Sugar is like a drug. When you eat foods high in sugar, it releases the feel good chemical dopamine in your brain (the same chemical released in response to other pleasurable events, and drug use).
Over time, your body begins to adapt to the amount of sugar you're eating and develop a tolerance, meaning you need MORE to get the same amount of pleasure. THAT is exactly how sugar can become addicting! The good news, is that you can indulge in your cravings in a healthier way, and you can also cut down those naggy cravings!
Staying properly hydrated will slash your carb and sweet craving. Carbs (including sugar) encourage your body to hold onto more water (notice the word "hydrate" in carboHYDRATE). Therefore if you're dehydrated, it will cause you to crave more carbs and sweets. If you have trouble drinking plain water, try mixing in one of our Nutrish Mixes that naturally enhances the flavor and adds a TON of nutrition too for an added boost!
2. Up Your Protein
Including protein with each meal / snack reduces your cravings by cutting our hunger hormone levels and taking a longer time to digest. Because of this, it helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels, so you won't get those low sugar dips that cause make you carb crazy!
Protein rich foods include meat, fish, poultry, eggs, nuts, edamame, and yogurt. These take a long time to break down in the digestive system, keeping it hard at work for hours and preventing you from crashing and craving!
If you need an easy and delicious way to get more protein in, try NM Vanilla or Chocolate whey protein!
3. Increase your Fiber
Fiber expands in the body undigested and fills you up for hours, and again keeping your blood sugar levels steady – preventing those dips. Rich sources of fiber include fruits (with skin), vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes.
4. Use Healthy Alternatives
Sometimes, you just gotta give in to the craving. And you can- strategically. Giving up sugar doesn't have to mean giving up sweet. Fruit – which does contain natural sugars, also contains several vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber that are beneficial to your body. Or replace the sugar in your coffee/tea/baked goods with stevia: a natural zero calorie sweetener. It sweetens foods without the effects of sugar or artificial sweeteners, and a little bit goes a long way!
5. Be careful of hidden sugars
Sugar can be hiding in some products you might not be aware of, therefore keeping you hooked on sugar without you even knowing it! Anything you eat from a box or a package, take a look at the sugar. You might be surprised to find sugar hiding in your bread, yogurt, granola, protein bars, crackers, etc. Some sugar is naturally occurring in things like fruit and dairy products (yogurt), but often times food companies add even more on top of that. So read the ingredients for "sugar" or anything ending in "ose" to detect added sugars! On any kind of processed food, aim for about 5g of added sugar or less.