I grew up in a house where the cookie jar was always full, the cabinets were stocked with plenty of junk food, and bread was served at every meal.
Carbs, carbs, carbs. Sugar, sugar, and more sugar.
Needless to say, my sugar and carb addiction started right out of the gate.
I craved baked goods and anything with sugar. I’ve been a carb-a-holic right down to my core for the majority of my life.
It was almost 10 years ago that I transitioned to a diet free of processed food. I was eating whole foods and felt good about what I was eating and feeding my family.
Even though my diet was squeaky clean, my sugar and carb cravings didn’t disappear.
It wasn’t until I learned about how blood sugar works in the body that I started to see shifts in my cravings. If you want to get your hands on the easy to follow process I used, you can grab my free resource The Ultimate Guide to Ending Sugar & Carb Cravings. I designed it with busy and stressed woman in mind. There’s nothing fancy, complicated, or time consuming in the process I lay out.
Why Do You Crave Sugar & Carbs
When you eat sugar or simple carbs (i.e. pasta and bread) your blood sugar will rise. The more sugar and simple carbs you eat, the higher your blood sugar will go.
The higher your blood sugar spikes, the harder the crash. (What goes up must come down, right?) A blood sugar crash makes you feel tired, lethargic, cranky, and crappy.
Your body sends your brain signals that it needs energy. And fast.
The quickest form of energy for your body is, you guessed it… good ol’ sugar.
This is when you reach for something sugary and carby. (BTW, carbs like bread and cracks turn into sugar. That’s why I’m talking about them at the same time.)
It’s a vicious cycle that you can easily feel trapped in. You think you need more willpower and self-discipline to stop the cravings. Oh contraire my friend. What’s happening with your cravings is a hormonal and biological response. All the willpower and self-discipline in the world won’t make them stop. So stop beating yourself up, ok?
Here’s How to Beat Sugar & Carb Cravings:
1.Eat protein at each meal
I’m talking 20-30 grams of protein. Protein shuts down hunger hormones that make you crave sugar and carbs. Protein digests slowly in the body too and doesn’t cause your blood sugar to rise very much. Good choices are eggs, chicken, turkey, and grass-fed beef, pork and fish.
2.Add in Fiber to your meals
Fiber is processed slowly like protein. Since it’s processed slowly, fiber doesn’t cause a significant rise in your blood sugar. Start out with one or two servings of low-glycemic vegetables (fiber) at each meal. Work your way up from there. Chia seeds, flax seeds, nuts and seeds, and avocados are also good sources of fiber. Put them in smoothies, sprinkle them on yogurt, or throw them on salads.
3.Don’t Fear Fat
Growing up in the 80’s and 90’s, you know what I’m talking about. Do yourself a favor and steer clear of fat-free or low- fat foods. Fat coats the stomach and helps to satiate you, putting a stop to hunger and cravings. Roast or saute vegetables in avocado oil, coconut oil, or grass-fed butter. Make your own salad dressing with olive oil and put it on salads. Nut butters and avocado (they do double duty as a fiber too) are good sources of fat too.
4.Upgrade Your Carbs
Notice I’m not suggesting no carbs. Bring in starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes, winter squash, beets, and carrots. Phase out processed and simple carbohydrates like bread, pasta, and crackers. Grains and legumes such as quinoa, buckwheat, rice, lentils, and black beans are good choices too. Once you’ve upgraded, adjust your portion size. Aim for about ¼ of your plate. You need carbs to regulate hormones, but too much will cause your blood sugar to rise too much too quickly.
5.Reduce Your Carb Portion Size gradually
For two reasons. One, you’ll really hate me if you try to little too soon. Second, your body won’t be used to the shift. It’ll rebel and cause you to feel hangry. You know hangry is never a good thing. You’ll be reaching for those cookies and m&m’s so fast you won’t know what hit you. So take it slow sister. Go slow to go fast.
These are the basics. It’s a process and doesn’t happen overnight. If you don’t let feeling discouraged keep you down and keep at it, you’ll eventually stop craving the sugar and carbs that have your hunger hormones in a frenzy.
If you’re not wondering where to start, I put together a free resource to help you out. Grab my Ultimate Guide to Ending Sugar & Carb Cravings to get you started. It’s a very easy to follow process that will end any and all confusion about what to eat next.