We are having an amazing time in Hawaii! We should probably stop reminding everyone that are in Hawaii! Speaking of adventures….
Lani went on an incredible adventure, she’s going to have to write about it for us. She goes to all corners of the world and stays plant-strong!
Here is a video from her recent adventure:
Today, Lani answers the sugar question.
Q. I can’t seem to overcome this horrible SUGAR addiction. It’s maddening and the craving causes me to eat chocolate. ugh…. suggestions?
Lani: Yes, I have suggestions. Very specifically. And I have to tell you, this is not uncommon for people who are making a dietary change.
I’m going to ask you first to reflect on this question: When, during the day, do these cravings occur for you? Do you wake up craving sugar and wanting chocolate? Does it happen for you mid-morning? In the evening? Is it all during the course of the day?
The reason I ask the question is this: The first line of defense against craving for sweets is to be sure that you are eating enough, on time, of quality foods. And that means, be sure you are eating to satiety. “On time” means don’t let yourself go extended periods of time just waiting out the hunger. Because guess what. That sugar stuff will bite you in the butt every single time.
Look at the things you are combining here. You are combining a level of stress – hunger is stress. And stored hunger is highly stressful. Don’t let yourself try to push through to later meals as a clock-watcher. If you’re hungry mid-morning, you should be ready and prepared with quality food because what you eat at breakfast, what you eat at second breakfast – if you have that – and what you eat at lunch – all these have an effect later in the day.
If you are skating your hunger a little bit during the course of the day, not paying attention to your hunger, or being too busy to eat, I can guarantee that later on you’re going to get hit with the cravings for sugar.
Another thing I want to add to this. You say “sugar”, but then you mention chocolate. Most chocolate candy gets more than half of its calories from fat. When people tell me “I’m craving carbs! I’m just craving carbs!” I’ll ask, “Well, what do you want?” Often they’ll say, “I really feel like chocolate or cookies!” and I’ll say “Well, cookies are fat! Half the calories or more in cookies come from the fat. The sugar adds to it, giving you the sugar-fat combination.”
So all these things suggest to me that you have possibly some stored hunger. Deeper than that is the possibility that you have a super-high sensitivity to sugar, which means you have to be much stricter about not having it around as then you’ll eat it.
But try this first. Try eating preventatively so that those cravings don’t come up. That was a big one for me. I used to think I was a sweetaholic or sugaraholic, yet as soon as I started making sure I was eating to satiety early in the day – man! I used to think I was an emotional eater. And I’m not saying we don’t get stressed out and want to eat the ‘comfort’ foods, but I’ll tell you, getting stressed out is compounded by stored hunger, and eating well and often from early in the day makes a big difference.
It may mean that you need to take a closer look at how well or how on time you are eating that first meal of the day. Pay attention to being well fed on good quality, whole plant foods from early in the day and watch those cravings start to evaporate.
Lani Muelrath is a plant-strong fitness expert! Lani is the creator of The Body Transformation Formula and Fit Quickies™ 5 Minute Workouts. She has a Master’s Degree in Physical Education and over 30 years of experience as a teacher, coach, and trainer. She has received awards for her instruction, created and starred in her own CBS TV Show, and her expertise in the area of health and fitness is called upon by examiner.com, as Fitness Expert for Dr. John McDougall’s Health and Medical Center, coach, Dr. Neal Barnard’s 21-Day Kickstart program, and Health and Fitness Lifestyle Expert for Vegan Mainstream.com. She is Certified in Plant-Based Nutrition through Cornell University. She and her husband also built their house with their own hands!