How to stop those sugar cravings

Tis’ the day after Halloween and all through the house there are beauty robbers hiding everywhere..

Today I’m going to share with you how you can put a stop to those crazy sugar cravings that can haunt us on a daily basis. What happens to our skin when we consume foods that are high in sugar, whether it’s natural, refined or artificial, which cause our insulin levels to soar? High insulin levels cause inflammation and IGF-1 production, which can contribute to increased sebum production, acne and other inflammatory conditions.

I know it’s not easy to give up your favourite goodies overnight, but bringing your awareness to these cravings and practicing the habits I’m sharing below will help to cut down on your sugar consumption and put a stop to this beauty robber! It’s important not to judge yourself when you overindulge on sweets or refined carbs because there are many underlying causes for these cravings. It could be a chemical addiction, as sugar releases euphoric endorphins and dopamine within the nucleus, a vitamin deficiency (like chromium – which is highly depleted in our soil) and an emotional addiction. And by the way, giving up those inflammatory refined sugars doesn’t mean you won’t get to eat delicious sweet goodness anymore. By using whole food sweeteners, like pure maple syrup, stevia, coconut sugar/syrup or unprocessed honey, you are also allowing your body to benefit from the nutrients because they contain minerals that support digestion and assimilation and won’t cause fluctuating blood sugar levels.

 

EATING HABITS TO ELIMINATE CRAVINGS AND CONTROL BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS

 

1. Increase Fibre Intake. Fibre is the 4th secret macro-nutrient! It is a natural appetite suppressant, reduces calorie absorption, improves digestion and elimination, and helps to stabilize blood glucose levels as well as aiding the detoxification process. Fibre rich foods that are also important for healthy skin include chard, broccoli, cranberries, raspberries, flaxseeds, and chia seeds. Aim for 35-45 gr daily!

 

2. Ensure Adequate Water Intake. Water is another natural appetite suppressant, it distends stomach just like fibre does. Water is needed in the fat metabolism process, for detoxification and for elimination. Hunger pains can be disguised as your body needing more water. Water also helps us feel more energized and helps to hydrate our skin from the inside. Aim for Simple calculation for your water needs: Divide your body weight (in pounds) in half. You should drink that number of ounces each day.

 

3. Include More Healthy Nourishing Fats with Each Meal.  Replacing dangerous trans-fats with healthy essential fatty acids, like omega 3 and 6, is vital for not only for beautiful skin but reduction of inflammation throughout your body. Eating healthy fats help us feel full and prevents overeating by stimulating the release of leptin and CCK – hormones in the brain that tell us when we’re full. If our meals are devoid of fat, our brain takes much longer to give the stop eating signal! Beautifying healthy fats can be found in nuts and seeds, avocados, sardines, wild salmon, and cold pressed oils like camelina, hemp, coconut and olive oil.

 

4. Restore Blood Sugar Stability. Rapid and deep drops in blood sugar are particularly associated with very strong  urges to overeat. Eliminating refined and simple sugars, as well as choosing foods that are lower on the glycemic index is vital for keeping those blood sugar levels stable. Refined sugars and grains will increase cravings for more sugar and also uses up the body’s enzymes and nutrients stores in an effort to digest these nutrient void foods. When blood sugar levels are stable around the clock, appetite is reduced and undesirable food cravings are remarkably diminished. Adding more fibre to the diet, eating a source of protein with every meal, and having healthy snacks at hand are all key components of blood sugar stability.

 

5. Replace Processed Foods with Whole Foods. Whole foods are nutrient dense and contain fibre. Processed foods can contain unhealthy fats, food additives (such as artificial colours, preservatives, and flavour enhancers) and added sugars. They are filled with empty calories that leave us feeling unsatisfied and craving for more food when we are not hungry. They are also hidden sources of food allergies and sensitivities that can contribute to digestive issues, inflammation and premature aging.

 

6. Choose Food That are Chromium Rich Chromium is a mineral required for the production of insulin and regulation of blood sugar. It is an essential component of the Glucose Tolerance Factor (GTF) and thus is important for carbohydrate metabolism.Packaged and refined foods should be avoided – they are stripped of minerals like chromium and fibre which allow for a slow even absorption of nutrients. Chromium rich foods include onions, spinach, broccoli, apples, brown rice, chicken, dulse, eggs, green beans, mushrooms, turkey, fish, oats, and romaine lettuce.

Next time that sweet tooth kicks in, take a moment to ask yourself “What am I really craving?“. Instead of diving right in, drink a big glass of water with a tablespoon of chia seeds, and wait 20 minutes. You’ll be surprised at how quickly your craving can disappear! Want to take it a step further? Start recording what you are feeling or which situations/people are the triggers of the cravings into a daily food journal.

Below is a beautifying and crave busting salad recipe just for you!

 

30 day salad challenge, portland, seattle, non-diet, kate 015

 

Chop Chop Edamame Salad

This is one of my favourite salads. It’s simple, light and quick and the flavour combination is awesome. When buying edamame beans, look for organic as most conventional soy crops are genetically modified. Romaine lettuce and red onion are chromium rich to manage blood sugar levels, apple is high in pectin fibre and low on the glycemic index, and cucumber is high in water content to hydrate and vitamin E, an antioxidant that protects and repairs your skin.

2 Romaine lettuce bunches or about 8 big leaves
2 thick slices of red onion
1 small apple
1 cup cucumber (about ¼ of a long cucumber)
1 cup edamame beans, shelled (usually sold frozen)

Dressing:
2 tsp Dijon mustard
¼ cup olive oil
2 tsp apple cider vinegar

 
How to make:
Chop all salad ingredients and steam edamame for 2 minutes.
 
Mix salad dressing ingredients in a small bowl and mix into salad.
 
Enjoy!
 
Makes 2 main dish salads.
 
Article by Annaliisa Kapp, our resident Holistic Nutritionist.
T. 604.366.9143
 
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