Happy New Year! It’s the start of January, and many decide to get healthier around this time.
But, do you find that every time you decide to lose weight, the temptations of sweet treats like burfi, kheer, and ras malai seem to call on you? It's not just about willpower; there's more to these cravings, particularly for us women.
Here are five reasons why sugar cravings can be a big challenge:
Emotional Comfort: For many, sweet treats like chocolate or jalebi aren't just food; they're a hug. We reach for these when we're stressed, happy, sad, celebrating, or even bored. It's emotional eating, where sugar acts as a quick-fixer.
Hormonal Fluctuations: Ladies, our hormones play a big part. Fluctuations during menstrual cycles, pregnancy, or menopause can influence our sugar cravings, resulting in binge eating ice cream or chocolate.
Cultural Celebrations: No celebration is complete without mithai. Whether it's Diwali, a wedding, or even just a family gathering, there’s always a reason to eat sweets. It's a cultural norm that can make resisting temptations harder.
Sugar Roller Coaster: Having sugary foods causes blood sugar levels to spike and then crash, leading to a constant cycle of cravings. When you eat something sweet, your body just wants more of it, once the initial sugar rush drops.
Habit: If you’ve grown up with a sweet tooth, it's partly a habit. Plus, with sweets everywhere, from the supermarket to cafes, make it all the more challenging to resist.
But, I want to tell you there is hope if you want to lose weight this year!
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Here are five ways to manage these cravings:
Find Healthier Alternatives: Craving something sweet? Instead have healthier options like fresh fruits. A slice of mango or some strawberries can satisfy your sweet tooth without the guilt.
Sugar Triggers: Pay attention to when and why you crave sweets. Is it post-lunch? When you’re stressed? Recognising these patterns can help you prepare something healthy to have instead at these times.
Stay Hydrated: Sometimes, our bodies confuse thirst with hunger or cravings. Drinking water throughout the day can reduce this.
Balanced Meals: Include proteins, fibres, and healthy fats in your meals. They keep you fuller for longer and help stabilise blood sugar levels, reducing the likelihood of sugar cravings.
Mindful Eating: Eat slowly and enjoy your food. This practice helps you recognise when you're actually hungry and when you're eating out of habit or emotion.
Dealing with sugar cravings isn't easy, especially with the sweet temptations of our desi cuisine. But with these tips, you can manage them better and stay on track with your weight loss goals. Remember, it's about balance, not deprivation. Occasionally indulging in a small piece of barfi won't derail your efforts if you're mindful and consistent most of the time.
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Sujata Din is a Certified Health Coach and Certified Professional Cancer Coach. In this regular column for iGlobal, she offers some special insights, from useful wellness tips to recipes for creations that are not only delicious but also healthy.
*Info: Sujata Din Recipe