3 pm rolls around and your feeling sluggish, worn down and hungry for carbohydrates or sugar. Sound familiar? This is the dreaded sugar craving and it affects more than just your waist line. It brings your energy down, causes fatigue and a lack of mental clarity. So how can you kick the sugar craving for good? Stabilize your blood sugar and you will no longer crave it!
We have worked with thousands of clients nationwide and one of the main goals of every client is to increase energy mid-aftermoon and get rid of carbohydrate cravings- whether they are the salty or the sweet kind (remember all carbohydrates break down into glucose or sugar into your system). The challenge with low blood sugar is it leads to cravings, which cause you to indulge. Then your blood sugar spikes, your body stores fat and you crash all over again, leading to a vicious cycle. This cycle makes it hard to lose weight and even harder to feel great throughout the day
For those of you that are new to Venice Nutrition, here's a few key tips to keep your cravings in check.
1. Eat breakfast and make sure it has the right balance of protein, carbohydrate and fat (check your meal plan for easy ideas). Eating breakfast one hour within waking kick starts your metabolism and prevents cravings later on in the day.
2. Make sure to eat a balanced meal or snack (again balanced meaning having the right ratios of protein, carbohydrates and fat) every 3 hours or so. This prevents blood sugar from dropping, which is the major cause of cravings. Even a balanced protein bar is a great choice for a mid-afternoon snack.
3. Make sure your getting enough water- lack of hydration can cause cravings
4. Figure out your "sleep number" (the hours of sleep you need each night to feel rested) and make it happen. When your tired, your body automatically craves carbohydrates as a temporary fix to lift you up again.
5. Make sure your properly fueled before and after your workouts- walking into a gym with low blood sugar guarantees that you won't be burning much fat at all! Same with over-doing your exercise and neglecting to fuel properly (again, think balanced meals). Low blood sugar before, during and after workouts causes you to burn lean muscle mass and dramatically slow your metabolism.
Eating frequent meals and getting the right amount of sleep and water will help you to kick the physical cravings for good. One last tip: Make sure to indulge in your favorite treat now and then- remember it's all about balance!