I am a sugar addict.
I REALLY wish I did not like sugar and sweets, but that is my kryptonite.
I've always had a sweet tooth, but I didn't always crave chocolate. As I've gotten older, I now sometimes crave chocolate as well... So I don't keep those things in my house (as much as possible). I'm fine as long as I don't start. Anyone with me?
Halloween is this week. I actually do not like Halloween. I hate all the candy. It's a waste that goes to the waist. And encourages bad eating habits. And it is pretty much completely devoid of nutrients. And I hate the candy calling to me during stressful times.
Halloween night is just day one. It's the next few weeks of the candy in the house, followed by Thanksgiving overindulgences, and then Christmas parties and treats all through December. And then New Year's Eve parties. It's a non-stop onslaught of food and usually unhealthy, pound-packing treats from now until the end of the year.
I was recently asked by a friend how to overcome sugar addiction. This is a work in progress for me, but I did share a few thoughts. Here is what I have learned along the way.
5 Tips to Survive Halloween Sugar Cravings
1. Get adequate sleep. Sleep helps your body rest and recover. Adequate sleep decreases stress (physical and emotional) and helps you think more clearly throughout the day. It also helps reduce ghrelin, the "hunger hormone," reducing the "need" to eat yourself awake.
2. Drink water all throughout the day. Many times we think we are hungry when we are actually just thirsty. Plus, drinking water will help you feel fuller longer and keep your body adequately hydrated. It's harder to overeat when your stomach is full of liquid.
3. Ditch the fruit and carb fear. Our bodies were designed to run cleanly and most efficiently off of carbohydrates. That said, not all "carbs" are equal - there is a big difference between eating cookies, cake and ice cream and filling your body with nutrient-dense whole foods like potatoes, rice, quinoa, oats, legumes, carrots, beets, bananas, apples, oranges, and pineapple. I noticed that when I gave myself permission to eat the fruit that I craved, my junk food cravings decreased.
4. Focus on micronutrients. Cravings may be signs of nutrient deficiency. Rather than relying on a vitamin pill to fill your nutrient needs, fill your body with nutrient dense whole grains, legumes, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. When your body is filled with a lot of whole foods full of fiber and nutrients, there is not as much room for all the junk.
5. BREATHE! Take a few deep breaths first thing in the morning, at meal times, when you're driving in the car, when you feel a craving, etc. Filling your brain with oxygen can often help you think more clearly, which can help you determine whether you are actually or if you need something else. Will that sugar really help you feel better or are you actually needing a little self-care? Use those breaths as an opportunity to explore what you are really needing.
Now, of course I always encourage daily movement, so make sure to get that in. I'm providing you with what I am going to be doing this week, so feel free to join me and get that sweat on!
Stay strong and take a little time for self care this week. You can do this!
Monday: Lower Body Blast #1 (8 reps each)
Tuesday: Tabatas 3 (4-6 rounds each)
Wednesday: Upper Body Sculpt #1 (8 reps each)
Thursday: Sevens 3 (5-8 reps each)
Friday: Full Body Burnout #1 (8 reps each)
Saturday: 30+ min Activity of your choice (outside if it's not too cold)
Sunday: REST - walk, stretch, roll, whatever feels good!