Lose the Baby Weight: Tips from Vanessa Malka, Holistic Nutritionist
Is Your Sweet Tooth Sabotaging Your Attempts To Lose The Baby Weight?
4 Tips To Control Those Sugar Cravings
“I’m not hungry, but I feel like something sweet”. Sound familiar? But what if I was to tell you that sugar cravings aren’t necessarily a bad thing?
Cravings are one of the many ways our bodies try to communicate with us. As a result, the best way to control sugar cravings isn’t by relying on willpower alone, but rather by slowing down, stepping back, and trying to decipher what you are really hungering for.
Here are some of the top things your body is trying to tell you:
1. Eat less sugar!
It seems like a no brainer, but sugar is highly addictive and the more you eat the more you will crave. While you’re trying to cut back on the obvious culprits, keep an eye out for hidden sugars. If it comes ready-to-eat in a box, bag or bottle, chances are it has sugar in it. Start reading labels. If sugar is one of the first three ingredients, it’s probably best to steer clear. By cutting back on hidden sugars, your overall daily sugar consumption will decrease, as will your cravings. Healthy snacks such as home-made granola, apple slices with almond butter, or fruit smoothies can help satisfy your sweet tooth, while adding to your energy levels. For a complete list of quick, healthy snack ideas and recipes, click here.
Sugar is a source of quick energy, and when you’re not getting enough rest, your body will often crave sugar to make up for it. The problem here is that, while you may get an initial burst of energy, the imminent crash will often leave you feeling even more tired, and craving more sugar. For those of us with babies that aren’t sleeping through the night, there is something to be said for the old adage (however boring), “sleep when the baby sleeps”. But really. The laundry can wait. The dishes can wait. Listen to your body. Replacing sleep with sugar is only going to leave you feeling run down and sabotage your weight loss efforts.
3. Drink water
We often misinterpret our bodies’ signal for thirst as a signal for hunger, or a craving for sugar. With the demands of caring for a new baby, we often forget to drink enough (and brush our teeth; and which breast we fed from last; and where we parked the car...) In order to take out the guess work, fill up a re-usable water bottle and carry it with you. Set a goal of drinking two full bottles a day. When hit with a sugar craving, drink the equivalent of a large glass of water and wait five minutes. Not only may that be enough to get passed the craving, but drinking water can also help speed up your metabolism and help you shed your post-baby bump!
4. Take time out for you
Aside from the physiological causes of sugar cravings, there are also equally important emotional triggers. Feelings of being overwhelmed, stressed, frustrated or unfulfilled can often trigger sugar cravings because sugar has a way of temporarily making us feel good and transporting us out of ourselves and the situation. Whether you are a first time mom or a seasoned veteran, despite the immeasurable joy they can bring, raising children is not always a walk in the park. It is a demanding, full-time + over-time, full-on job! If we do not take the time out to recharge our batteries and care for ourselves, it can leave us feeling exhausted, burnt out and hankering for a sugar fix.
Take time for you. In some cases, simply taking a day off on your own or with friends for some uninterrupted adult conversation can be enough to decompress and help you feel more centered. Others may benefit from releasing stress through exercise or breathing techniques. Still others may need to reconnect with themselves on a deeper level through meditation or journaling in order to discover what they are really hungering for.
What I believe is important to remember, is that having cravings doesn’t mean you’re weak – it means you’re normal! Overcoming cravings or unhealthy eating patterns is a process, and one that requires time, energy and motivation. For many of us, getting support and guidance from a trained nutrition and lifestyle coach can be invaluable.
Vanessa Malka, Holistic Coach and Nutritionist