It’s calling out to you. It knows your name and promises to fulfill your every desire. The flavor it brings to your life is sweeter than anything you can imagine. And it’s all yours…
If you just reroute to Starbucks. If you just head to the vending machine. If you just stop by the break room.
Whether it’s a slice of coffee cake, a chocolate-nut-caramel filled candy bar, or a slice of buttercream frosted cake from your co-worker’s birthday, the foods we crave and the choices we make greatly impact our health. Choosing an Oreo blizzard over a peanut butter banana protein smoothie will make an impact not only on an expanding waistline but also on your mood, energy level and risk of disease. Over time, excess sugar can increase the likelihood of obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Refined sugar, found in pastries and soda, ignites inflammation through the body that can also lead to sagging skin and wrinkles.
Saying goodbye to sugar doesn’t mean you’re destined for a flavorless, bland and boring life. In fact, you really don’t have to say “goodbye” to sugar. Our tips below with help you overcome and manage your sweet tooth, finding the sweet spot (pun intended) between brownie bites and blueberries.
Avoid calorie restriction.
If you’re cutting back on calories and not getting enough protein and fiber through breakfast and lunch, your cravings will likely go haywire before dinner time. Pair that with the afternoon doldrums, and there’s a good chance the only steps you’ll be logging are the ones to the vending machine.
Fill your plate with protein, healthy fats, and fiber-rich foods.
Sweets are typically filled with “empty calories.” They provide momentary satisfaction, but cause the level of sugar in our blood to spike, then quickly drop. This leaves us more exhausted than a night owl waking up for a 5am CrossFit class. These treats also lack the nutrients our bodies need. Foods rich in fiber, protein, and healthy fats can control our cravings with their satiating properties. Consider increasing protein from foods like chicken, fish, cottage cheese and greek yogurt. Healthy fats include olive oil and nuts, while fiber-rich foods include fruits, veggies, and oatmeal.
Break the cycle.
The cycle of consuming sweets can consume you if you let it. Eat a donut, feel temporarily satisfied and craving more. Drink a coke, feel temporarily satisfied and craving more. It takes effort and intention to break the cycle. Our bodies anticipate that fixe, the satisfaction that comes with eating something rich in sugar. It will be difficult, but STOP going to the vending machine. STOP buying the ice cream that you find yourself eating every night. STOP.
Replace > Restrict
While breaking the sugar cycle can be difficult, you can ease the challenge by focusing on what you’re adding to your diet, vs. what you’re taking away. Add a plant-based protein shake. Eat a handful of almonds. Top your sweet potato with Greek yogurt. Once you realize how much better you feel when you add to your diet, you will feel less restricted and deprived.
Over time, you’ll crave less sugar and more substance. Consider dropping jaws with this sweet bag, crafted from water repellent, printed nylon. The Cutting Edge
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Megan has been a certified personal trainer for over ten years. Also a lifelong vegetarian, her fitness journey began in high school, when she was overweight and inactive. After joining her first gym at the age of 16 and making changes to her lifestyle, the extra weight dropped and her commitment to health and wellness continued to grow. In a world that overwhelms us with diet plans, new workout routines, and the latest “stress-busting, abs-lusting” claims, Megan Meisner Fitness will help you silence the distractions and focus on mindfulness, self-awareness, and support to reach your goals.