(The following is adapted from the new book Cravings Boss: The REAL Reason You Crave Food and a 5-Step Plan to Take Back Control by Natalia Levey , CHC, CNC)
Sugar is found in almost every processed food on the market today. It is used as a flavor enhancer more often than any other seasoning, including salt. I can almost guarantee that if you grab an inexpensive processed food from your local grocer, it will be loaded with sugar. Manufacturers are well aware of sugar’s addictive quality People who are caught in this addictive loop usually drink several sugary sodas per day or consume large quantities of candy, processed sweets or packaged, ready-to-eat goodies. If you recognize yourself in these words, you’re not alone.
Did you know the average American eats 152 pounds of sugar per year? One hundred and fifty two pounds. POUNDS! A baby giraffe weighs that much! That’s approximately twenty- two teaspoons per day and it only takes about two cans of soda to reach this daily maximum.
Here are 7 surefire strategies to get your sugar cravings controlled…
1. Reduce or eliminate caffeine. Caffeine creates a roller coaster of ups and downs including blood sugar swings an dehydration This can cause you to crave something sweet to level you off. Save the roller coaster ride for the amusement park.
2. Drink water. Sweet cravings can be a sign of dehydration. Reach for water or organic green tea before soda. Have fun and add some fresh fruit and herbs to your water to make it a refreshing spa -like experience aka Spa water, infused with natural sweetness.
3. Avoid chemical or artificial sweeteners. Stick to the natural stuff like maple syrup, brown rice syrup, agave, dried fruit, stevia and barley malt. Consider growing an actual stevia plant as a fun gardening project.
4. Get physically active. Simple activities like walking or yoga can help curb sugar cravings. An active lifestyle helps to balance blood sugar levels, boost energy and reduce tension.
5. Get more sleep, rest and relaxation. When overtired or stressed, you are more likely to reach for something sweet because it’s a quick energy boost. Stay well rested and you won’t be tempted.
6.. Eliminate fat-free or low-fat packaged snack foods. These foods contain high quantities of sugar to compensate for lack of flavor and fat. Don’t be fooled.
7. Experiment with spices. Coriander, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and cardamom are tantalizing flavors that will naturally sweeten your foods and thus reduce cravings.
(Excerpted from Cravings Boss : The REAL Reason You Crave Food and a 5 -Step Plan to Take Back Control by Natalia Levey CHC, CNC).
SUGAR CRAVING HACK !
This smoothie has no added sugars—only a combination of natural flavors to delight your taste buds. It is my favorite secret weapon for eliminating my sugar temptations.
1 cup ice
8 oz. coconut water (or goji berry infused green tea)
1⁄2 cup mixed greens. Whatever you have on hand: kale, spinach, arugula, dandelion greens, chard)
1 green apple
1⁄4 cup chopped cucumber
3-4 mint leaves
2-3 sprigs of parsley
2-3 basil leaves
Juice of 1⁄4 lime
1 Tablespoon almond butter
Optional: 1 scoop of organic plant protein
Blend well in the high-speed blender.
Keep in mind that the consistency of this drink will be juice- like, but with all the benefits of fiber.
To “ease” yourself into drinking this beautiful savory drink, you may start with adding 1⁄4 cup of pineapple or watermelon to the mix, gradually reducing the amount. An apple can be substituted with 1 pear or 1⁄2 cup of blueberries.
Natalia Levey, CNC, CHC is a professional chef, author, speaker, and a certified health and nutrition coach. She educates people worldwide about how to make behavioral changes resulting in improved nutrition and better energy. Natalia received her culinary training at the Art Institute of New York, is a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and is certified as a nutritional consultant from The American Association of Nutritional Consultants. She is also the founder of Healthy Intent , a company dedicated to providing healthy, food and lifestyle based solutions for weight loss, vitality and more. She is publisher and editor-in-chief of “Healthy Intent” magazine and her debut book Cravings Boss is now available. She resides in Tampa, Florida with her husband, daughter and beloved Samoyed. She can usually be found in her Kitchen, where she is the happiest. cravingsboss.com .