Last week I talked about common triggers that interfere with making consistently healthy choices. Most were psychological in nature, which implies a higher level of potential control than physiological factors. Today’s topic is all about your body and it’s influence on your decisions.
Are you sometimes (or often) feeling an urgent desire to eat or drink something sweet or fluffy that seems bigger than your will to choose food wisely? Have you noticed that this pattern is more intense and prevalent when your eating patterns are less focused and structured? If addiction is characterized by extreme behavior that seems driven by a visceral urge and perpetuates it’s own continuance, perhaps becoming more severe over time, then the blood sugar roller coaster certainly fits the bill.
Here’s an insightful article on the topic with a simple explanation of sugar’s biochemical effects and how they play out in perpetuating erratic eating habits.
One of the reasons low-carb diets have enjoyed so much success is that, if you can follow them faithfully, they can break, or at least seriously dismantle, these effects. One problem with this approach is that many people over-restrict carbs, creating a deep longing (carb depletion) that can have a snap-back effect. Others simply can’t (or won’t) subject themselves to the level of restriction demanded by many of these diets. For those of us who fall into that group, here are some tips that can help manage this issue:
- Keep grains whole, high-fiber and to a minimum as a contributing food group.
- Always combine grains and fruits with a fat/protein source (a food ideally higher in fat than protein like nuts, cheese, whole milk or full-fat yogurt, meat) This blunts the blood sugar spiking effect by slowing the absorption into your system.
- Hydrate before eating. This quenches thirst and keeps your craving of the moisture in the carb source (especially sugary drinks) from mixing with the sugar craving.
- Eat small meals and snacks frequently and chew food thoroughly before swallowing. A steady stream of substrates (energy nutrients), which better matches your output of energy, is the absolute best way to maintain a feeling of satiation and control.
Learn more about how to get and stay in great shape? Contact Dan at Tri Valley Trainer