It’s almost summertime, which means two things: you’re looking to get your body beach-ready, and you’re fighting some serious sweet cravings. It’s the mental debate we go through all season long. Should I indulge in that sweet summer treat, or should I just suffer through the craving?
Luckily, you don’t have to make that choice. There is a way to control your cravings without suffering through hunger pangs or ignoring all your sweet hankerings. I’m going to share some tricks to help you fulfill your cravings without destroying your diet.
There are some green “superfoods” that are proven to decrease your cravings for sweet treats. These foods contain compounds called thylakoids, which slow down digestion, restore intestinal hormones and reduce cravings.
Mix some of these superfoods into your diet, and watch your cravings disappear:
- Kale: Low in calories, yet packed with vitamins, kale not only helps curb your cravings, but it provides your body with essential nutrients.
- Spinach: There are tons of delicious ways to prepare and serve spinach. This versatile veggie also contains lots of vitamins like folic acid, protein and potassium.
- Broccoli: This vegetable actually contains more fiber than both kale and spinach. Also, broccoli is high in vitamin C.
Whether you’re serving these veggies on the side of lean proteins, mixing them into a smoothie or tossing them into a salad, you’re bound to feel your sweet cravings subside.
One simple fix for your sugary cravings is to give your body and mind exactly what it wants: sugar. However, instead of grabbing a cupcake or cookie, find an alternative that provides natural sugar, rather than refined sugar. Fruits are the perfect source for natural sugars. These fruit products are possible choices for replacing your refined sugars with more natural sugars:
- Dried fruits: Think raisins, dried apricot and dried cranberries!
- Whole fruits: Some fruits that contain satisfying natural sugars are mangoes, oranges and bananas.
- Fruit juices: Make sure to choose fruit juices that are natural and not concocted with syrups and artificial sweeteners.
Whether you crave sugar as a mid-afternoon pick-me-up or as an after-dinner treat, these natural sugar sources are perfect to fulfill your sweet desires. Remember to control the size of your portion.
If you still need some tips and tricks to supplement your fruit and veggie replacements, there are plenty to consider. A few supplements or behaviors can be added to your diet to help subside your cravings. Here are some ideas that have been proven to really work:
- Take coconut oil: A good source of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), coconut oil is perfect for combating your cravings. MCTs promote immediate spikes in energy levels, are not stored as fats and increase your metabolism.
- Try the vinegar trick: Whether you prefer apple cider vinegar or wine vinegar, vinegar’s acid content slows the breakdown of starch into sugar. It also prevents post-meal sugar spikes and delays cravings for a couple hours.
- Look on the bright side: Studies show that dimmer lighting promotes more eating. To slow down and cut back on your food intake, opt for higher wattage.
- Meditate in the sunshine: Meditating and spending some time in the sunlight for even just 15 minutes can help increase your serotonin levels. This way, you won’t be inclined to grab an ice cream cone to turn your bad days around.
- Grab a blue plate: The color blue has been shown to suppress appetite. Because blue is an uncommon food color, the mind does not associate blue with eating, as it does with reds, yellows and oranges.
- Keep it balanced: A healthy diet is all about balance. So don’t feel negatively about yourself if you think you’ve earned that scoop of rocky road or a small slice of birthday cake at the office. As long as you’re focusing on healthier habits for the majority of your food intake, allow a cheat meal for yourself once a week.
- Drink up: Thirst has a way of making us feel hungry and crave sweet somethings. Next time you’re fighting the urge to grab that donut in the break room, drink a glass or two of water. Dehydration plays a big role in unnecessary snacking.
Try to keep these little tips in the back of your mind while you’re assessing your dieting regimen. Maybe it’s time to switch out your lightbulbs and trade those orange or red plates for some blue ones?
Whether you find your problem time is before bedtime or the lull between breakfast and lunch, sweet cravings can be difficult to fight. Next time you find yourself in the middle of this battle, just remember: natural sugars can satisfy your desires, green superfoods have the power to mask your cravings and there are plenty of different tricks you can try out in your diet regimen. Do you have any secrets to curbing those cravings? Share them in the comments!