Ready to take control of your sugar cravings?
Ready to take control of your sugar cravings? Or at least decrease your consumption? With all the treats floating around during the holidays, now is the perfect time to help give your tastebuds a “reset”, curb the afternoon cravings, and adopt a mindfulness practice to bring you into the present moment, which is where our lives take place. Enjoy these tips and please share your comments, questions, and suggestions below!
1. What are the sweetest things that you are eating and drinking? Write them down and think about how you might make easy substitutions to cut back on the amount of sugar you are consuming. Maybe you swap your vanilla latte for a regular, unsweetened latte and add a splash of natural vanilla flavoring. Perhaps you trade your flavored instant oatmeal for plain rolled oats that you cook up with some berries and cinnamon. Think about the changes that you can make and remove some of the “sweetness” in your diet, write them down, and have fun with it.
2. Invest in a tongue scrapper. You can find them in the toothbrush section and they are a fantastic $5 investment. Use after brushing your teeth to help give those tastebuds an extra swipe of cleaning. This is also a great tool to use if you have started eating something sweet and fear a binge coming on. Brush your teeth, use your tongue scraper, and move on.
3. Carry a travel size jar of natural mint mouthwash in your purse and also keep plenty on hand at home. This is another great way to clear the taste from your mouth to keep you from eating more while also giving the tastebuds a refreshing cleanse.
Curb the Afternoon Cravings:
1. I keep a variety of organic, herbal teas at the ready for when I feel myself craving something in the afternoon. More often then not, you are either thirsty or looking for a distraction, so address both by enjoying a non-caffeinated herbal tea. Take a moment to prepare your tea, take three deep breaths – perhaps the first time you have taken a conscious breath all day – and then slowly sip and enjoy. Try Vanilla Hazelnut or Peppermint – both great in the afternoon.
2. If tea isn’t your thing, you might try hot water with lemon and a splash of apple cider vinegar to help stabilize your blood sugar. Or, my new go-to is to add a drop of grapefruit essential oil to my mug of hot water or water bottle. It makes the water so flavorful and also helps to brighten my mood. Please note that only therapeutic grade essential oils are considered safe for consumption, and if you are interested in learning more about this, just let me know!
3. Move! When I worked in an office, the afternoon was my trouble zone. I would be uncomfortable from sitting at my desk all day, and I would just feel stagnant and low energy. So naturally this is when sugar comes calling. I found that if I got up and moved for even just five minutes, I would feel better. People often laugh at this, but I would go into the restroom and do 100 jumping jacks to get my blood circulating and then I would hang forward in a forward fold to give my back and neck a break. I’d do a few quick stretches and then walk a few flights of stairs before returning to my office. So often the craving would pass and I would just fill my water bottle and move on.
Adopt a New Mindset:
1. Become more mindful about why you are reaching for sweets. So often we go to sugar for comfort because we are tired, stressed out, and don’t want to feel what we are feeling, but what if we just let ourselves feel? What if the next time you reached for a piece of candy, you stopped and asked yourself, why am I doing this? Do I even want to eat this? How will I feel after I eat it? Give yourself a moment to be mindful and consider why you are about to eat something. If you really bring yourself into the present moment and consider how your body is feeling, chances are you will discover that you are not actually hungry; so feel what it is that you are avoiding and then move on. And then give yourself a pat on the back for being in the present moment.
2. Keep a food journal. This does not have to be anything fancy and you don’t have to count your calories, just write down what you are eating and pay close attention to the sweets. After a few days, look back and think about where you could make better choices and set that as your intention for the next day. Also note if you felt energized or sluggish after a meal and use this data to help inform your future choices.
3. Create a new mindset towards treats. Deprivation does not work for most and who really wants to give up chocolate for the rest of their lives? I don’t! I truly believe that there is a happy medium. Rather than deprive and tell yourself that you “can’t” have something, what about taking that mindful moment and asking yourself: do I really want this? Consider that treats will always be there and that you don’t have to have it right now, tomorrow is another day and chocolate will still exist. By adopting this mindset, you give yourself the freedom to choose whether or not you actually want something as you eliminate the “I have to have this now as tomorrow I am off the sugar.” Strive to be mindful about your choices and indulge only in those that you enjoy most, really savoring and appreciating the flavors, while slowing down and really chewing and tasting your food. Make your “top three” list of treats that you really LOVE and enjoy those once or twice a week and the leave the rest.
Interested in learning more? Listen to my recent teleclass: Beat the Sugar Blues.
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