Must. Have. Sugar!!! Sound familiar?
The struggle is real: Sugar is 8 times more “addicting” to our brains than cocaine, making sugar (artificial sweeteners included) one of the top drugs in America.
The best way to get over your craving?
Segway—to other foods that could meet your need.
Instead of getting into the diet mentality—and psyching yourself up that you “must cut out sugar, or else!”—instead, substitute your cravings with another type of snack that may be the “missing link” you were missing all along (like healthy fats).
Often times, the reason sugar cravings strike is because we are experiencing a dip in our blood sugar levels at a cellular level. When this happens, all we want are the cookies, Halo Top, In addition, many people try to “kick their cravings” with artificial sweeteners. However, research shows that artificial sweeteners—stevia included—only turn up our need (and craving) for sugar, and more sweeteners, even more.
For instance, one study showed that fruit flies fed sucralose (i.e. Splenda) ended up consuming 30 percent more daily calories when they had access to naturally sweetened food. When the researchers removed the sucralose, the effect vanished. They concluded that when the brain’s reward centers experience sweet flavor sensations the ‘need’ for nourishment is also turned on. Since the fake sweetener doesn’t deliver the expected calories, the flies went looking for more calorie-rich food to restore balance.
No more pulls and tugs necessary with these tips and snack ideas to help satisfy any “sweet tooth” that seems like a lost cause!
6 Tips to Curb Sugar Cravings
- . Cook with Ghee, Butter, Coconut Oil, Avocado Oil & Olive Oil. Olive oil is best for low-medium heat foods (like sautéing veggies), where as the other fats do well with higher temp. cooking.
- Start the day off with a protein-fat based breakfast, and opt for a protein or fat at snack time. Satiating and help curb sugar cravings.
- 3. Add citrus like grapefruit, lemon, orange, or cucumber/mint to your water, and end a meal with cinnamon or hazelnut tea
- Cut back on fruit. Fruit is great but if you’ve been a sugar abuser, sometimes snacking more on fruit only perpetuates cravings.
- Have your cake and eat it too. Find simple swaps for your old sugar habits (check out today’s bonus recipe) and eat with a “nourished” (least restrictive) mindset. When you pose sugar as “off limits,” then it makes you want more. Aim for balanced meals, and, occasionally enjoy a cookie or piece of chocolate—(one, not 24).
- Try these sugar-swap rituals:
- Eat breakfast a little later or up your protein/fat at the meal to stave off the 10 a.m. dip
- Stay prepared—keep a baggie of nuts, jerky or coconut butter packet in your purse
- Brush your teeth after meals
- Get up and move during your afternoon slump—walk, take a break, run an errand, do something
- Order a tea and savor it
Sugar Swap Snack Ideas
Eat a snack with protein or fat when a sugar craving strikes to give your body what it’s really asking for (lasting energy), like one of these snacks:
- Cacao Nibs—Pure raw cocoa, or Coconut Chip Crisps
- Cinnamon or Chai Tea with a splash of Coconut Milk
- Coconut Butter
- Cinnamon—Sprinkle on foods like coconut or full-fat organic yogurt, baked apples/pears with coconut oil or ghee
- Banana Chia Pudding (homemade, sugar free)
- Sweet Potato “Chips” drizzled with Olive Oil
- Full-fat, Organic Raw Cheese (sparingly if no stomach upset)
- Roasted Chicken or other leftover protein
- Raw nuts/seeds (Almonds, Macadamia Nuts, Walnuts, Pecans)
- Dark Chocolate Square (70-100%)
- Hard-Boiled Eggs or “Deviled Eggs” with guacamole
- Nitrate-Free Jerky
- Nitrate-Free Salmi
- Homemade Chia-Seed Pudding (coconut milk base)
- Kale Chips + Nutritional Yeast + Dried Cranberries
- Avocado or Guacamole + Plantain Chips or Baby Carrots
- Celery with Sunbutter
- 1/2 Banana + 1-2 tbsp. Almond Butter or Coconut Butter
- Proscuitto around a Pickle or Melon
- Baby Carrots & Cucumbers + Paleo Ranch
- Grain-Free Paleo Granola
- Plain Coconut Yogurt or Goat’s Milk Yogurt/Kefir
- Jicama with Ham & Turkey
- Homemade Collagen Protein & Coconut Butter Energy Bites
- Grass-fed Butter or Ghee, spread on Seed Crackers
- Roasted Beets with Goat Cheese
- Hummus + Carrots & Cucumber
- Handful Cherries + Pecans
- Frozen Grapes + Pistachios
- Wild Caught Tuna + Avocado Oil Mayo
- Roasted Broccoli + Nutritional Yeast & Avocado Oil
- Turkey Meatball Bites with Raisins, Sage & Cinnamon
- Baked Apple or Pear Slices (drizzled with Cinnamon & Coconut Oil)
- Coconut Flour Muffins
- “Fried” Cauliflower Rice (Cauliflower, riced and pan fried in coconut oil + coconut amino & scallions)
- Cold Pressed Green Juice (sweetened with lemon or grapefruit)
- Coconut Macaroons (homemade, sweetened with touch of raw honey or maple syrup)
- Roasted Green Beans + Almonds
- Cherry Tomatoes + Fresh, Raw Mozzarella
- Additive-Free Protein Powder, shake up in water
- Turkey Bacon + Avocado
- Bacon Wrapped Date
- Grass-fed Burger Patty + Sauerkraut
- Nitrate-Free Pepperoni Chips + Guacamole
- Peel & Eat Shrimp
- Zucchini Noodles with Avocado Basil Pesto
- Primal Kitchen Protein Bars , RX Bars , or Bulletproof Collagen Bars
- Additive-Free Protein Powder -shake up in water
- Chicken “Tenders” (Coconut Flour Breading) dipped in Paleo Honey Mustard