Day 9 of The Alcohol Experiment: how to combat those pesky sugar cravings.
Let me just remove my hand from the bag of leftover M&Ms from my son’s birthday party to do some typing.
As with many of these daily entries, it’s like Annie Grace has a direct link to my brain. Sugar cravings have been a HUGE issue for me since Dry January. I have always had a sweet tooth but once I cut out the booze that little sweet tooth grew into a behemoth. Over the past couple of months, as I’ve felt increasingly in control of my alcohol cravings, I have felt increasingly powerless against my sugar cravings – and, as a result, consumed epic amounts of crap.
Fortunately for us, Annie Grace gives us a variety of ways to help us deal with the sugar monster. She also reminds us to go easy on ourselves and if we need to pop a few gummy bears to get us through, that’s ok. (Yes, we are on WW, but think of all the points we are saving by not drinking! Eat the gummy bears if you need to!) The list is pretty self-explanatory, but it does help to know that these simple things really do make a difference as we try to navigate life off the alcohol-induced sugar roller coaster.
So here’s how to keep sugar cravings at bay:
Exercise! This boosts serotonin and is a genuine stress-reducer, unlike alcohol which numbs, then exacerbates, stress and anxiety.
Eat fruit! It’s got natural sugar and will help keep you full.
Drink water! I have found hydrating during the winter to be very challenging, but when I am properly hydrated it makes such a difference.
Eat several small meals and focus on protein! When broken down, protein produces a variety of amino acids including GABA, which helps you feel good (and is mimicked by alcohol). Eating throughout the day helps stabilize blood sugar so no roller coaster spikes and drops for you!
Eat fermented foods and drinks! And/or supplement with probiotics. Happy gut, happy life.
So, what is your plan for coping with sugar cravings?
Tracking! What a great weapon we have in the sugar battle! I have also stocked my freezer with Enlightened ice cream and I eat fruit with wild abandon. I am going to focus on making sure my snacks include protein; try to eat something fermented every day (kimchi is my choice, even though it revolts my hubby and kids); and hydrate hydrate hydrate. Oh, and sleep sleep sleep! (A mom can dream…)
For Annie Grace, ditching alcohol “was like the big domino that knocked over all the other little life changes I wanted to make.” This is happening to all of us, whether we realize it or not. Whether we give up alcohol permanently or not. We are all learning so much during this experiment and making changes both conscious and subconscious.
So pop those gummy bears if you need to, and trust the process.
[The Alcohol Experiment is a free, interactive 30-day program designed by Annie Grace, author of This Naked Mind. For more information: www.alcoholexperiment.com.]