Natural Health and Wellness for the Whole Family

Conquering Sugar Cravings

By Joanne Aponte, ND July 24, 2017

Cravings for sugar can be pretty intense for people on special diets whether it is the Anti-candida diet, a weight loss diet or when switching to a paleo diet for example. There are several dietary principles that can help ease these cravings. While you must be firm and dedicated in your quest to eliminate sugar and refined carbohydrates, it’s also important to remember that the “sweet” flavor is part of a healthy balanced diet. There should be no guilt that you need a little sweetness in your diet. Below are 8 ideas to help you eliminate sugar and refined breads, pastas and pastries from your diet.  Good luck!!

Remember, the first 10-14 days on a sugar free diet are the hardest, so hang in there!

  1. Include protein and a healthy fat at each meal and snack. These foods will help satisfy your hunger and keep your blood sugar stable.
    1. Protein sources include animal protein (chicken, turkey etc), fish, beans and legumes, nuts and seeds.
    2. Good fat choices include oils (olive, coconut, flax), coconut milk, coconut manna, avocado, eggs.
  2. Add a protein shake as a snack when hungry.
  3. Have a trail mix on hand for a snack with nuts/seeds, unsweetened coconut flakes and carob chips.
  4. Eat fruit as your sweet snack
    1. Combine fruit with nuts and seeds or a piece of organic cheese to keep you full.
    2. Try baking your fruit such as baked apples or pears with a little ghee and vanilla. Or try this simple berry crisp: http://wellnessmama.com/3740/very-berry-cobbler/.
  5. Choose healthy alternatives
    1. Instead of ice-cream have some plain yogurt with berries and chia seeds or blend coconut milk with berries or mango and a splash of vanilla.
    2. Instead of pasta noodles use spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles (“zoodles”)
    3. Instead of bread eat brown rice cakes. Add some nut butter or hummus on top.
    4. Instead of potato chips, try cut up veggies with some avocado (for fat) and salsa.
    5. Instead of pudding have applesauce
  6. Use natural sweeteners in small amounts such as pure maple syrup and raw honey to satisfy sweet cravings. If on a no-sweetener diet use  a little stevia or xylitol. Many of your favorite recipes can be made with these sweeteners instead of sugar.
  7. Find a substitute to keep your mind off of it. Often, we eat out of habit. Sometimes hunger has more to do with emotions that with real hunger. Find something that works for you, a healthy alternative to do instead of grabbing the bread or piece of cake. Here are some ideas
    1. Find an herbal tea you like and drink this when you are craving things. Rooibos tea has a nice flavor and is a good source of antioxidants.
    2. Exercise
    3. Drink Vegetable or bone broths. The extra minerals and nutrients from broths can help take the edge off. Not only will it give you something to do but sometimes when you have cravings and hunger it’s because your body is craving more nutrition.
  8. Choose ONE day per week when you allow yourself to eat just about anything you want and have NO GUILT over it. Eat within reason of course but treat yourself to a delicious meal or dessert and enjoy every second of it. Chew slowly and consciously and make it last!!!

Take it one step at a time. It takes practice and time to change the diet. Prepare your weekly meal plan ahead of time to prevent grabbing something on the go that does not meet your diet’s requirements. Remember, you may not be eating sugar but there are plenty of delicious and nutrient dense foods for you to enjoy!

 

Editor’s Note: The information in this article is intended for your educational use only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health practitioners with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health program.


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