I went on a holiday a few weeks ago. We went to Hobart in Tasmania, south of Australia (where I’m from), and it was absolutely beautiful. We managed to just catch the first bit of snow falling while we were there.
Something we had never experienced before, so it just made our time away even more special.
One of the other things that made our time special, and I’m sure you’ll agree with me here, is trying all the lovely restaurants and local produce they have to offer while on holiday. We had burgers, chips, pub meals, fish and chips, chocolate fudge, cheese platters, oyster platters, you name it – we may have also sat down to a big bucket of KFC chicken because we didn’t have our son, and apparently that’s what you do when you don’t have kids with you?? (Yeah I dunno…)
Needless to say, we enjoyed ourselves. We are big foodies and we just didn’t care what we ate unless it was good.
Until we got home. Well, until I got home. Mister B is just one of those men that seem to be able to devour anything and everything and hardly put it on. I eat a square of chocolate and turn into a hippo.
So when I got home, my jeans weren’t as comfortable; I felt uncomfortable and sluggish; my skin was breaking out; and my hair was extra oily than usual. My body was screaming at me for the bad food I’d eaten, and so here I am, now back to getting my healthy eating on track and fighting off the damn sugar cravings I had picked up on our holiday.
One week is all it takes, and it may take about a month before I’m feeling relatively good again and healthy! BLAH!
So today, I’m sharing with you some tips that I’m currently doing to ward off the damn cravings, and the sugar talk, because I know that a lot of you are like me, and those pesky delicious foods are talking to you!
Do you know how long a standard craving lasts for? … For approx. 3 minutes (Ref)
Then why are they so bloody hard to get through?
Because your brain has become addicted to the sugar. In fact, scientists have found that your brain reacts to sugar the same way it would with cocaine (Ref). It’s actually a common argument that sugar should be classed as a drug because of this effect.
So how can you beat the initial craving? Do something to distract yourself for those 3 minutes! Here’s a few options for you, to help you out..
What to do in 3 Minutes to Boost your Health Journey, not defeat it.
Go for a brisk walk around the block
Sweep or mop the floor
Drinking a glass of water
Read a chapter in a book
Check your emails
Have a shower
Tap your forehead until it passes – Apparently this reduces the intensity and length of the cravings (Ref)
Are You Hungry?, or Are You Stressed?
What are your emotions right now? Sometimes, high stress levels can be a trigger for cravings, as a way to soothe the emotions. One of the best ways to figure this out is to track your food and your emotions.
You may find over a few days of doing this, that you have cravings for food during a certain time of day or after you’ve done something that either exhausted or stressed you out. If you suffer from anxiety, this can be a real issue for you, and sometimes it is best to meditate to calm your mind and body instead of surrendering to the cravings themselves.
I have created a free Daily Health Tracker printable, as part of my Fundamentals of Healthy Eating series, which you can find here. Print it out and track your emotions to see what triggers you.
So you’re not stressed, and you’ve tried distracting yourself during your craving.
What are some other ways you can beat the cravings? ….
By being prepared!
Below are some tips to help you overcome any cravings before they hit, and stop the likelihood of succumbing to them if they get you at a weak spot.
#1 – Throw out the bad stuff!
First things first, you need to venture to the pantry.
NOOOO, not to look at it and entice those cravings more.
Get out the chocolate, chips, anything hiding in the back and either give it to your husband to take to work, or give it to the bin – there’s a reason the bin looks like it has a mouth.
You’re going to stop cravings in their tracks, by at least making sure there isn’t anything there that makes those foods.
#2 – It’s time to meal plan!
This is one of the most crucial steps you need to take when it comes to healthy eating. Shopping without a meal plan = unhealthy meals. Shopping with a hungry stomach = unhealthy meals. Take on these two tricks and you’ll be shopping quicker, healthier, and cheaper!
#3 – Fuel up with protein and fibre!
These two dynamos are going to keep the cravings at bay, and keep you fuller for longer too. Your energy will be steady and so will your pooping system (tmi?), but with all that in check, it helps to calm cravings so all you need to worry about is the cravings that come when you are in fact hungry.
Some great protein and fibre enriched meals include lean meats like chicken, and fish, with some good vegies or salad, even a clean rye sandwich with ham, salad and some feta.
You can do the same with snacks like yoghurt with fruit, celery with peanut butter, or a handful of natural good-for-you crackers with some homemade dip.
The great thing about some of these is that they are easy to grab and go too. Pack ’em for while your at work, so no matter what, you have healthy choices where ever you go.
If you’d like to know more about healthy alternatives, and correct portion sizes, my Fundamentals of Healthy Eating series is for you! You can read it here, and grab free goodies for your health journey too.
#4 – Swap sugar for sugar!
Swapping white sugar for natural sugars like honey, maple syrup, stevia, natvia, xylitol etc means that you can make your cake and eat it too. But it needs to be in moderation!
Do you like your coffee?? Then you’re like me! I substitute my sugar in my coffee for natvia or xylitol, which still adds the sweetness but much better for you. If you have a few coffees during the day, you’d be surprised at how much sugar you really are consuming.
Same with baked goods – one extra tip for you is to seriously make it yourself, because there are so many hidden sugars in store-bought foods, even bread! On pinterest, there are many healthy recipes you can find that replace the unhealthy ones.
If you follow my blog (there’s a button to the right to follow me!), each week I post up a Juicy Fact talking about the health benefits of a popular food you probably eat most days and I share healthy recipes to use them in, so this would be a useful tool for you to learn some healthy substitute meals for the not-so-healthies.
#5 – Drink some water!
We can commonly mistake what we think is hunger, for thirst. The brain creates the same signal, so instead of wanting some food, you may just want a good glass of water!
Try to aim for 8 glasses of water a day – this helps the body filter out toxins, and keep your body nicely hydrated to work efficiently. Grab another glass for each half hour of exercise, and if your pee is yellow, drink some more til it’s clear!
#6 – Bulk up!
This has to be one of the most important ways to stop cravings in their tracks. If you have already-to-go snacks in your kitchen, you are going to be able to just grab them when your hungry and less likely to listen to the devil on your shoulder.
Section a day out of your week to bulk prepare snack foods to freeze, or have in the fridge for lunches. As I said before, Pinterest has many healthy substitutes for common snack foods, and you may find some articles specific to bulk meal prep that can help you out!
Next week, I’ll be sharing with you my Bulk Cooking Tips for easy meal prepping, which will be beneficial to help you with stopping cravings in their tracks. And, if you get the bulk prep fever, the week after I have some amazing recipes I’ve tried out to help you create Slow Cooker Freezer Meals! Don’t forget to follow me so you can grab these right in your inbox!
I hope that you have found these tips helpful, and can use them in your daily life to improve your health journey and keep those pesky voices at bay. I know it is super hard when you are wired with sugar cravings, especially while detoxing, but if you stick by these tips, and distract yourself with healthy habits, it won’t be long before you can think freely and feel great!!
If you have any tips you’d also like to share, or some healthy snacks that fill you up to keep the cravings away, please share below! You may just help somebody out – or even me!