Battling sugar cravings and hunger is a normal, and often very challenging, part of your weight loss journey.
Many of our patients talk about food cravings and a “love of sugar”, – and the difficulty they have in controlling these cravings. Sugary foods – like cakes, chocolate or sweets – can give a release of our “feel good” chemicals like serotonin, dopamine and endorphins. This “mood boost” only serves to reinforce the desire for that sweet food next time we are tired, stressed or simply exposed to the food again!
Here are our top 5 tips to dodge those sugar cravings and keep your weight loss journey on track!
Tip #1: Detox from sugar!
Sugar is like an addictive drug! The more we have the more we want. It stimulates the reward centre in your brain and like a drug of addiction. We build up a “tolerance” and need more and more to have the same pleasurable effect.
Believe it or not, when you cut out refined sugars, you actually crave them less. Instead, turn to low GI, unprocessed carbohydrates in your diet, like sweet potato, lentils, legumes or fruit.
Tip #2: A Diet that Suppresses Appetite
For many people who struggle with weight, the cravings are hard to control, because they are often feeling hungry – there is a strong biological drive to eat and it can be hard to ignore!
We can assist you with a dietary intervention that helps suppress appetite and works in with your lifestyle. Many patients find that after achieving their goal weight, they find themselves report that no longer hanging around the pantry or searching for extra snacks after a nutritious dinner!
Tip #3: Eat Protein
if you are feeling peckish a lot of the time, then make sure you are having adequate protein in your diet. Each meal should contain some protein e.g. an omelette for breakfast, chicken and salad for lunch, salmon and vegetables for dinner, or even just a snack e.g. Greek yoghurt and berries.
Tip #4: Exercise
Going for a short walk or getting some exercise can help to stimulate some of those same natural “feel good” chemicals like serotonin and dopamine that we get from eating sugar.
It is also hard to eat when you are exercising, so if night time cravings are a temptation for you, then why not try going out for a walk after dinner or jump on the treadmill.
Exercise is also a great way to deal with stress, which can be another big cause of sugar cravings!
Tip #5: Ask yourself if you need sugar or if you’re just thirsty!
Sometimes we mistake thirst for hunger and so we eat instead of drinking water which is often what our bodies actually need. Having 2 glasses of water 30mins prior to your meal can help to stretch the stomach and activate the first feelings of fullness, which helps to curb appetite and prevent overeating.