The Great Easter Hangover... beating sugar cravings
April 8, 2015
Not sure about everyone else, but I for one can say that I ate A LOT of chocolate over the Easter break! Add to that a few hot cross buns, cups of coffee and an amazing roast dinner with wine to match and it is fair to say that I have COMPLETELY overdosed on my old friend sugar this weekend! Now I feel sluggish and tired and my body keeps screaming at me for MORE SUGAR! So how can we beat those sugar cravings moving forward after Easter...
Carbohydrates are made up of glucose molecules which fuel our body for brain and muscular energy, without this we feel tired both physically and mentally. When we eat carbs our body produces the hormone Insulin which allows our cells to absorb the glucose from the blood and turn it into energy. Excess glucose will be stored in the muscles or liver as glycogen, OR converted to fat and stored around our waistline :-(
When we eat excessive carbohydrates regularly, or if we skip meals, our body's response to insulin changes and too much sugar remains in the bloodstream rather than in our cells; or it comes and goes too rapidly so our energy and mood fluctuates. Our cells then cry out for more glucose to try and restore balance but unfortunately this only makes matters worse... and so the cycle continues...
Choosing foods that satisfy us for long periods is the key to not craving for the instant hit
We need carbohydrates which absorb SLOWLY into our cells (low Glycemic Index (GI)) therefore our cells are satisfied for longer.
Combining protein and good fats with our meals further lowers a foods GI and will also increase satiety (satisfaction) therefore plan your meals to be a healthy combination of Carbohydrates, Protein and Healthy Fats.
Fibre acts as a bulking agent slowing down glucose absorption, therefore it is better to eat whole foods such as brown rice and wholegrain breads rather than their white, refined alternatives.
The type of starch found in different grains will affect its GI, without getting technical wheat, corn and rice are higher GI than barley, rye and quinoa.
Eat at regular intervals and avoid skipping meals (especially breakfast!)
Here are some meal ideas to conquer those cravings, boost your energy and stimulate your brain
-Rye toast with eggs and grilled tomato
-Natural muesli, loaded with nuts and seeds; fresh berries and yogurt
-Boiled egg with soldiers using a high grain bread such as Burgen
-Salad with salmon or chicken, walnuts and feta
-Lentil burgers with salad or in a wholegrain roll
-Salad Nicoise made with tuna, boiled egg, tomato, green beans & olives
-High fibre Ryvita with avocado and smoked salmon or tomato
-Poached or baked fish with Steamed vegetables and a cheese sauce
-Marinated meat or tofu skewers and a mixed salad
-Meat or tofu and vegetable stir fry with ½ cup brown rice and cashew nuts
-Vegetarian bean chili with Quinoa
Follow a diet like this and you can be assured constant reliable energy, calmer moods, clearer thinking and LESS SUGAR CRAVINGS!
Additional ideas which may help:
Herbal and nutritional formulas have been put together to help balance our blood sugar. Ingredients such as Chromium, Gymnema and Alpha Lipoic Acid can help control sugar cravings during the day.
Protein Powders offer you a great low sugar alternative for a snack... I find them most useful mid afternoon as they help get you through to dinner. Protein will help improve muscle mass, reduce hunger and boost your metabolism all whilst consuming under 150 calories!
We are all going to give in to the odd chocolate craving, but when selecting your chocolate choose it well!! Dark chocolate has many health benefits and you rarely over eat it unlike milk chocolate which you can eat all day! Pana chocolate is local to Port Melbourne and is totally dairl free and natural. It comes in a small little packet and you really only need one square to be satisfied. So when you JUST HAVE TO have it, choose wisely!