I’m continuing my focus on energy this week and one of the biggest energy zappers is sugar. It’s also one of the first things many of us reach for when we’re low on energy. A lot of us start the day with a combination of sugar and caffeine and the cravings continue the rest of the day. (and if you’re eating a bagel, most cereals or white toast you are still in the sugary breakfast category).
For years my breakfast of choice was a low-fat muffin and coffee. I loved my muffins but I didn’t get much energy or nutrition from them. My big shock was realizing that a muffin had about 500 calories and between 56 – 65 grams of sugar. (65 are what the average non-fat and low-fat muffins contain). It’s no wonder I was constantly tired not to mention overweight!
Avoiding refined sugar is one of the best ways to minimize blood sugar spikes and crashes, which causes a drastic change in energy level. The most effective way to get off sugar is to get to the root cause of your sugar cravings. Here are a few strategies:
1. Eat sweet vegetables, such as carrots, parsnips, corn, winter squash, sweet potatoes and onion to satisfy our body’s need for sweet taste (which is normal)
2. Eat meals with low glycemic load to avoid fluctuation in energy and blood sugar level. When we crash, we reach for sugar for quick fixes. Combine whole grains and vegetables (high fiber foods) with a moderate amount of good fats and lean protein.
3. Switch your breakfast from bagels, packaged cold cereals and muffins. Choose from foods such as whole grains, Greek yogurt, nuts and fruit instead. (again combining grains, proteins and good fats).
4. Stay hydrated – thirst is sometimes mistaken as hunger, which leads to cravings.
5. Investigate sugar cravings as a result of nutrient deficiency – e.g. chromium, magnesium and tryptophan.
6. Nourish your soul – some people crave sweets out of boredom or loneliness.
What would happen if you had more energy? What could you accomplish if you didn’t feel tired all of the time? Maybe you would get promotion or new job. Maybe you’d be fully present for your family instead of feeling like you’re sleepwalking through parts of the day. Or maybe you could participate in a race that you’ve read about but have been too tired to try. If you’re ready to have the energy levels that you deserve shoot me an email, email@example.com, and we can set up a complimentary consultation.