I’ll be honest- I’ve never been someone who just “NEEDS” to have sugar. I’ve never had any issues with strong cravings and, when I started to eat cleaner, thankfully the processed stuff just tasted disgusting to me, so it was easy avoid!
HOWEVER, now that I’m going through my 2nd pregnancy, this is a whole different ball game. My body has been craving sugar- cakey, donuty, choclately sugar… and let me tell you.. the struggle is REAL!
I have been working on how to not cave and go off the rails because I have a responsibility to grow a healthy baby, and of course, to have enough energy to also chase around my 11 month old. I know that if I give in to all of these cravings then it will send me into a downward spiral. I’ve seen it happen, I’ve been there myself, and I’m not going there!
If you’re someone who often has sugar cravings, or you feel like you just “can’t go without it”, this is for you!
Here is what has helped me (and what we tell our clients too):
1) Drink Water
I know it sounds funny, but drinking enough water consistently WILL help you combat those sugar cravings! I don’t mean drinking teas or flavored waters or sodas or coffees, but actual WATER. The general rule of thumb that we always talk about is half your body weight in ounces of water. Your body needs it (I mean think about it- we are made up of 60% water) and sometimes those hunger cravings are just your body telling you it needs some high quality H2O!
2) Pay Attention To Your Triggers
What causes you to have these cravings? Do you drive by a Dunkin Donuts on your way to work and decide you just need a donut because it’s on the way? Then take a different route! Do you find that you go down the baked goods aisle at Wegmans just to “look”, and find then find yourself bringing home something every single time? Then avoid that aisle! Do you just “need” to have “snacks” in your cupboard for when your grandkids are over, then end up eating them because they’re there? Buy different snacks! Be solution oriented.
3) Plan Your Meals In Advance
Often times, we can find ourselves going through the drive-thru because we haven’t planned our meals ahead of time. We do what’s “convenient” because we didn’t make the time to plan our lunches ahead. What meals do you find that you’re making the poorest choices? Plan those specific meals out so you don’t need to hit up the drive thru! Also, sometimes those sugar cravings kick in when we’re not eating often enough throughout the day, which stems from poor planning. When you fail to plan then you plan to fail. Be proactive!
4) Take Your Vitamins!
Sometimes sugar cravings are our bodies telling us that we are deficient in certain areas! This past week, I ran out of my vitamins (I order them online and didn’t pay attention when I was low!), and I’ve noticed a huge difference in my cravings! You may need a multi-vitamin or something specific. Are you taking any supplements at all? Talk to a professional!
5) Eat Fruit
The other day, when I was REALLY wanting a donut (a Boston Cream, to be specific), I forced myself to have an orange instead and, guess what?! I felt better! Buy some fruit to have on hand!
6) Chew Gum
If it’s a little sweetness you’re after, chew a piece of gum! This time around, I’ve been buying Juicy Fruit because I’m sick of the minty stuff (and it takes me back to when I was a kid).
7) Avoid The Fake Stuff
Stop drinking diet sodas and using sugar substitutes! They are even WORSE than actual sugar. They’ll leave you craving the real thing even more. Especially make sure to avoid artificial sweeteners like Equal, Splenda, and Sweet N Low, which have been known to cause headaches, strokes, and even cancer. If you’re going to have anything at all, eat the real thing. The processed, chemically stuff made in factories is NOT good for your body or your brain.
8) Stop Making Excuses!
You are so much stronger than your cravings. I sometimes hear adults say things like “I just HAVE to have dessert every night because that’s how I grew up” or “I NEED to have ice cream, and it’s just a little bit”. “Just a little bit” every single day adds up. Imagine if you stopped doing that every single day and how that would end up working out for your health?! Think about how much better you’ll feel when you DON’T cave or give in to those silly excuses?
What is more important to you: keeping a bad habit going because you’re too stubborn to give it up? Or your overall health and well-bring in the long run? Maybe you have a specific goal to fit back into a certain dress, or to lose belly fat, or to look nice in your mother-of-the-bride or groom dress? Whatever it is, it needs to be stronger than those cravings.
I want to share a powerful message from author Matthew Kelly. He talks about how there is a big difference between happiness and pleasure. He says “Pleasure cannot be sustained beyond the activity producing it. Happiness can be. Next time you’re eating something that you know isn’t good for you, ask yourself ‘is this going to make me happy when I’m done? Or am I only doing it for the short term pleasure?'”
If I’m in my 3rd trimester and I can do this, SO CAN YOU!!!
Thanks for taking the time to read this!!- Mandy Webb, Co-Owner, KW Fitness
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