Put down the chocolate and step away from the Easter eggs! Are you feeling a little bloated or jittery post Easter? Are you constantly craving chocolate or junk food of all kinds now?
Chances are you’ve over indulged during the holiday season (haven’t we all!). Chocolate can be so bittersweet… on one hand it is full of antioxidants and cacao is also one of the richest sources of vitamin c, however on the other hand most chocolates and Easter eggs are packed full of refined sugar that can skyrocket our blood sugar levels and disrupt insulin. The other catch with sugar is that it’s incredibly addictive. Sugar activates the reward centers of our brain; just the same way drugs do which also means we can have strong cravings and withdrawal symptoms too. Once we start on the chocolate bandwagon it’s really hard to get off!
Here are some tips to help you restore your blood sugar levels to their optimum state and kick the sugar cravings!
1. Start with a great breakfast! You can outsmart your sweet tooth simply by eating breakfast. The perfect way to start your day is with protein, fats and good quality carbohydrates.
2. Make sure each meal has plenty of good quality, unprocessed, protein and fats – this will keep you feeling more satiated for longer and there’s less of a chance your body will be screaming out for more if you stick to nutrient dense meals.
3. Avoid the temptation – at any given time we only have a few minutes of will power and the restraint to say no! Don’t make things harder for yourself; give you kitchen a chocolate detox. If you have piles of Easter eggs left then why not give them away or ask one of your family members to hide them in a very safe place, in case of emergency (we all have chocolate emergencies occasionally).
4. Stay hydrated! Most people report that drinking plenty of water throughout the day will help to curb sugar cravings. Every time you need to reach for chocolate have a big glass of water instead, or if that doesn’t do it, try a glass of sparkling water with a good squeeze of fresh lime. Chances are you’ll feel fuller and less in need of a sugar hit.
5. SLEEP! When we’re sleep deprived in interferes with the natural regulation of leptin (hormone that tells our brain we’ve had enough to eat) so we’ll keep eating and eating without feeling full. Interestingly enough too much sugar actually blocks leptin receptors in the brain so it’s a bit of a double whammy there. Sleep deprivation has also been linked to modafinil uses and junk food cravings of all kinds. Try to aim for the magic number of 8 hours sleep per night.
For more information on some of the woes of sugar tune into episode 7 of Wellness Women Radio – That Sugar Episode. https://itunes.apple.com/au/podcast/wellness-women-radio/id1037216440?mt=2&ls=1