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Kick sugar cravings to the curb with this key diet strategy

Saturday, July 21, 2018
There’s a major stumbling block that you’ve likely encountered whenever you’ve tried to reduce your sugar intake, or go on a weight loss diet: sweet cravings. Perhaps you’ve quit adding flavour syrup to your morning coffee. Or managed to walk past the chocolate display. Or replaced fruit juice with water. Then the grumblings from your brain begin: want sugar, now.

Your brain is quite experienced in convincing you to do what it wants, and it can generate some pretty nasty feelings of overwhelm as it tries to convince you that this is a life threatening situation: get sugar or you’ll die! If you’re particularly stressed, or tired, it’s even easier to give in and you’re back to square one: with the weight gain, ‘hangry’ episodes and mood swings that come with a sugar addiction. That’s so disheartening.

I’d like to show you a tweak to your diet that will quieten that dragon of sugar addiction. The ‘trick’ (if that’s the right term) is to include high quality (animal) protein at each meal along with fibre.

Animal protein works because biochemically, animal protein molecules are tough for your stomach to break apart, so food spends longer in your stomach. Also, protein doesn’t release energy as readily as carbohydrates, so it won’t spike your blood glucose like sugar and some simple carbohydrates do (think anything like cakes, biscuits, lollies). Fibre works for the same reason: it slows down the release of energy from food.

Changing your breakfast is a key strategy. Many people get caught by a growing sugar addiction because they have only a carbohydrate-rich cereal or muesli for breakfast. That kind of breakfast is almost guaranteed to ignite sugar cravings later on because it’s digested so quickly. If instead you have a couple of eggs, or some savoury mince, or even some leftover roast lamb on toast for breakfast, then sugar cravings, if they do come up, will be a distant murmur rather than a distracting drive to get hold of something sweet, soon. 

You can enjoy animal protein as a snack too. Even though it may feel a little odd to reach into your handbag for a hard-boiled egg at snack time, instead of a sweet muesli bar.

Gradually, as you overcome that pesky sugar addiction, you’ll notice your mood becomes more stable, and so does your energy levels. Now you’re winning the battle against sugar.

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Olwen Anderson @olwenanderson


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