When you eat sugar, your brain releases a chemical called dopamine that makes you feel good. There’s no hiding it. Did you know that morphine, heroin and sugar stimulate the same receptors in your brain? So it’s no wonder that you can’t resist a chocolate digestive or two when you’re around the biscuit tin.
Don’t give in. You can beat your sugar cravings! Here’s how…
1. Cinnamon, anyone?
Cinnamon is known to help stabilise your blood sugar. Even a small amount, about ¼ of a teaspoon per day, may help prevent insulin spikes.
2. Eat enough chromium
Chromium prevents insulin dips and spikes that can lead to your chocolate cravings. It regulates your blood sugar, which is vital for your energy production.
Eat the following foods to give you a chromium boost: wholegrains, poultry, beef, green beans, potatoes, broccoli, dairy products, apples and bananas. If you don’t think you will eat any of these, try taking 200mcg before your morning meal to prevent the sugar cravings later on in the day.
3. Protein in your breakfast
Eating protein-rich food with your breakfast, and throughout the day, can keep your sweet tooth at bay. Try a breakfast with eggs or a protein shake, and then add seeds, nuts, fish, eggs or chicken to your other meals of the day for that extra bit of protein.
4. Try to get more sleep
Studies have shown that your body releases ghrelin, an appetite-increasing hormone, when you don’t get enough sleep. So try to get to bed earlier and squeeze in another hour of shuteye.
5. Deep breaths
Your hormones are all over the place when you’re stressed. It induces a rise in cortisol that can lead to hunger, fat storage and even type 2 diabetes eventually. But research shows that deep breaths activate the vagus nerve, which moves you out of the stress state and shifts your metabolism from fat storage to fat burning.