Top Tips To Cut Sugar Cravings

Busting through sugar cravings is one of the things I help people with a lot.

We know sugar is bad for us and our kids, but it's everywhere and it is addictive.

One of the reasons we crave sugar is because it truly makes us feel good... for a while. Sugar’s ability to stimulate feel good-hormones is in part what makes it so addictive. As a strategy to curb sugar cravings, try to stimulate the same feel-good hormones using nutritious foods instead.

Sugar Increases Dopamine (our “get-up-and-go” hormone). Try stimulating it other ways by....

  • Eating tyrosine rich foods: chicken, fish, nuts, pumpkin seeds, beans, eggs
  • Increasing vitamins A and D (they work together in creation of dopamine)
  • Eating other sweet things like dried fruit and pure dark chocolate to wean yourself off of the need for refined sugar. The taste of sugar on the tongue will stimulate opiates in the brain which will lead to dopamine release. Go for quality over quantity with this strategy.

Sugar Increases Beta Endorphins (which improves self esteem and confidence). Try stimulating those hormones by...

  • Using low glycemic fruits to stimulate them (ex apples dipped in honey and cinnamon)

Sugar Increase Serotonin (our feel-good, calming, peaceful hormones). Try stimulating those hormones by...

  • Increasing tryptophan rich foods like turkey, shrimp, mushrooms, cod, tuna, spinach, pumpkin seeds
  • Increase intake of Magnesium and Vitamin B6 which are needed for the conversion of tryptophan to serotonin (Both those co-factors are, as it turns out, depleted by sugar!)
  • Engage in repetitive movements like chewing gum, drumming, knitting.... those also increase serotonin

If you're craving sugar, the other critical strategy for busting through the craving is to pay close attention to Pillar #3 of the Raising Resilience Framework - Make Sure Blood Sugar Stays Stable.

Here are a few tips...

✓ Consume 5-10 g protein with your breakfast

✓ Consume 5-10 g of fibre with your breakfast

✓ Eat before you drink coffee

✓ Relax when you eat (try to not “eat on the go”)

✓ Eat lower-sugar fruit like berries, apples, pears

✓ Eat chromium-rich food

✓ Stop eating/drinking refined sugar, juice and energy drinks

The RDA for added sugar is currently 9 tsp for men (36g) and 6 tsp for women (24g). Half that for children. Start to pay attention to food labels to see how much you're taking in in a day. You'll likely be shocked!

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