It's the time of year where sugary foods are found at the office, parties, and at home. Baking goodies as gifts has been a way to let others know you are thinking of them. Sugar cravings can become strong and temptations are difficult to resist for those who have a sweet tooth. How is a person to maintain a healthy lifestyle with so much eye candy? Here are a few tips that can help: Protein up: Protein is a plays a valuable role in balancing the blood sugar levels. Often times when a craving for sugar or carbohydrate hits, what is needed is a good source of protein. It's also digested at a slower rate than carbohydrates and the protein-rich foods are usually low on the glycemic index. Balanced sugar level: When sugar is ingested, blood sugar levels spike and that "sugar rush" is reached. Whatever goes up, comes down and that crash can leave the body feeling sluggish and desperate for another sugar fix. Stabilize the blood sugar by consuming meals that include a mix of complex carbohydrates, fiber, healthy fats and protein. Since this mix will take a while to break down and absorb, the blood sugar level will be more balanced and cravings for sugar will be reduced. Drink water: Staying well hydrated improves digestion, reduces pain, lubricates joints, fuels cells, transports chemical messengers throughout the body, enhances kidney function, and keeps up feeling energized. Studies show drinking water prior to a meal will prevent overeating and may lead to weight loss. When satiety is reached, there is a less likely chance of indulging in a cookie or a slice of cake. Go to sleep: Sleep deprivation increased the production of the hunger hormone, ghrelin. When the body is sleep deprived, the chances of eating junk food like pizza and candy are greatly increased. These foods activate the reward centers of the brain which indicates likely unhealthy choices will be made when the body is really craving is sleep. Try to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night and those sugar cravings will reduce or may even disappear altogether. Sip some tea: Before reaching for a sugary snack, brew a cup of tea first. By the time the water gets hot and the tea seeps, the craving will likely pass. Choosing a tea with spices like cinnamon, ginger or turmeric will help regulate blood sugar. Keep sugar out: The best way to beat sugar cravings is to not purchase them in the first place. If the sugary treats aren't in the house, there is a less likely chance of temptation. Instead stock the pantry and fridge with fresh vegetable, fruits, nuts, seeds, spices and teas that is in ready reach when a craving or hunger strikes.
health-bite: fight off sugar cravings