As the year once again enters its final quarter, it wont be long until we are faced with the challenging dilemma of turning down those delicious family treats in order to combat the encroaching kilos (for those on any weight maintenance/loss agendas). A strong believer in dessert ourselves, we do not wish to discourage anyone from splurging every now and then, however by adapting to our tips and tricks early, you could be charging head-on into holiday season guilt free.
Deal with stress in different ways:
Stress is a huge trigger for the consumption of unhealthy foods. When placed in danger or unwanted situations, our brain’s natural reaction is to release a chemical known as cortisol, which travels through our body and brings us that familiar feeling of tension. A team of researchers at the Universities of California and San Francisco found that the fat deposits of our body are responsible for sending the signal back to our brain to shut-off the response – this is why eating tends to help us relax. However by finding alternative methods to calm ourselves, such as jogging or relaxation exercises, we are able to rid of this hormone without the added calories.
Consume more protein:
A common cause for sugar and carbohydrate cravings is due to a lack of protein. Protein is useful for dieting as it provides us with that feeling of fullness and satisfaction after eating. By consuming more lean meats, nuts, eggs and fish during meals, or bodies will crave less simple sugars and carbs than what we usually desire.
Collect your wrappers:
One cunning tactic to cut the sugar which was thought up by Doctor of Psychology, Susan Albers, is to collect all of our candy and chocolate wrappers throughout the day. In her book Ways to Soothe Yourself Without Food, Albers states: “Instead of throwing away a wrapper after you indulge in something sweet, keep it in a jar. It’ll help you be more aware of how much you’re eating.”
Seek dark chocolate:
Finally, we have dark chocolate. If you are trying your hardest to avoid sugar but the temptation for sweetness beats you, don’t be discouraged – just try and make sure you have dark chocolate on stand-by. In a study published in pubmed.gov, which followed 470 elderly men, cocoa, which is most concentrated in dark chocolate, was found to reduce to risk of cardiovascular disease by up to a massive 50% over a period of 15 years. Being very rich in flavour, one or two squares is often enough to satisfy a sweet tooth.