Many of us love a square of chocolate, a fizzy drink or a bag of sugary sweets on occasion. There’s something about these delicious treats that we just can’t resist. But whilst having sugar on occasion isn’t a problem, making it a regular part of your diet can be.
Eating too much sugar can have some really negative effects on our health, such as an increased risk for diabetes and heart disease, increased cholesterol and blood pressure, weight gain and lack of energy. Plus, it's more difficult for your body to process sugar in high quantities, so it can actually end up putting an extra burden on your digestive system.
So how can you keep a handle on your sugar habit, and stop it becoming an everyday occurrence? In this post, we share our top tips for keeping sugar cravings at bay.
Plan meals and snacks ahead
When we’re hungry, we’re more likely to impulsively reach for a snack to fill us up quickly. Unfortunately, many yummy snacks are full of sugar, even if they seem relatively healthy, such as granola bars. It’s important to be informed about the nutritional content of the meals and snacks you consume, so you don’t accidentally increase your sugar intake without realizing. It can be useful to only keep snacks around that you know are low in sugar, and will satisfy your cravings, like P-nuff Crunch.
That being said, the best way to ensure you are intentional about the amount of sugar you consume on a daily basis is to eat regular full meals, and plan portioned snacks in for times between meals you know you will get hungry. P-nuff Crunch snack packs are a perfectly portioned snack that are also low in sugar, and healthy complex carbs to keep you satisfied til your next meal. If you’re strapped for time, consider meal planning when you do your weekly shop, and prepare any lunches and snacks in the evening, ready for the day ahead.
Drink plenty of water
The hypothalamus in the brain controls when you feel thirsty, and when you feel hungry. As a result, the two are closely connected, and when we feel hungry, it may actually just be that we’re dehydrated. This instinctive need to satisfy our hunger may mean that you’re likely to grab a snack, or fill up on a can of fizzy drink.
By staying hydrated, you can be sure that any hunger cravings are genuinely for food, and not because you need a large glass of water.
Get enough sleep
It’s no secret that when you’re sleep deprived, it takes more effort to make healthy choices. There’s actually a biological reason for this – the hormone ghrelin increases, which stimulates hunger. Additionally, leptin, the hunger-suppressing hormone, decreases, meaning that it’s harder to know when to stop eating. A combination of both of these things leaves us reaching for a quick snack, and then getting stuck in a cycle of a sugar high and sugar low throughout the day, rather than a slow, regulated release of energy.
The bad news is that this can also have an effect even after your head has hit the pillow again. Eating too late in the day can affect how well you sleep, as your body is still digesting and processing food into the night.
Manage your sugar intake
It’s clear that keeping an eye on your sugar intake is important for your overall health. That doesn’t mean total abstinence, but it does mean you should try and help yourself to only have sugar on occasion, rather than making it a regular habit. Follow our top tips above to ensure that your sugar intake remains a treat, rather than an issue.