So after cutting sugar and gluten from my diet for 8 weeks (killer by the way), I thought I would talk about something I’ve really struggled with recently:
You know that feeling, you’ve had a break from clean eating, eaten a load of sugar, and all you can think about is when you can eat your next chocolate bar… I’m sure you all know those weekends when you eat more chocolate than you can imagine! It’s hard to resist when you’re constantly surrounded by so much temptation – and you should definitely not feel bad about treating yourself!
The only problem is, when we stuff our faces full of sugar, what next? Our bodies get used to this intake and once you stop it, the cravings come back! This has always been the hardest part for me. I gave up refined sugar quite recently due to digestive issues, and all in all I felt SO much better for it. I definitely still have cravings but after a few weeks your body adjusts and doesn’t crave it as much. It’s fairly simple really, the more sugar you eat the more your body craves it, and vice versa. Those first few weeks of reducing or giving up sugar are really tough, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t struggle. However, I found a few things that helped me below.
Always be prepared
Make sure you have snacks on hand. This is the biggest one for me as I am ALWAYS hungry. Especially when it hits 3pm at work I’ll always have a snack, and if I haven’t planned well enough it’s easy to give into the office biscuits or vending machine that’s readily available. I like to have snacks like rice cakes, fruit, yogurt and muesli or a protein bar ready for these occasions.
Try and eat more ‘slow release carbs’
By this I mean brown rice, quinoa or oats. Have you ever had a pizza and really craved sweet food even though you’re really full? If you fill yourself up on lots of white carbs or starchy foods you’re likely to have sugar cravings as it throws your blood sugar levels off balance. I’m not saying cut them out all together, but trying to limit these foods and eating slow release carbs will not only help you feel more full, but help to lower those cravings. There is absolutely no need to cut out carbs all together, it’s about being selective of the ones you eat.
Protein is your best friend
Eat more protein! Something I’ve started to do recently as I’m trying to eat more in general. Protein keeps you feeling fuller for longer and helps keep sugar cravings at bay as it stabilises your blood sugar levels. I always try and have protein with every meal, and if I can I try and have snacks that are high in protein too.
Oh we’ve all been there. A bad day at work, a low motivation day, receiving some bad news. I used to 100% be an emotional eater – and probably still am occasionally. This is a hard one. If your first point of call is to buy a tub of Ben & Jerry’s and eat the whole thing (I don’t blame you here) take a moment and think. Think about what else you can do to make yourself feel better. Maybe going for a walk or a run, have a hot drink, talk with a friend. Try and think what you’re doing before reaching for the sugar filled treat. Trust me, once you’ve started it’s almost impossible to stop (unless you have some insane willpower please can you teach me!) so stopping yourself before you get to that stage is always the best option.
Have a goal in mind
Maybe it’s an upcoming holiday or wedding that you would like to lose a few pounds for. Remember exactly why you’re doing it and keep yourself motivated to stick to your plan.
All in all, I definitely wouldn’t say you need to completely cut sugar from your diet. I think having a treat now and again is absolutely fine – this doesn’t make you unhealthy! It also stops you from binging if you allow yourself a treat occasionally. I found these tips really good for helping my cravings – so hopeylly they will help you too!