Sharing some tips about sugar cravings, healthy foods to curb them, why you should enjoy a sweet treat when you want one, and why fueling yourself throughout the day is the key to feeling satisfied and energized.
Hi friends! How’s the day going? We’re off for some California adventures. Soooooo ready! I hope you have a wonderful day, too. 🙂
For today’s post, let’s talk about sugar cravings!
Sugar cravings make you feel the urge to eat something sweet, and it’s super common. It can also lead to overeating, as tons of sugary foods can satisfy your sweet tooth for a second, but also make you feel hungry and wanting more just as quickly. Some of tet causes of sugar cravings include: poor sleep quality, hormones (oh hey, PMS), being dehydrated, restrictive eating styles, and deprivation throughout the day. Today, I’m sharing a roundup of foods and strategies I enjoy to conquer sugar cravings and hope that these tips are helpful for ya.
Healthy foods to curb sugar cravings
(10 years ago, I would have never posted these pics. My posture is slouchy and I don’t like the way my stomach looks. But, this is real life, and this is my real body, so there ya go.)
Make sure you’re getting enough protein
Protein is the building block of our cells and also adds a satiety factor to our meals. They’re so much more filling when there’s a protein component, and as it’s important to preserve muscle tissue as we age, protein intake continues to be something you should focus on in your meals and snacks.
Some sources of protein you might consider:
– Greek yogurt
– Cottage cheese
– Fish (shellfish, salmon, tuna)
– Red meat
– A quality protein powder
Get fiber throughout the day
Foods that are high in fiber are also high in micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) and antioxidants, plus they can improve digestion. In your meals and snacks, try to include veggies with high water content, and eat the colors of the rainbow throughout the day. Each week, I like to grab a ton of veggies and roast them on a sheet pan. I’ll add these veggies to wraps, scrambles, and salads throughout the week. (Also, when you roast them, it makes them easier to digest. If you have a hard time digesting raw salads, roasted veggies may be an awesome solution.)
I’m also a huge fan of fermented foods, like kimchi and sauerkraut, and chia seeds increase fiber intake.
Foods that are naturally sweet can also be sources of fiber in your diet, like fruit! I love berries, or a couple of medjool dates stuffed with peanut butter and topped with sea salt.
Enjoy a balanced diet
When you eat a balanced diet of carbs, proteins, and healthy fats, you can feel more satisfied and experience more stable blood sugar levels throughout the day. A well-rounded plate might look something like a palm-sized serving of rotisserie chicken, a baked sweet potato, and a greens salad (with lots of chopped veggies) drizzled with olive oil. Meals don’t have to be fancy to be super delicious and satisfying!
Some go-to combos of protein, carbs, healthy fats, and veggies are in this post of healthy breakfasts, lunches, and dinners!
Focus on quality sleep
Poor sleep makes candy and sweet treats look a thousand times more appetizing. Your body craves the sugar for a quick glucose and energy boost, but unfortunately, it leads to a quick crash. The cycle repeats itself.
When Liv was a newborn and we were SO sleep-deprived, I ate out of the Costo dark chocolate acai bag every.single.day.
It can be hard to focus on sleep (especially if you have small children), but here are some tips:
– Set a bedtime each night and spend at least an hour before bed winding down
– Create an evening routine, so your body expects that sleep is on the way
– Try to turn down lights and shut off electronics 2 hours before bed. Instead, read a book, chat or play a low-key board game with the fam, or work on a puzzle, or enjoy a golden milk latte
– Have your last meal at least 3 hours before bedtime. When you’re working to digest food throughout the night, this increases tissue temperature and heart rate, which can make restful sleep extremely difficult.
Watch your workouts
Frequent intense workouts (like HIIT) are likely going to make you more hungry and want to eat sugar all the livelong day. Take a look at your fitness plan and make sure that it’s a balanced mix of strength (working every major muscle group), cardio, HIIT (max 2x a week), and rest. If you need help creating a balanced fitness plan, check out this free download I created.
Let yourself have (and enjoy!) the dang sweet
If you find that you’re truly craving a sweet treat, I’m a big believer in giving yourself permission to have it and ENJOY IT. You want a cupcake or candy bar? Eat it, enjoy every bite. Then, move on with your life. You don’t have to earn food through exercise, you don’t need to feel bad or guilty when you have dessert, and life is meant to be enjoyed, mmm k?
(PSA the donuts from Whole Foods bakery are out.of.this.world. Light, fluffy, flavorful, delicious.)
Work with a professional to figure out the cause of your cravings and help you determine a solid nutrition strategy
If you need more personalized help, it can be extremely valuable to work with a Registered Dietitian to determine an eating strategy that suits your lifestyle, medical history, and current goals. We currently have a few private coaching spots available. You’d be working with me and our team RD to develop a fitness and nutrition game plan for optimal energy, happy, balanced hormones, and body composition goals. If you’re interested in the details, just email me NUTRITION INFO at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll send the application your way!
So, tell me friends: do you crave a lot of sugar and sweet treats? What are some of your favorite go-to protein sources and veggies?