinks and biscuits will spike blood sugar and increase your cravings
4. Consume Good Quality Protein/ Fat with Carbohydrates
Protein and fats digest slower so making sure to have a good quality protein or fats such as fish, meat, eggs, lentils, beans, nuts and seeds will help to slow down the digestion of carbohydrates.
5. Limit Intake of Stimulants
Caffeine can also contribute to a rise in blood sugar so limiting tea, coffee, chocolate, energy drinks, over the counter medication, alcohol or nicotine will help also.
6. Increase Regular Exercise
Physical activity may help to regulate blood sugar levels.
Cinnamon has many therapeutic effects and balancing blood sugar is right up there. Adding a teaspoon to your porridge in the morning will help balance your blood sugar from the get go.
8. Never Skip Breakfast
Breakfast is important for many reasons one of them being blood sugar balance. If you can have a good breakfast with protein, fats and carbohydrates you will reduce the chance of cravings during the day.
9. Reduce Stress
Stress can also impact blood sugar by triggering the release of glucose also so implementing some relaxation exercises such as deep breathing, walking, hanging out with friends or getting a massage can have great benefits
10. Try Rye Bread
Rye also has great therapeutic benefits for managing blood sugar and thus cravings. Great option for a blood sugar balancing lunch or a snack with some good quality protein.
Try these tips and let us know if you feel a difference. Many people with have felt a difference in their cravings and energy in only a week after implementing these tips.
If you want to learn more our podcast “Cravings and Binge Eating” is available now.
Looking for a way to boost your mood? Join Elysia’s Good Mood Food programme now!
Elysia Doody is a Functional Nutritionist & Exercise Coach specialising in female health and wellness.
She’s embraced Functional Medicine to address her health concerns, and is now helping as many women as possible in a similar position. Taking everything she’s learned through education, her own health, and working with clients, she’s keen to share it all through online programmes.