"The LORD is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear?"

- Psalms 27 : 1

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Weight Loss Diaries : 3 Strategies to Curb Your Sugar Craving

If you have half the sweet tooth I had, you'd know that a sugar craving can get pretty serious. That desire can get so intense that nothing can shift it until the lack is filled. I had such a sweet tooth that once my sugar levels dropped to it's physiologically normal value, I would feel a serious lack as if my body did not have enough sugar to work with. But the craving did not come directly from my body, instead it was a result of what I had accustomed my brain to. Anything less than what I normally supplied it became insufficient. 
Apart from that, a sugar craving could also be  the body's way of telling you it needs energy. 
Whatever the reason behind the sugar craving, when it comes to weight loss (or just maintaining a healthy lifestyle), the way you respond is critical. Instead of reaching for a doughnut, chocolate, a milkshake, a piece of cake or any other food with a monstrously high sugar content, try these tips :

Eat enough : eating enough during meals will help keep your sugar levels high enough until the next meal, reducing the need to snack in between. But how do you know you've eaten enough? Well, I always say : eat until you feel satiated. By experience, this has been an effective way of measuring how much I eat. However, it's essential to note that this feeling is subjective and can change depending on how far you've come and the changes you've made on your weight loss journey and also how much your body needs.

Eat a fruit : reaching for a fruit instead of an overly-sweetened snack can make all the difference for your weight loss goals and your health. Fruits are not only filled with vitamins, fibre and other great elements for the body, but they also contain naturally-occuring sugar (fructose) that can help you get you moderately increase your sugar level without causing weight gain or wreaking havoc in your body. All the same, I must say that sugar is sugar and too much of it could still lead to weight gain so moderation should still be the way to go though with fruits the window of tolerance is much wider than with most snacks. What's more, not every fruit is alike. The sugar content in each fruit differs. When it comes to choosing, just pick the one you enjoy most and that helps fill your craving.

eat right : eating right is all about giving your body the right foods at the right time. One particular category of foods we find hard to work with are carbs. Contrary to popular belief, carbs are not bad but eating the wrong kinds and too much of it is bad. Avoid processed carbs - such as white bread and white pasta - altogether. Opt for carbs when your body needs sugar most, for example, right before and after a workout and even during lunch time when the workload of the day reaches it's climax. According to my experience, the right carbs, like whole wheat bread and pasta, are very effective in keeping sugar levels high over a longer period of time than any other food and by so doing, reducing/removing the craving to put something in your mouth. That being said, good carbs also help with keeping your body at optimal health. 

What are your personal strategies?
    

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