Easter is almost here, bringing with it all the temptations: sugar, chocolate, lazy days, hot cross buns. What a combination!
Once we start eating these delicious treats, it can be hard to stop. Often intending on enjoying one egg, we’ve suddenly eaten 10, followed by a hot cross bun. Not only can this send us way off track in our health and fitness goals, it can also lead to serious sugar cravings, meaning you’re even more unable to stop scoffing chocolate by day, and dreaming about it by night!
Why do you crave sugar?
One of the main reasons you crave sugar is because your blood sugar levels are constantly fluctuating. When your blood sugar levels drop, your body signals to your brain that you need to pick them back up. The easiest way for your brain to do this is to make you crave sugar, as it provides a quick source of energy for your body. Not to mention, studies have shown sugar actually has addictive qualities! But it is possible to manage the cravings, and restore your blood sugar levels using nutritious, healthy foods and habits without going overboard on the sugary treats.
But not to worry, here are four tried and tested ways to enjoy Easter without going overboard, and to keep those sugar cravings in check!
1.Get enough protein and fibre.
If you’re eating a bunch of sugar, and forgetting to balance it out with high-protein and high-fibre foods, you’re wreaking havoc on your blood sugar levels, which is a key cause of cravings!
Make sure you’re including lean sources of protein in each of your meals – think chicken, fish, lean meats, eggs, legumes – as well as high-fibre foods such as sweet potato, leafy green vegetables, grains, beans and fruits. Building a meal using these as your foundations is the key to stabilising your blood sugar levels, so you can banish the sugar cravings for good!
If you’re stuck, some great meal ideas include:
- A chicken breast and vegetable stir-fry served with brown rice or quinoa
- A tuna salad with barley, vegetables and sweet potato.
- A “breaky” plate of scrambled eggs on wholegrain toast, served with wilted greens and baked beans.
The options are endless! Prioritise these foods at each meal, and you’ll feel your sugar cravings vanish in no time. And make sure you’re not skipping meals – even if you’ve gone overboard on the chocolate! This is another guaranteed way to end your blood sugars into a spiral! Focus on nutritious, healthy main meals at all times.
2. Prioritise sleep.
It might seem random, but sleep is essential when it comes to getting rid of your pesky cravings.
If you’re not getting enough good-quality sleep, your body produces more of your hunger hormone: ghrelin. Think of this as the “hunger gremlin”, because this hormone influences your cravings for carbohydrates and sugar! If you haven’t had enough sleep, your body will compensate by making you crave sugary, high energy food to “wake you up.”
Research has shown time and time again that we are much more able to make good food choices and resist overeating and sugary foods when we’re well rested. So get a good night’s sleep, and you’ll be in control of your sugar cravings the next day!
3. Let yourself enjoy a treat!
Whatever you do, don’t ban yourself from enjoying some chocolate over the Easter break! Cutting out foods or food groups you love, like chocolate or sugar, and instead forcing yourself to eat boring leafy greens and chicken breast is not sustainable! It’s miserable, and life is all about enjoying yourself!
Not to mention, when you forbid yourself from eating a certain food, research shows you only crave it more… So deciding to cut out sugar means your cravings will become out of control, until you end up binge eating chocolate anyway!
Instead, learn to recognise when you’ve had enough. Portion control is key – opt for the mini Easter eggs instead of the jumbo sized ones, and aim for 3-4 at a time, instead of devouring the entire packet. As you eat your treats, take the time to eat them mindfully and really appreciate the taste – this will also help you realise when you’ve had enough, so you don’t end up overeating!
Remember, everything in moderation – you can enjoy yourself too!
4. Hit the gym.
Regular exercise plays a key role in stabilising your blood sugar levels too, as well as supporting your metabolism to burn off the extra eggs you’ve eaten!
Opt for an efficient energy-burning workout like our HIIT circuits, to help you burn off more Easter choc in less time.
Plus, when you’ve finished a challenging, sweaty workout, do you feel like reaching for the sweets? If you’re like us, it’s so much easier to make healthy choices with food after working out at the gym – after all, you’re high on motivation, and you don’t want to undo all your hard work!
Plus, bring along a friend with our Intro Offer – just $49 for two weeks of unlimited classes!