Many of my clients come to me because they want to lose weight, they may experience low energy during the afternoon, their PMS is unbearably painful, they present with Insulin Resistance and are on the road to diabetes, or they've just found out they're pregnant and they want to reduce their sugar intake for the sake of their growing baby. What all these scenarios/concerns have in common is a shared craving for sugar. But whatever the reason, one of the first processes I work through with them is reducing their reliance, addiction, or craving for sugar. Sugar increases our blood sugar levels, which is the main cause behind all the concerns listed above. Although the following tips may sound incredibly simple, if practiced for 3 - 4 weeks they can be life changing.
Swap the Sugar for Fat
Have you ever wondered why some people crave sugar and others don't? The reason that someone may crave sugar regularly is because that is the what they fuel their body with. Your body will burn sugar for fuel or fat for fuel - it is up to you to decide which fuel source you will primarily feed your body. A sugar-burner's diet consists of bread, cereal, perhaps pasta, rice, or pizza for dinner, excess fruit, and regular sweet treats. On the other hand, a fat-burner will primarily eat eggs, vegetables, meat, fruits, nuts, seeds, and some dairy. The difference is, the fat-burner wont crave sugar and will understand when their body is really hungry, whereas the sugar burner will often crave sugar (or caffeine) around the 11am and 3pm mark.
To switch from being a sugar-burner to a fat-burner, first you must make the choice to change your fuel source. Once you have done this, whenever you feel like consuming something sweet or carb-heavy, instead opt for an egg based snack, sliced cheese with carrot, or yoghurt and nuts (see ideas below).
Eat Protein at Breakfast
In clients who often skip breakfast or have fruit for breakfast, I usually find that they crave a sweet treat or piece of fruit around 10:30am/11am. As an interesting fact, research shows that those who skip breakfast are at higher risk of obesity and weight gain. So this point is pretty basic: eat breakfast that consists of protein every day to help you avoid sugar-snacking throughout the morning. Remember, snacking on fruit is still sugar-snacking. As a side note, a couple pieces of fruit each day is completely fine, but when we rely on it, we need to ask ourselves if it is because we rely on sugar to fuel our body?
Swap Sugar for Fruit
This point may sound counter-productive given the nature of point one and two, but if you are having a really difficult time giving up sugar, I suggest that every time you feel like sugar, chocolate, cake, 'insert sugary food here,' swap it for a piece of fruit instead. As I've explained, usually 2 pieces of fruit each day is a maximum intake, however in this beginning phase of switching from sugar to fat, eating up to 3 pieces will be fine. After 2 weeks of doing this, cut it down to one piece of fruit and a fat-based snack. After another two weeks, switch to two fat-based snacks. When you believe your sugar cravings have subsided, incorporating a couple pieces of fruit into your eating regime will be completely fine.
Below are some ideas for fat-based snacks. Please see my recipes for further snack ideas.
- Celery sticks dipped in almond butter
- Small handful of nuts
- Bacony Mushroom Egg Muffin
- Boiled egg
- Green Smoothie
- Yoghurt with almond butter & cacao nibs
- Banana Bread topped with grass-fed butter
Feed, nourish, value yourself.