How to reduce cravings
Do you ever wonder how you can actually reduce your cravings and feel in control around food? You’ve tried everything but can’t quite seem to get a grip and reduce your appetite and cravings – which sometimes seem to come out of nowhere despite what you do.
These cravings that you might be experiencing are not merely a lack of willpower; they often have a biological basis.
The desire for sugary or processed foods can be linked to fluctuations in blood sugar levels, triggering a cascade of events that influence our mood, energy, and cravings. So let’s get you some help and top tips to reduce your appetite and cravings for good.
Once you understand roughly how food works in the body, you will be able to stop the physical need for treats, and you can start looking at creating healthier habits around treat foods.
How to reduce sugar cravings
The cornerstone of reducing sugar cravings lies in stabilising blood sugar levels. The body’s response to high-sugar or refined carbohydrate intake involves a surge in blood sugar, followed by an insulin release to bring levels back down again. However, this can result in a rapid drop in blood sugar, leaving you feeling fatigued and craving more sugar for a quick energy boost.
Adopting a low-GL diet, helps maintain a steady glucose supply to the cells, preventing these extreme fluctuations.
Reducing your cravings this way is scientifically proven due to low-GL diets contributing to improved insulin sensitivity and reduced post-meal blood sugar spikes, ultimately reducing cravings for sugary treats.
At the end of this section I’ll include some information and a handout you can download helping you choose some Low GL foods to reduce your cravings.
Protein helps to reduce appetite and cravings
Eat protein with every meal (meat, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts, seeds, beans and pulses).
Scientific studies have consistently demonstrated the satiating effect of protein helping to curb hunger and maintain feelings of fullness for longer periods. Additionally, protein-rich meals slow down the digestion and absorption of sugars, preventing rapid spikes in blood sugar levels.
Researchers have found that incorporating protein into each meal can positively influence hormones that regulate appetite, such as ghrelin and peptide YY. These hormones play a pivotal role in signaling fullness to the brain, thus reducing the likelihood of succumbing to cravings, and ultimately helping you to crack these unwanted sugar cravings. This was shown in the study for a weight loss trial here
The wonders of Non Starchy Vegetables
Fill up on non-starchy veg by focusing on the vegetables that grow above the ground, such as leafy greens like spinach and kale, salad leaves, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, garden peas, aubergine, courgette, asparagus, cabbage, peppers, and squash.
The Fibre Factor:
These non-starchy vegetables, rich in fibre, play a pivotal role in reducing your sugar cravings. Fibre not only adds bulk to your meals, promoting a sense of fullness, but it also slows down the digestion and absorption of nutrients, including sugars. This effect is substantiated by scientific evidence demonstrating that increased dietary fibre intake is associated with lower overall energy intake and improved weight management.
Moreover, certain fibres, such as soluble fibre found in vegetables, form a gel-like substance in the digestive tract, further slowing down the release of sugars into the bloodstream. This powerful mechanism helps to keep our energy levels stable and ulitmately reducing our sugar cravings.
Choosing your carbohydrates
Eating fewer starchy carbs and switching those to brown or wholemeal varieties provides additional nutrients and a slower release of glucose.
Include wholegrain varieties such as wholemeal bread, brown rice, wholemeal pasta. Also adding in quinoa, a nutrient-dense alternative to couscous, not only adds variety to your diet but also offers a complete protein source. This helps to regulate blood sugar levels reducing the risk of insulin resistance, keeping your cravings under control.
Timing your meals
Aim to eat three meals a day and no snacks in between, and all food in at least a 12 hour window (which means waiting 12 hours from your dinner one evening to your breakfast the next morning). This gives your body the chance to process the things you are eating and rest in between, which is important. This is especially important for us women over 40 who are looking to lose weight and boost our metabolism and metabolic function. Therefore aligning with the body’s circadian rhythm, promoting optimal digestion, metabolism, and hormonal balance.
Low GL foods to help reduce your sugar cravings
Download Your FREE Crush Your Cravings Ebook & Food Checklist
- Why can’t I stop craving foods?
- Where do I start?
- Snacking Vs Satisfying Cravings
- How to break habitual eating
- Differences between Glycemic Index vs. Glycemic Load
- Lower GI Foods
- Higher GI Foods
- Low/Moderate Glycemic Index Food List