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Day #30 Stop sugar cravings fast

Cutting back on sugar is a big part of the Tweak Diet so if you’re having problems  we asked Dr John Briffa a leading nutritionist and medical doctor for help to stop sweet cravings…It’s our second last tweak of the series *sad face*

Briffa says: ‘Your lunch could be to blame for that 4pm drive to inhale that strawberry sponge, cupcake or Yorkie bar.  Low blood sugar is a likely cause of sweet cravings,’ he says.  ‘When someone eats, their body releases sugar into the blood stream and the pancreas secretes the hormone insulin whose function it is to take the sugar out of the blood stream and into the body’s cells where it can be used for fuel.  But refined starches such as breads, pasta, wraps, bagels, baguettes and cereals, typical lunch foods, along with crisps or sweet drinks like smoothies and juices make insulin levels soar quickly and then drop again fast to levels even lower than before you ate.

‘That means strong cravings for fast glucose to refuel the blood a couple of hours later. This reactive hypoglycaemia is common and can come with fatigue, fogginess, mood swings and anxiety.  Some people think they’re having a panic attack when it’s low blood sugar.  In some sensitive people, this crash can even happen before the end of a meal containing grains and refined carbohydrates which is why people often crave sugar after eating’.

Here are 6 easy things that can help stop sugar cravings fast

Chromium  Helps stabilise blood sugar levels to prevent cravings. ‘Take 200 milligrams of a form called Chromium GTF – stands for Glucose Tolerance Factor – each day,’ says Dr John Briffa. Higher Nature Chromium £6.95

L-glutamine Appears to fuel the brain to help prevent 4pm fogginess.  Opt for the powder form, advises Briffa and add 1-2 teaspoons to your litre bottle of water and sip through the day. Solgar L-Glutamine £8.89

Cinnamon  Keeps blood sugar even and great added to yoghurt or smoothies at breakfast.

Don’t skip meals Protein such as eggs, full fat yoghurt, poultry, fish, pulses, beans, tofu or lean meats eaten with fats such as nuts, olives, seeds, olive, flaxseed and nut oils and avocados along with vegetables provide a steadier fuel to the brain than sugar and refined carbohydrates.

A mid-afternoon snack with protein and healthy fats such as a handful of Brazil nuts or almonds (avoid cashews as they’re high in sugar) keeps sugar cravings at bay.

Run up the stairs Just five minutes brisk walking or stairclimbing raises blood sugar naturally by encouraging the liver to release its glycogen (glucose) stores into the bloodstream.

Healthista says:

bigstock-Chocolate-4070991‘Take it from us former sugar junkies the less sugar and grainy foods such as rice, pasta and bread you eat the less you crave.  Your tastes quickly adapt and prioritizing protein, good fats, vegetables  and low sugar fruits such as berries, apples and pears in your diet will quickly re-train your tastebuds.  Cut out sugars, flour and carbohydrates from your diet in favour of these lean proteins, vegetables, beans and pulses, fruits and add moderate exercise such as 15-60 minutes 5-7 days a week to keep your mood up (especially if like us, you self-medicate the first hint of a low mood with a Galaxy bar comfort hit).  Withdrawals from sugar and grainy products like breads, rice and pasta, which behave just like sugar in the body, could include cravings, headaches, low energy, irritability and even jitters and night sweats.  The worst of them subside after about a week but they could come and go for about six weeks before the lights come on, your energy increases and sweet things start to feel ‘too sweet’.  That’s when you’ll feel better and is usually what makes people want to continue.  Once you’ve broken the sugar habit, see sweet stuff as an occasional indulgence and opt for a little bit of the best stuff you can get.  Remember too, the crash that will come if you do indulge – is it worth it?  Well, that crash will be worse if you have your sugar hit on an empty stomach so if you really want that hit, eat something protein-based before then enjoy.

Got a favourite diet tweak you wouldn’t be without? Tell us in the comments

More posts in Healthista’s January Daily Tweak Diet

Day #1 Record everything you eat

Day #2 Drink two litres of water daily

Day #3 Your at-a-glance portion guide

Day #4: Have a protein breakfast for weight loss

Day #5 Cut back on sugar with these simple tips

Day #6 Burn an extra 500 calories a day (without the gym)

Day #7 Snack on 40 almonds a day

Day #8 Is it real hunger or a craving?

Day #9 Take the stairs – five times

Day #10 Add flavour without calories

Day #11 Weigh yourself once a week

Day #12 Drink four cups of green tea a day

Day #13 The 4 words that can stop emotional eating

Day #14 Eat fat-burning foods

Day #15 Have a bitter green salad before dinner

Day #16 Blend it at breakfast

Day #17 Add vinegar to your food

Day #18 Put your fork down

Day #19 Do short workouts most days

Day #20 Make healthy Ready Meals

Day #21 Turn down the heating

Day #22 Have a cup of veg in the AM

Day #23 Use skinny crockery

Day #24 Shop online, lose weight

Day #25 Walk 12,000 steps a day for weight loss

Day #26 Have 3 apples a day

Day #27 The mind trick that helps you slim

Day #28 Eat soup, lose weight

Day #29 Have a cold shower, burn more fat


escape diet trapDr John Briffa is the author of
Escape the Diet Trap (Fourth Estate £14.99)

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