Sugar can be our kryptonite for many of us, especially us women who juggle between a high stress job, taking care of our children, being a wife/girlfriend, and now an EBF athlete. Our life is constantly non stop on repeat..and reaching for that sugary treat can seem so easy. I mean, we earned it right with our training and our hard work in the office and at home? One innocent bite of that biscotti with your cappuccino, a few chocolate chips in your trail mix, a new Starbucks drink that you’ve always wanted to try… all of this adds to our addiction… sugar addiction that is.
There has been numerous studies suggesting that the effect of consuming sugar has the same euphoric effect on our brain like recreational drugs. So instead of telling you to completely STOP having sugar, I wanted to share 9 tips with you on how to crowd out sugar so that you are less dependent on the rush to function through your day! Sooner or later, you will feel more in control and will be able to enjoy the sweet rewards on occasion!
1. Reduce or eliminate caffeine. The ups & downs of caffeine include dehydration and blood sugar swings and may cause sugar cravings to become more frequent.
2. Drink water. Sometimes sweet cravings are a sign of dehydration. Before you go for the sugary treats, have a glass of water with a squeeze of lemon and wait a few minutes to see what happens.
3. Eat sweet vegetables and fruits. They are naturally sweet, healthy, delicious, and full of fiber which allows the natural sugar in these produce to be released slowly into your body for a stable energy source. Being in Hong Kong, we are spoiled for choice!
4. Avoid chemicals, artificial sweeteners and foods with added sugar. Use a little bit of gentle sweeteners like maple syrup, brown rice syrup, dried fruit, stevia, and barley malt. Always try and couple these sugars with cinnamon which helps control the blood sugar when you ingest them too!
5. Continue your EBF! Being active naturally helps you balance your blood sugar which will eliminate the need to self-medicate with sugar. Endorphins anyone?
6. Get more sleep, rest, and relaxation. If you are in a chronic state of stress, no wonder your body tempts you to reach for simple carbohydrates for easy source of energy. Make sure you switch off at night, turn your phone on airplane mode, and curl up with a cup of chamomile tea in time for bed.
7. Check the labels on your fat free and low fat foods. These packaged goodies can be loaded with hidden sugars to compensate for the lack of fat.
8. Experience with spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and cardamom will naturally sweeten your food and reduce cravings.
9. Slow down and find sweetness in non-food ways! Buy yourself a lovely aromatic candle, go for a foot massage, or take a dip in the swimming pool! We can reward ourselves in ways that don’t always involve a piece of cake!
I wish you another active healthy week ahead!
Integrative Nutrition Health Coach
BSc Sports & Exercise Science
EPIC MMA & Fitness Performance Centre
3/F On Hing Building, 1-9 On Hing Terrance,
Central, Hong Kong
Work: (+852) 3702-6232
Mobile: (+852) 6388-0153
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