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How to kick your sweet cravings
For many of us, there are some habits we would prefer to leave behind coming into the warmer weather heading into summer. Over the winter months, it is common to indulge and lean towards comfort foods and treats that may not be a usual part of our everyday diet. Sweets are especially easy to reach for it can be hard to say no to that chocolate brownie or that extra serving of ice cream after dinner. Life is all about balance! The important thing is that we can get back on track to feel and look our best as we welcome in the warmer weather.
Surprisingly, it is only recently that the negative effects on sugar have really been taken seriously. Sugar has the ability to alter biochemical pathways, severely affecting brain chemistry. A little treat here and there won’t hurt, however sugar addiction is a real thing. The issue lies when we find ourselves unable to ignore the cravings, constantly reaching for a sweet snack especially during the afternoon or post-dinner. So how do we help our bodies curb these cravings for good? Here are our top tips on how to kick those sweet cravings.
It may sound simple, but when our bodies need water it can often be felt as hunger signals especially for high water content foods to quench thirst. Thirst and hunger can often be misinterpreted. Next time those afternoon sweet cravings hit, try downing a glass of water first. Sometimes, our bodies need extra hydration, especially in the warmer months. Keep a glass or bottle of water close to you at all times so it's easy for you to keep hydrated all day long. Keeping hydrated is also important for overall health and general wellbeing.
When you exercise, there is an increase in blood flow that benefits your brain. This can be why you tend to feel more focused and energised post workout. A number of different neurotransmitters are also triggered including endorphins, serotonin and dopamine. Some of these are most well known for their ‘feel good’ effect on the body and role in mood control. Exercising regularly will ensure you are getting a good dose of those happy hormones, reducing the likeliness of reaching for those sugar-heavy foods. Sugar cravings typically last for a few minutes, exercise is also a great way to distract yourself and get your mind of things!
Get enough sleep
One of the most overlooked and underrated factors when addressing sugar cravings, metabolism issues and weight control. Grelin is commonly known as the ‘hunger hormone’ and controls our cravings for carbohydrates and sugars. When we have poor quality or lack sleep for an extended period of time our bodies make more ghrelin which can lead to an increase in unwanted sugar cravings! Leptin is a chemical that can influence how much we eat, it is produced by our fat cells and effects our satiety levels. Lack of sleep can cause our bodies to produce less Leptin, prompting us to want to eat more. Simply, if we are sleep deprived our bodies will turn towards food specifically sugars for an energy source. Making sure you get a quality, good night sleep could be what you need to get those cravings under control.
Choose your treats wisely
This can often be the most difficult parts. You can have all your main meals perfectly planned out and balanced, full of healthy protein, fats and carbohydrates. Only to find yourself snacking uncontrollably between meals and raiding the fridge at 10 pm for a sweet fix. You do not have to completely restrict yourself, often this can lead to binge eating or over-consuming calories. The trick is to find healthy substitutes that work for you and will satisfy your cravings.
Some of our favourite healthy treats include:
Dark chocolate is a healthier choice compared to milk or white chocolate. Make sure there is a minimum of 70% Cocoa, the higher the percentage the higher the antioxidants and benefits. However, just like regular chocolate it still contains some sugar and fat so portion control is still necessary.
Homemade protein balls
Protein balls are a great alternative to candy or chocolate bars. They especially make great snacks and/or desserts. There are a lot of ready to go options available on the market. However, making your own can be cheaper and you can personalise them to your favourite flavour and ingredients. Dates are a great base for protein balls, they are high in natural sugars however contain various health benefits such as fibre, potassium and iron. Adding a good, high-quality protein powder and fat sources such as nuts or seeds will keep you satiated and fuller for longer. At Amazonia, we have a variety of different ranges of plant-based proteins depending on your preference and specific goals. You can find our range online as well as delicious recipe ideas!
Fruit is a delicious natural choice for when sugar cravings hit. As well as the sweetness, you get a good dose of fibre and nutrients. Berries are especially great as they taste sweet but are also high in fibre and pack a good dose of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
A smoothie that combines a good source of protein, fruits and vegetables can help curb sugar cravings as well as boosting nutritional intake. Having a delicious smoothie can make you feel like you’re enjoying a decadent dessert shake without the unwanted sugar and other ingredients. We have a variety of different proteins in multiple delicious flavour options, you will be sure to find a protein flavour perfect for you. You can find our range online as well as delicious smoothie combinations!
The key is to find a smooth, delicious protein powder to add into your protein creations or to simply have as a snack, so you can nourish yourself while treating yourself to a taste sensation! Our Amazonia Slim & Tone Raw protein range comes in 4 delicious flavours - vanilla cinnamon, cacao macadamia, toffee truffle and double choc mint there is sure to be a flavour for everyone! Add it to a liquid of your choice, smoothies, bowls and even protein balls or baking! Amazonia Raw Slim & Tone Protein has specially formulated to support a natural, healthy metabolism while helping you to achieve real results you can feel. To help keep you keep your hunger satisfied, reduce feelings of cravings and assist in healthy, long-term toning!
Still can’t quite kick the last of your sweet cravings? Our Amazonia Raw Sugar Crave Release Spray is our secret weapon! With a potent herbal blend, designed to target excessive bad bacteria within the digestive tract and help reduce sugar cravings. In a convenient, on the go spray bottle, say hello to your new best friend!