Caught in the throes of a persistent sweet tooth? Is your willpower about as strong as politician’s moral compass?
Vancouverites are both blessed and cursed with this city is food haven—trendy new restaurants popping up weekly, Tim Hortons and Starbucks on every corner. Unfortunately, our waistlines and wallets do not benefit from this abundance.
If you feel frustrated by your inability to control those cravings, it is time to exercise your “NO” muscle.
Read on for seven obvious and not-so-obvious tips on how to eliminate those late-night urges:
Wet Your Lips
We frequently mistake thirst for hunger. Keeping a canister of H2O handy for quick sips every half-hour will allow your body to stay hydrated—crucial for mental clarity—and stomach to feel full. This is especially relevant for caffeine drinkers, as coffee and black teas are diuretics that make you release fluids. That lost hydration needs to be replenished to prevent headaches, fatigue, and digestive issues, so drink up!
Bring Back the Holidays
If you kinda-sorta miss the holidays (I do!), grab that cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves from your cupboard. Holistic nutritionist Vanessa Vorbach says that these warming spices regulate blood glucose to crack that insidious sweet tooth in half. Generously dusting apple slices or your breakfast smoothie with these rich super-spices is a fantastic way to liven up the tastebuds while doing your body good.
Eat Every 3-4 Hours
As busy professionals, many of us forgo breakfast or even lunch in our rush to get to a meeting on time or prepare for a last-minute deadline. Some of my clients confide that they can go eight hours without downing a single bite. After work, they indulge in a smorgasbord and go to bed full. This is NOT healthy! Keep nutrient-dense snacks close by to munch on every few hours. Shawna Barker, BSc., RHN of Synergy Nutrition has an fun raw vegan Brownie Bites recipe made from nuts, dates, cacao, vanilla, and sea salt for those munchy moments.
Use Black Rice Over White
Swapping out simple carbs for their complex cousins will yield big gains in nutrients. White-coloured anything—rice, noodles, bread—are notoriously quick to convert into sugar. You may be surprised by how much fuller you get on whole grains like black rice, quinoa, chickpeas, and beans. Shawna recommends eating meals balanced in flavours, textures, and nutrients to satisfy your palate and stave off wanting more.
Spritz Essential Oils
Not only a treat to smell, essential oils powerfully dispel irrational cravings and neutralize unstable emotional states. Peppermint, grapefruit, bergamot, orange, and lavender are the most effective for preventing weight gain. Peppermint is especially potent as it affects your brain’s satiety centre and improves digestion, while grapefruit speeds up metabolism. Vary your scents so your olfactory does not get used to one in particular.
Attend To Your Pearly Whites
Similar to essential oils, that minty fresh hit from your Tom’s of Maine toothpaste curbs the desire to chow down. Since we grow up brushing our teeth before bed, this association helps to suppress our appetite—why dirty up teeth you just brushed? Besides, many of us have yucky caffeine stains anyway. Go make friends with your toothbrush and see how you fare after two weeks. It can really put a stop to that late-night binge eating currently wreaking havoc on your summer body goals.
Get Your Sleeping Beauty On
Our willpower dwindles in parallel with decreasing amounts of sleep. Notice how much more easily stressed out you become after a late night? Start your self-care by 8 pm, which means no more screen time. Relax with a lavender or grapefruit-scented bath, and disengage your overactive mind with a light-hearted novella. Vanessa advises getting seven to eight hours of deep sleep to wake up re-energized and focused.
Try these craving killers over the next few weeks and see what happens to those cravings. Everything takes practice, so be patient with yourself!
Self-love all the way,