1. EAT REAL FOOD: You need to eat fat and protein for each of your meals. Whole foods carbohydrates like veggies, legumes, nuts & seeds are perfectly healthy. Processed, sugary junk foods are not real foods. They set the stage for sugar addiction and all its ugly consequences.
2. STEADY BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS: Eat a nutritious breakfast with some protein like eggs, protein shakes, or nut butters. Also, have smaller meals throughout the day. Eat every 3-4 hours and have some protein with each snack or meal (lean animal protein, nuts, seeds, beans). Avoid eating three hours before bedtime.
3. DITCH SUGAR: Go cold turkey. You must eliminate refined sugars, sodas, fruit juices, & artificial sweeteners from your diet.
4. REDUCE STRESS: Stress eating & junk food go together. Learn to address the root cause of your stress and address it with something like yoga, meditation, or deep breathing.
5. EXERCISE SMARTLY: The next time you get a hankering for something sweet, walk it off…Literally! Besides creating a healthy distraction, exercise tapers cravings & raises feel-good endorphin levels.
6. DETERMINE FOOD SENSITIVITIES: We often crave the very foods that we have a hidden allergy to, including gluten, dairy, & sugar.
7. SLEEP WELL: Ever notice you’re hungrier for something sugary after a terrible night’s sleep? Studies show lack of sleep increases cravings.
8. IMPLEMENT CRAVE-CUTTING SUPPLEMENT: These include vitamin D & omega-3s. Also consider taking natural supplements for cravings control. Glutamine, tyrosine, and 5-HTP are amino acids that help reduce cravings. Stress-reducing herbs such as Rhodiola rosea can also help. Chromium balances blood sugar and can help take the edge off cravings. Glucomannan fiber is very helpful to reduce the spikes in sugar & insulin that drive cravings & hunger.
9. SEEK EXPERT NUTRITIONAL HELP: There is a lot of confusion navigating nutritional content to determine what will work for you and your body. Working with a nutritional expert helps to guide you through the right path and offers specific recommendations to your individualized needs.
About the author: Jay Vilar is a Nutritional Therapist Practitioner that works with his clients to improve their health symptoms through integrated holistic nutrition practices in the Washington, DC and Boston, MA Area.