Ways to Beat Sugar Cravings this Summer
If you have good intentions of eating healthy, but get sidetracked by sweets, you’re not alone! With summer right around the corner, it can be even more of a challenge. The good news is there are ways to beat sugar cravings this summer so that you don’t gain extra weight.
During the summer, many of us eat way more sugar than our bodies can handle. There are parties, picnics, and cookouts to go to, and every event brings with it all sorts of sweet temptations. Not to mention those hot sweltering days when it seems a sugary drink or an ice cream cone are the only way to cool off.
Sometimes you just want to relax and give in to all the tantalizing treats. But unless you want to put on the pounds in the next few months, you should still be careful of what you’re putting into your body.
Free yourself from your cravings this summer with these tips and take back your power by phasing them out for good.
Don’t forget to snag your free copy of my Ultimate Guide to Sugar Ebook at the end of this post!
Why do we crave sugar?
Sugar cravings are one of the biggest challenges many of us face when choosing a healthy, nourishing diet.
The occasional sweet treat can be a wonderful indulgence and part of a healthy balanced life. And there can be a lot of good reasons for your cravings.
Sugar cravings could be the result of external influences such as too much stress or not enough sleep. Or they could be a result of low levels of essential nutrients like chromium and magnesium.
The number one and number two reasons we see sugar cravings in the office are from parasites and fungus. These micro-organisms feed off off sugar so they will actually make you crave it to stay alive and proliferate. These are things we can handle in our office so if you are experiencing sugar cravings, changes in digestions, or other symptoms, be sure to contact us! We can help!
Alternatively, you might be experiencing low energy. Because your brain needs glucose to perform well and glucose is a form of sugar, your brain can send signals to replenish low glucose levels with sugar.
Even feelings of depression and boredom can lead to sugar cravings.
What can you do?
If you feel that your sugar consumption is out of control and you want to rein it in, try reducing your intake for at least two weeks. It typically takes this amount of time to wean your body off of it and start noticing the benefits such as better fitting clothes, more energy and improved mental clarity.
You don’t have to give up sugar forever, just work to find your healthy balance and when necessary, take a little sugar vacation!
In addition to to the ways to deal with sugar cravings listed below, and handling micro-organisms like I listed above, you may be deficient in B Vitamins as well. This is very true for vegans and vegetarians, but also for the majority of the population who are not eating enough B Vitamin-rich foods or who are taking synthetic B Vitamins only. We use a combination of B whole food B Vitamins from Standard Process along with Gymnema from MediHerb to help both nourish the body with B’s and help curb sugar cravings.
Here are some easy ways to better deal with your sugar cravings this summer.
- Drink water
Sometimes sweet cravings are a sign of dehydration. Before you head for the sugar, have a glass of water and then wait a few minutes to see what happens. Switching water for some of the soda, alcohol, flavored water, fruit drinks, and other sweetened beverages you drink can go a long way to reducing your sugar consumption, too.
Make sure you have a filter to take the chlorine or chloramines out of your water. Any filter is better than no filter.
- Eat vegetables and fruit
They are sweet, healthy and delicious. Make sure to keep your fridge stocked with them so you can grab one when a sweet tooth craving strikes. Just be careful not to overdo fruits, especially if you have any immune system challenges. Fructose (fruit sugar) hits the system faster than regular sugar and can still feed the “bugs”.
Look for produce low on the glycemic index. Cucumbers, celery, and berries are good choices of veggies and fruits with less sugar. Remember to eat organic whenever possible. Check out the EWG.org Clean Fifteen and Dirty Dozen list to help navigate the safest produce.
- Include fiber, lean protein and healthy fats
If you do decide to indulge in a refined sugar food, try to pair it with other foods that are high in fiber, lean protein and healthy fats to keep you from entering the blood-sugar surge cycle.
When I was trying to get off sugar, my go-to snack was celery with almond or cashew but. A little bit crunchy, a little bit salty, and a little bit sweet. Perfect!
- Use gentle sweeteners
Avoid artificial sweeteners and processed foods with added sugar. Use gentle sweeteners like maple syrup, coconut sugar, brown rice syrup or stevia, instead.
A little bit of sweetener sometimes is fine. It is when sweets become a regular part of your daily eating that they become an issue. There are healthier sugar options like those mentioned above because they have all of their minerals and enzymes still intact and not stripped away like white sugar does.
5.Get physically active
If you don’t currently exercise regularly, try simple activities like walking or yoga. Start with ten minutes a day and gradually increase from there. It will help balance your blood sugar levels, boost your energy, and reduce tension without medicating yourself with sugar.
The older you get the harder it is to keep muscle tone and stay fit. Exercise motivates you to eat healthier.
[If you have a fitness service or product, offer it here.]
- Get more sleep, rest, and relaxation
When you are tired or stressed, your body will crave energy, often in the form of sugar. These cravings can be a result typically of being sleep-deprived, going to bed too late or waking up too early.
- Pay attention to the ingredients
Despite the “healthy” claims on the packaging of fat-free or low-fat packaged snack foods, these foods often contain high quantities of sugar to compensate for lack of flavor and fat. That added sugar can send you on the roller-coaster ride of sugar ups and downs. You’re much better off choosing snacks without added sugar.
- Add a little spice
Variety is the spice of life! Cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, coriander and cardamom will naturally sweeten your food, reduce cravings and have been shown to reduce insulin resistance.
Spices are also anti-inflammatory and excellent for the immune system so don’t be afraid to liven up your food!
- Find sweetness without food
Your body does not biologically need sugar, but it does long for hugs, time with friends, time outdoors, workouts, massages, etc. When life comes sweet enough in and of itself, less sugar is necessary.
There you have it. Some great easy ways to deal with your cravings. Remember, we can help you at our offices if you are struggling with sugar!
Do you have other ideas and suggestions on ways to beat sugar cravings that have worked for you? I would love to have you share them with us.
Be Well & Thrive!
With Love & In Health,
Sarah Outlaw, MH, MSACN
-For more information on who we are and what we do at Natural Health Improvement Center of South Jersey and Natural Health Improvement Center of Des Moines, browse the rest of our website. We practice Root Cause Nutrition and offer Nutritional Coaching, Nutrition Response Testing, Functional Nutrition, Herbal Medicine, and Homeopathy. We also offer detox services including an infrared sauna, and PEMF (pulsed electromagnetic field therapy mat, and foot bath(DSM office). We are on the front lines of wellness for you!