Balance Blood Sugar and Blast Belly Fat!
Stabilising blood sugar has been shown to provide a host of health benefits with weight loss being just one of them.
However, transitioning away from sugar and refined carbohydrates, certainly won't be a piece of cake! Below are some tips you can easily implement to banish cravings, fatigue, and hunger related mood swings......
Full on fibre: Have fibre with every meal. Fibre slows the emptying of the stomach which means you feel fuller for longer and are less likely to snack between meals. The best source of fibre comes from vegetables.
Plentiful protein: Have protein with every meal. Protein is the most weight loss friendly macronutrient there is. Not only does it blunt the insulin spike but the body actually uses 20-30% of the calories in a protein based food, just by digesting it.
Fat is phat! Despite what we've been told over the years eating fat doesn't make you fat. Fat provides satiety and like protein it will blunt the insulin response from a carbohydrate containing meal. Healthy fats include avocado, oily fish, coconut products, olive oil, nuts and seeds.
Deficiencies Destroy Diets! A craving is often a signal that you're nutritionally deficient, your brain will keep telling you that you need more food until the deficiency is resolved. Try increasing your intake of foods like berries, carrots, bell peppers, beets and sweet potato. Not only do they have a sweet flavour but they're also high in vitamins and minerals.
Serious about Sleep: Sleep deprivation leads to increased levels of Ghrelin (our “hunger hormone”) and decreased levels of leptin (our “feel full hormone”). So lack of sleep stimulates our appetite and the tiredness makes an instant energy source like sugar even harder to resist.
Sinful Sweeteners: Artificial sweeteners which are commonly found in diet drinks actually stimulate cravings for sugar. When you eat something that tastes sweet you crave more sweetness! It tricks the body into thinking it's getting glucose and sets off a similar hormonal response. However as there is no energy content in the sweetener it leaves the body in shock & craving the real thing. Aspartame (the most commonly used sweetener in diet foods) has actually been shown to cause a gut flora imbalance. Promoting the growth of harmful bacteria which crowds out the beneficial probiotics. The bad bacteria can actually extract more calories from our food and drives cravings. Stevia and xylitol are natural sweeteners which don't effect blood sugar.
- In a pickle: Studies have shown that bitter tasting foods such as lemons, apple cider vinegar and pickles, inhibit sugar cravings and stimulate the production of fat burning hormones.
- Spice up your life: Just half a teaspoon of cinnamon has been shown to reduce blood sugar levels. It helps to increase the signal of insulin so can be particularly beneficial for those with insulin resistance.
- Combat Cravings with Chromium: Chromium is a mineral that is essential for balancing blood sugar and controlling a sweet tooth. The more sugar you eat the higher your demands for chromium will be. Without chromium the uptake of glucose into cells will be inefficient, hence a deficiency is linked with high blood sugar and weight gain. An organic chromium supplement can help to improve insulin sensitivity. What does this mean in layman's terms? You'll be more likely to use carbohydrates for energy and less likely to store them as fat.