Hello lovely people!
This is the moment that can make or break your weight loss plan. It’s 4pm, you’re bored at work and crazy hungry. What is the best choice snack? Do you grab a candy bar to cope with your afternoon cravings – and then reach for a Coke to get out of your death-like slump?
As an ex-sugar junkie, I know how hard it is to resist the sweet temptations. However, munching on sugary snacks will just make you crave more – it’s a serious addiction! Eating simple carbohydrates, without protein or fats will quickly satisfy your hunger and give your body a short-term energy boost. Hello sugar high! Only to leave you grumpy, famished and craving more sugar shortly after. In the long run, the regular sugar rush will affect your body’s ability to store and utilize sugar, potentially leading to diabetes and other serious health implications.
Try these handy tips to avoid the afternoon sugar cravings:
- Get enough protein: every meal should include protein. This will increase your satiety levels and control your blood sugar, therefore less cravings. For animal sources, choose free-range and hormone-free. Eat wild fish to decrease the intake of pollutants, or if you go vegetarian, black beans and chickpeas are a great choice.
- Eat regular smaller meals: try to eat protein and vegetable snacks every 3 hours. This will help you avoid getting too hungry and overeating carbalicious treats.
- Drink plenty of water: sometimes a food craving is disguised as thirst. Go for water or seltzer to check if you really are hungry.
- Out of sight: say no to the sugary treats at the store or work. Don’t even bring it into your house, because I guarantee you will eat it if it’s there!
- Watch out for sneaky sugars in processed foods: 4 words – High Fructose Corn Syrup. This and other sweeteners in your food is why you’re so addicted. Check the labels or better still, avoid processed foods altogether!!
- Go for fruit: keep your paws out of the cookie jar and in the fruit basket. Choose lower GI options like grapefruit, berries, green apples or pears. Stay away from bananas, pineapples and watermelon. You’ll get a little sugar hit plus the fiber and nutrients. Woohoo!
So what if you didn’t plan snacks for the day and you don’t have an emergency supply of almonds in your bag? What is the healthiest choice at the store? In the emergency ‘I need chocolate‘ case, opt for dark chocolate as it has a lower sugar content (compared to other candy) and antioxidant properties that show promise in helping your heart. Look for a brand with at least 70 percent cocoa content. The higher this percentage, the healthier the chocolate. Go for quality over quantity.
My All-Time Favorite Afternoon Snack to beat sugar cravings:
Non-fat natural Greek yogurt (no added sugar) – FAGE is my fave brand
1/2 cup blueberries
5-10 raw almonds
Mix these ingredients together for a delicious, healthy snack. This is also a super breakfast!
But what about artificial sweeteners and no-calorie/sugar-free drinks? It will do little to stop your sugar cravings and should be avoided. Diet drinks and no-calorie sweet snacks often contain potentially toxic sweeteners like aspartame. Remember the more you feed yourself the natural, unsweetened foods the less you will crave the sweet junk.
Preparation is the key to success here lovely people. Make sure you keep little healthy snacks with you because if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.