Sugar and flour give your body quick energy. If this energy is not used immediately, it becomes stored as fat. If you cut down on sugar and flour, you are more likely to lose weight. If you are very diligent about reducing your sugar intake, you will lose weight faster. In addition, the more you eat sugar, the more you crave it. By not allowing sugar into your diet, the cravings will stop and you will have more energy.
We get our energy from carbohydrates. The body functions best if you use about 60 to 70 percent of your caloric intake on carbs. Some carbs are full of sugar, like those that are in candy bars or over-processed foods. Other carbs give you the needed energy without the sugar, such as legumes, nut butter, pasta, sweet potatoes, brown rice, whole wheat and whole-grain cereals. Starting your meal with complex carbohydrates and making sure you eat slowly will help to lessen sugar cravings. Complex carbohydrates that are found in grains and vegetables are free of sugar. An example of a nutritious salad that will not give you a sugar rush is a three-bean salad containing chickpeas, pinto and kidney beans.
Sample Menu Ideas
Breakfast can be an omelet muffin. For lunch, try a Greek salad. No-sugar-added yogurt can be your afternoon snack. Dinner might be chicken breasts in a mustard rosemary sauce with a spinach salad with a vinaigrette dressing and a helping of steamed brown rice.
Another day’s menu could be a breakfast of whole grain cereal, no sugar added, with nonfat milk. For lunch enjoy tuna that is water-packed, on a bed of greens with shredded carrots and sliced tomatoes and a sugar-free vinaigrette. Your afternoon snack can be spiced edamame (soybeans). Try meatballs with sugar-free tomato sauce with baked polenta and a side of fresh corn for dinner.
For a third day’s menu, try a crepe with lean ham and reduced fat cheese. For your morning snack, take a stalk of celery with a natural peanut butter that has no sugar added. Try a taco salad with prawns for lunch. Your afternoon snack can be an unsweetened rice cake with unsweetened jelly. Curry chicken with steamed zucchini and steamed rice fills out the dinner menu.
Curbing Your Sugar Cravings
If you exercise on a regular basis, your endorphins will kick in, giving you natural high and feeling of well-being. So take a walk instead of reaching for something sweet. If you are a grazer, eat smaller meals that are more frequent during the day. Drink plenty of water. Drinking a glass of water hydrates your body while telling your stomach it is full and doesn't need a sugary snack.