One of the hardest things about transforming your health regime can be kicking the cravings, in particular, sugar and carbohydrate-loaded foods that fire off feel-good chemicals like serotonin and dopamine, which makes us seek them out repeatedly.
Most people know these foods are only an immediate satisfaction and that excessive consumption wreaks havoc on our bodies, adversely affecting our mood, suppressing our immune system, amplifying pain and can lead to general weight gain.
Even though most of us know these foods aren’t good, we still want them! So how do we stop caving to cravings and choose healthier options?
Part of managing the cravings is identifying what is causing the craving; is it your stressed lifestyle, are you actually hungry for a solid meal, are you lacking particular minerals or nutrients in your diet, or are you looking for food distractions instead of getting something done?
While managing your lifestyle is part of the fix, when the cravings hit, we’ve identified some healthy ways you can kill the cravings instantly and get you back on track to your health and wellness goals.
Here are our top foods to kick the sugar and carb cravings:
Packed with plenty of minerals, vitamin E and omega fats, avocados make a healthy snack at any time of the day. You can eat them on their own with just a little salt and pepper to taste, in a green smoothie, with your morning eggs or on a salad.
2. Coconut Oil
Substituting sugar with eating healthy fats can help crush your cravings while providing your body (and brain) a positive boost. Giving our bodies fat to burn (instead of sugar) has been shown to do some remarkable things for our brain and metabolic health. Sarah Wilson, author of I Quit Sugar, eats two tablespoons of coconut oil after lunch or dinner, to satisfy her sweet tooth. Naming it her “full proof trick” that “kills her appetite for about four to five hours”.
Keeping a stash of nuts with you on the go or at work is a great way to avoid eating unhealthy options as you’ve got a quick, easy and healthy option with you at all times. A handful of almonds, cashews, and walnuts are great to have each day as they are high in omega fats, contain protein and no sugar. Avoid nuts covered in honey, salt or other flavors as these may make you crave more.
Ghee butter is considered to be one of the best foods to help in pacifying your sweet-tooth. When sourced from only grass-fed cows it makes for a healthier fatty acid profile. Ghee stimulates the digestive system, improves assimilation and assists elimination, all while helping to kick your cravings to the curb. Try adding Ghee to your diet, in addition to or in place of other oils, starting with just 1 tablespoon a day and increasing up to 3 tablespoons.
5. Carrot & Celery Sticks
Celery and carrots are crisp and full of filling fiber. A great in-between meals snack ready for whenever the cravings strike. You can also try dipping the sticks into homemade hummus or avocado dip. Sticking to this diet will not only improve your digestive health but help in controlling your cravings too.
OK, so this one isn't technically a food, but it’s one that works and helps to keep you hydrated at the same time. When we crave something our body can (sometimes) get our wires crossed, and what feels like a food craving may actually be a sign of thirst. Drinking water when your craving hits can help in curbing your appetite, while also help you to lose weight.
So there are 6 quick and easy options to turn to when the sugar and carb cravings strike. If you need a little more motivation to stay away from sugar, take a look at our article 5 (more) reasons to quit sugar.
Tell us in the comments below how you kick your cravings!