A few weeks ago, I had this period of several days where my cravings for sugar were through the roof. I normally have my sugar cravings under control especially since I eat a pretty well balanced diet. But, I noticed that once I give in to one sugary craving, it triggers a series of uncontrollable cravings which is not a good situation to be in when you’re going for fat loss.
So, since Sunday of last week, I vowed to not give in to my sugar cravings until I completely eliminated the need to grab that chocolate chip cookie or brownie at the next business meeting. How did I do that? I’m glad you asked.
Blood Sugar Levels
Basically, sugar cravings are triggered when your blood sugar levels fluctuate too high or too low. Simple sugars and starchy carbohydrates such as table sugar, honey, maple syrup, high fructose corn syrup, yellow potatoes, bananas, etc. can cause these fluctuations especially when eaten by itself. For example, if you grabbed a starchy carbohydrate such as a cookie for a convenient snack at the office without any other food, your sugar will immediately be delivered to your blood system which will cause that “sugar rush.” Because simple sugars are immediately absorbed by your body, your blood sugar levels will also go down as fast as it went up. Low blood sugar levels will then trigger more cravings for sweets and so on.
Carbohydrates are Your Body’s Main Source of Energy
I also noticed that my sugar cravings are particularly strong when I’m on a low carbohydrate diet. For instance, when I limit my fruit intake and starchy carbohydrates to only the first 3 or 4 meals of the day, I usually feel the sugar cravings coming on either at night or upon waking up. This occurs because our body’s main source of energy is from carbohydrates. Because our body depends so much on them, we use them all up when we’re on a low-carb diet that our body wants more of it. Thus, resulting to your body wanting more sugary goodness.
So, I decided to challenge you, my dear readers, to join me in this 2-week, “Manage Your Cravings Challenge.” Mainly, I am going to outline my strategies for keeping my blood sugar levels stable and I’d like you to join me in this experiment. You can use whatever brand of supplements that you already use. I merely state the brands that I like and recommend. Let’s get started…
- Strategy #1: Eat Starchy Carbohydrates and Simple Sugars with healthy fats, lean protein, and green vegetables (complex carbohydrates) at all times – For instance, I will only eat oat meal with chicken breast, and a salad with a bit of olive oil based dressing. If I don’t have access to vegetables, I usually have some type of greens supplements that I take with my meal. The two brands that I prefer are Greens Plus and Fields of Greens. Keep in mind that you don’t want to eat simple sugars by themselves.
- Strategy #2: Take 2 softgels of fish oil or krill oil (I like EFA Icon from Prograde) with your breakfast and dinner – this ensures that your blood sugar stays stable during the the most critical parts of the day – morning and evening. This also takes care of my healthy fat intake for the day especially if I don’t eat a salad or forgot to bring any nuts with me.
- Strategy #3: Drink Aloe Vera Gel – if you’ve read the Fat Loss Primer, this is one of my sure ways to tame my sugar cravings. While I don’t take it as much as I used to, I always keep my fridge stocked with a few bottles, for emergency purposes like this. If you don’t already know, aloe vera in its purest form (which this is), contains 200 nutritional compounds including 20 minerals, 18 amino acids, and 12 vitamins.
- Strategy #4: Don’t give in to your sweet tooth – this is where the saying, “practice makes perfect” applies. For one thing, if you don’t give in to your cravings, you are avoiding any blood sugar fluctuations from happening. At the same time, you are practicing the habit of not giving in to food temptations which will help you practice the first strategy until it becomes a habit. This is also one reason why I am making this a two-week challenge.
Why these 4 strategies?
These strategies will work hand in hand to help your body absorb starchy carbs and simple sugars slowly into your blood delivery system which, in turn, helps stabilize your blood sugar levels. In addition, they force you to eat a more balanced diet so you’ll surely satisfy most of your nutritional needs. The concept is simple enough and yet if I didn’t know about it, I probably wouldn’t have a clue in the world why my sweet tooth tendencies are stronger than normal.
This challenge starts on Monday, August 17th until Saturday, August 29th. So, what do you say? Are you up for the challenge? If so, let me know by leaving a comment below and feel free to add in any of your thoughts.