Do you find yourself reaching for that muffin, or sweet treat around 3PM? Us too.
Our body naturally craves carbohydrate-rich foods: our brains literally thrive off this stuff.
But, if you’ve done your research on the ketogenic or other low-carb diets, you know that having too many can lead to weight gain, issues with brain functioning, and mood fluctuations - yes, they’re a big player in that hangry feeling you get mid-afternoon.
Remember, not all carbs are bad. However, moderating your intake, or pairing foods properly will reduce those sugar cravings that you have.
First, let’s talk about why you have those sugar cravings to begin with.
As soon as you put food into your body, especially those with high levels of glucose (i.e. sugar/carbohydrates), your insulin levels will spike to try to balance this glucose. When your insulin drops again, it will trigger your body to crave more to bring it back up. Generally, the higher the spike, the lower the crash, and the more likely you are to be craving a sweet treat.
So, next time you are craving something sweet, think about what you put in your body first thing in the morning. Was it a black coffee with a bagel? Or maybe just a skinny vanilla latte. Both of these will lead to fluctuating glucose levels for the remainder of the day.
That’s why avoiding sugar cravings starts at breakfast.
Start your day with a meal high in protein, with a moderate amount of healthy fats: like a smoothie with protein powder and almond butter, or eggs with 1/2 of an avocado and salsa, or even chia seed pudding with coconut cream and a few frozen berries.
Not a breakfast fan? Try out a Collagen Coffee that’s high in healthy fats, and protein. This is also great to reduce your caffeine crash later in the day!
While avoiding carbohydrates entirely isn’t always advisable or realistic for some people (let’s be real, it takes a lot of commitment - I should know, I’ve tried!), it is important to pair them properly.
Here are two general rules to reduce sugar cravings each day:
When eating a carbohydrate - even something healthy, like a piece of fruit - always pair it with a protein or fat source, like almond butter, avocado, or protein powder.
Eat smaller, more frequent meals. This helps to keep your blood sugar stable during the day and reduce cravings.
But what happens when it’s too late? You’re really craving that muffin, or someone’s brought in donuts… again. *Sigh*.
Here are a few snacks to keep on hand to help curb those sugar cravings:
A Collagen Coffee: MCT oil tends to help curb sugar cravings, plus the blend of coffee, protein and healthy fats are an excellent way to get that boost you want, without the carbs.
Energy bites: With the right ingredients, it can taste like chocolate chip cookie dough (heck, there are recipes that make it legit LOOK like chocolate chip cookie dough).
Mug Cake: Mix protein powder with an egg, microwave, and voila! You have your own sweet treat (without all the sugar).
Dark chocolate: it might not seem satisfying, but having one or two pieces of dark chocolate can help to curb the craving for those donuts.
Lemon water: sometimes when you are craving something sweet, it’s really because of dehydration. The addition of lemon gives your tastebuds the idea that you are having something sweeter.
But remember, sugar cravings start at the beginning of your day, and the more you feed it, the worse it will continue to get!