If your struggling with sweet cravings mid-day or at night and can't understand why, the first place to start is examining what you ate earlier in the day! When you physically crave sugar, it's because your blood sugar is low. If blood sugar has dropped and cravings are kicking in, what you ate (or didn't eat) earlier in the day is typically to blame. So the next time you feel an intense craving coming on, go through this checklist. By eliminating the cause of the cravings, you can kick your sugar habit for good!
1. Did I eat breakfast one hour within waking? Was it balanced with the right amount of protein, carbohydrates and fat? Eating a balanced breakfast no more than one hour within waking will help to prevent cravings later on.
2. Are my meals no longer than 4 hours apart. Ideally you should aim for your meals to be 3 hours apart because going too long between meals can lead to cravings.
3. Are all of my meals based upon my nutritional parameters? Missing even one of the macronutrients (protein, carbohydrate or fat) in any meal can cause blood sugar levels to fluctuate
4. Am I weighing my foods to make sure that I'm getting the right amount of each macronutrient (protein, carbohydrate, and fat). Unless you are extremely comfortable with your portion sizes, it's a good idea to measure your food items.
5. Did I have any "off" meals yesterday or more often than usual? Though we all indulge in the occasional "off" meal, it's important to understand that going off track can lead to fluctuations in blood sugar down the road.
6. Am I drinking enough water? Even mild dehydration can cause cravings.
7. Am I getting restul and consistent sleep? Lack of sleep can cause major fatigue, cravings and increased stress hormones.
8. How's my stress level?
9. Am I fueling my body properly before and after exercise? Remember, exercise uses fuel and it's important to eat a balanced meal or snack to prepare your body and keep blood sugar stable.
10. Am I eating enough? If you have been stabilizing your blood sugar for a long time or exercise has dramatically increased, it may be time to work with a Venice Nutrition Coach to re-evaluate your meal plan and overall structure.