1. Willpower is a finite resource
Relying on willpower alone requires huge amounts of mental energy, which is inevitably in low supply at the end of a long day or during stressful times. Have a plan in place that will help you to stop, or at least diminish sugar cravings before they even start.
2. Get consistent, quality sleep
When you don’t get enough sleep, you will be low on serotonin, the neurotransmitter responsible for a positive mood and overall feeling of well-being. Since carbohydrate consumption promotes the release of serotonin in the brain, you will naturally want to eat more carbs in order to balance your mood.
3. Allow yourself a cheat meal
Cutting out sugar and excessive carbs is much easier if you know that you’ll be able to enjoy them from time to time. The use of a cheat meal (one meal, not an entire cheat day) is a great way to satisfy a sweet tooth but still stay on track with your diet. You will also increase your leptin levels which will decrease your feelings of hunger. Cheat meal top tips! Keep it to a one hour window of time, and make it the last meal of the day. As long as you stick to those, you can eat whatever you want.
4. Get breakfast right
The best breakfast to give you energy and keep the carb cravings at bay throughout the day is one that is low in carbs, high in protein and fat, and includes a variety of nutrients.
5. Stick to solid meals over liquid calories
Liquid meals like protein shakes and smoothies are convenient, but it is best to stick to solid meals if you are looking to stay more satisfied and keep your cravings at bay. Solid food takes longer to digest, is more satiating, and keeps your blood sugar stable for a longer period of time.
6. Hydration is key
Hydrate first thing in the morning. Drink a big glass of lemon or lime water as a habit to get the day started right. The lemon or lime juice will actually lower the glycemic index of your meal if you have it with food. It will also help prevent the temptation to drink a big glass of fruit juice.
7. It gets easier
The encouraging thing is that the longer you stay off sugar, the less cravings you will have. Feeling good on a day-to-day basis will eventually displace the temporary pleasure you get from sugar. You’ll even get to the point where you can enjoy a sweet treat once in a while without going overboard. Until you get there, make use of these tips and strategies to help you stay on the right track.