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Top tips so you don’t have to rely on sugar to see you through the day

It happens to the best of us. You know those days, you start the day tired, feeling heavy and needing a boost to help get all the things done. Reaching for the best, most easily accessible source of energy that you KNOW is going to give you the push you need, sugar is an easy option.

Sugar works. Glucose is essential for energy production throughout the body, however, too much of a good thing does the opposite of keeping blood sugar levels balanced and instead you can experience the peaks and troughs that occur when we use sugar as an energy boost. That initial energy boost that we’re longing for lasts between 30 and 60 minutes, before wearing off and we’re back to that low energy we were feeling in the first place.

So if you find yourself defaulting to sugar to get you going, here are some tips to help:

  • Protein. Added to every snack and main meal. Some slices of avocado on a cracker, can you put some pumpkin seeds or feta cheese on top too

  • Have you had enough water? Sometimes even mild dehydration can affect cortisol which will induce cravings. So have that bottle of water on the go with you

  • Sleep, yes I know, easier said than done, but, mild sleep deprivation will make us crave simple carbs, there has been lots of research around this

  • Magnesium. Magnesium is used in the regulation of glucose, insulin, and the neurotransmitter dopamine; If you are low it can pull you towards quick glucose. Magnesium-rich foods include green leafy vegetables (e.g. spinach and kale), fruit (figs, avocado, banana and raspberries), nuts and seeds, legumes (black beans, chickpeas and kidney beans), vegetables (peas, broccoli, cabbage, green beans, artichokes, asparagus, brussels sprouts), seafood (salmon, mackerel, tuna, whole grains (brown rice and oats).

  • Give yourself a minute. Or if you can, give yourself 20 minutes. The more time you put between you and a craving the more you can get into the why you want it. Is it an energy issue, is it an emotional craving, is it an adrenal thing?

And most importantly, give yourself a break, compassion and understanding around why your body craves sugar is a real thing, it’s not just lack of will power, there’s something going on underneath! There’s no need to beat yourself up.

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