Hunger, Cravings & How to Tackle Them
Author: Stacey Rogers, Strength Coach & Nutritionist
Hunger, Cravings & How to Tackle Them
Being hungry is awful! It becomes distracting, uncomfortable, and it is the prime time many people give into their cravings. So how do you tackle your hungry brain and keep those cravings in check? Read on to see my top tips including how Perfect Sweet xylitol helps control sugar cravings!
Drink Water - Thirst is often confused with hunger and food cravings. Whenever hunger or craving strikes, grab a glass of water and wait a few minutes and the craving may fade away as your body was actually needing water, not food.
Eat Whole Foods - Always choose foods that man has tampered with the least. In other words, choose less processed foods. Good quality lean proteins, fresh fruits and vegetables and gluten free grains all contain an array of vitamins and mineral necessarily to keep your body functioning at its best.
Meal & Nutrient Timing - Eating regularly throughout the day is a good way to keep your blood sugar levels stable and your hunger at bay. At each meal make sure you have a source of protein, vegetables and an energy either from healthy fats or gluten free carbohydrates.
Start your day with a protein source, some good fats and live food (vegetables) to help you feel switched on, focused and ready to tackle the day. Eat lower carb foods during the day and keep your carbs for the last meal of your day. This will have a positive effect on your reducing your food cravings and will also help your sleep by lowering your stress hormones and increasing your calm/relax hormones.
Work Out - Moving your body by exercising is one of the best ways you can reduce your food cravings. Exercise, in particular strength training, helps to improve insulin sensitivity so your body can better manage your blood sugar levels. The other great benefits of exercise is it is a great fat burner and stress release! Stress can induce cravings and affect your eating behavior plus raise your blood level of cortisol, a hormone that can make you gain weight.
If the gym is not your thing then simply going for a walk is a great way to distract yourself from food cravings.
Get Enough ZZZ’s Each Night - A lack of good quality sleep each night means your body does not get sufficient time to rest and recharge. As a result, you will find your hunger and cravings are much higher the next day because your body is looking for that extra energy to keep you going. Without adequate sleep your hunger hormones are elevated…cue hunger pangs!
Gut Health - An imbalance of gut flora (bacteria) may be the cause of your hunger and sugar cravings. Balancing this out is essential to keep you feeling good and looking great. Taking a probiotic in the evening after your meal and replacing refined sugar with Perfect Sweet xylitol are ways to improve your gut health. Xylitol feeds healthy digestive bacteria and this can lead to improved digestive health and better absorption of minerals by the body.
Learn To Read Food Labels - I try to avoid buying food in packets, however on the odd occasion that I do, I make sure I know what exactly is in it! Always look for the product with the least number of ingredients and no numbers. Be aware of hidden sugars disguised under other names such as agave, high fructose corn syrup, rice malt syrup, glucose, maltose to just name a few and always choose products with the lowest sugar content per serving. A quick way to work out how much sugar is actually in the product is to take the ‘total sugars’ (if the label has it), divide this number by 4 and that will give you an approximate number of teaspoons of sugar are in it. Sugar is easy to become addicted to so it makes sense to be aware of how much is actually in your food.
Add Flavour! - Beat those sugar cravings by flavoring your food with herbs and spices and using Perfect Sweet. Cinnamon is a great example as it helps to improve insulin sensitivity.
Read more about Cinnamon here. http://www.sweetlife.com.au/n/the-power-of-cinnamon/404
If you need that sweet hit, Perfect Sweet xylitol is the perfect option! Perfect Sweet is sugar free and tastes like sugar with no bitter aftertaste, however unlike refined sugar it is absorbed much slower into your blood stream. As a result it doesn’t cause a rapid rise in your blood sugar levels and helps control your sugar cravings.
Keep Your Caffeine Intake In Check - Many people drink coffee to help combat fatigue and get them through high-stress times. This approach can sometimes be counterproductive if you are already suffering from high stress levels. Keep your coffee to before 2pm to help manage your stress hormone levels and to minimise its impact on your sleep.
These are just a few ways you can keep your hunger and sugar cravings in check. Give them a go and see if they work for you!
Strength Coach & Nutritionist - Shredded Strength Institute
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