Removing refined sugary foods from your meals and snacks can revolutionise your energy levels, mood balance, concentration and sleep patterns. Quitting the white stuff can be tough though. It is important to look at why you are craving sugar in the first place:
Let’s focus on the top 3 reasons…
1. Skipping breakfast and not eating regularly; this means your body has to produce extra stress hormones in order to mobilise stored sugars and keep your energy up. Long term, this puts strain on your adrenal glands, pancreas and liver. Eating a balanced healthy breakfast including good quality protein and natural slow releasing sugars provides a steady supply of fuel to last you till lunchtime.
Good options include:
- poached eggs, spinach and oatcakes
- porridge with added seeds, nuts and fresh berries
- or if you’re pushed for time, a homemade smoothie packed with fruit, ground seeds nut butter and milk.
2. Relying on caffeinated drinks and sugary snacks; sharp spikes in sugar intake give a rush of energy which is always followed by a deep slump where you feel even worse than before! Gradually cut down on caffeinated drinks and replace these with water, herb teas and green tea. Green tea does still contain caffeine but this stimulative effect is counterbalanced by an amino acid called theanine which has a calming effect on the brain, boosting mental clarity and concentration. Snack options include fruit and nut mixes, crudités with houmous or bean dips and brown rice cakes with nut butter. These ideas combine protein with carbohydrates which provides a steady release of sugar into your bloodstream thereby avoiding spikes and slumps.