By now everyone has gotten the memo – sugar is not healthy for any of us, and we already know this, especially those of us managing pain, or struggling with our weight. But KNOWING it, and being able to DO something about it, are two different things. Here are some tips that help me keep my voracious sugar monster at bay.
- Eat Sauerkraut/KimChi/Fermented Veggies – I know, when you are craving something sweet it doesn’t feel like eating something sour will satisfy but I swear when I get myself a little bowl of sauerkraut sprinkled with caraway seeds I can usually fend off an attack of the Sweet Tooth. I don’t do well with super spicy foods but if you like them, try this with KimChi, a tasty Korean specialty made with cabbage and hot spices. In fact, fermented veggies of any kind work well to curb sugar cravings and have the added benefit of probiotics to bolster your digestion. Since many of us with fibro and related issues also suffer from gastrointestinal challenges, this is a win-win.
- Drink more water – Cravings of any kind, including sugar, are often more about thirst than hunger and you can fend that off by drinking lots of water throughout the day. Divide your body weight in half and drink that many ounces of filtered water per day—so a 160 lb person should drink 80 ounces. Here’s when NOT to drink water: 30 minutes before meals, during meals, 30 minutes after meals or 2 hours before bed. Drinking before, during and after meals dilutes your stomach acid, making digestion much more difficult, which can end in stomach distress for you. And drinking too close to bedtime will interrupt your sleep when you have to get up to use the bathroom.
- Balance meals: Fiber/Fat/Protein – I have done LOTS of experimentation and most of the time when we make sure every meal includes plenty of fiber (like veggies), an appropriate amount of protein (according to your personal needs) and healthy fat (coconut, avocado, olives), our cravings for sugar lessen. Nine times out of 10 when I’m sugar-crazed it’s because I haven’t been eating in a balanced way, I’m tired and my body knows that sugar is a quick hit of energy. Sadly, it’s a hit that dwindles fast, leaving me feeling even worse once it wears off, and the cravings continue in a vicious cycle. However, when I have enough protein, fiber and fat at a meal I don’t get hungry for hours, I don’t feel exhausted and I don’t forage for sugar like a rabid raccoon digging in a trashcan.
Have you used any of these techniques? What tricks do you use to curb the sugar munchies? Leave a comment here and share with us!