Herbal columnist Nicola Parker writes about avoiding over doing it on the sugar this Christmas.
December is well known for being a month of overindulgence. I can’t buy a pint of milk without walking past a line of chocolates, decorated with festive pictures.
I’ve swapped out my bedtime tea for hot chocolate and my weekend warmer is now a mug of mulled wine.
I recently navigating myself towards the biscuit aisle in the supermarket, craving something sweet for after dinner.
That’s when I realised, the sugar monster had struck.
Eating sugar, triggers sugar cravings.
It’s a frustrating cycle that is surprisingly quick to break, though those first few days can be really tough.
Due to the health risks of a high sugar diet, it’s worth pushing through.
Over consumption of sugar can lead to increased risk of weight gain and diabetes, both of which can contribute to heart problems, joint pain and overall ill health.
Eating sugar can also leave us feeling lethargic, making us less likely to stay active and more likely to crave sweet foods.
Eating sugar when you are tired is a bit like adding newspaper to a fire as fuel.
Your energy will surge initially, but that burst will be short lived and you’ll soon need to add more.
If, like me, you don’t want to let the sugar monster win, then it’s important to find sources of fuel that will burn for longer, sustaining your energy throughout the day.
Foods that are high in protein and fibre help stabilise our blood sugar, supporting our energy.
Protein rich lunches and breakfasts include eggs, beans, meat, nuts and fish.
Simply adding some sugar free peanut butter to your morning toast, or adding butter beans to a veggie soup can change a meal from high carb to a balanced plate, with very little effort.
It’s also important to snack regularly and not yourself get too hungry.
The hungrier we are, the stronger the sugar monster grows and the harder it is to win the battle.
In my weight loss clinic, I find myself advising people to eat more rather than less, to keep their energy up, their blood sugar balanced and help them make positive food choices rather than giving in to the emergency snickers they’d normally rely on.
If going cold turkey at Christmas sounds too difficult but you don’t want to enter January with extra inches around your middle and a habit of scoffing Quality Street after dinner, there is extra help.
I use a product called
Metabolic Balance. It’s designed to curb sugar cravings and help your body manage sugar better, should you give in.
It’s a combination of blood sugar balancing nutrients and herbs, including chromium, cinnamon and fenugreek.
While these things can be used on their own, combining them together makes Metabolic Balance the Rolls Royce of sugar remedies.
A few years ago, I recommended it to a lady who’d requested assistance with losing weight. Her diet was a mess.
She was missing meals to avoid excess calories then crashing in the evenings and filling up on sweet food as her body urged her to give it some fast working fuel.
After weeks of calorie restriction, she’d lose the will to diet any more and go on guilt riddled binges, promising herself that she’d start again next week.
Much like we do in December before starting a new health kick in January while feeling awful.
Blood sugar this unstable increases our risk of type 2 diabetes, so we made some drastic changes and I put her on Metabolic balance.
With regular eating and the help of the remedy, not only did her sugar cravings subside, but when she did binge, she didn’t pile on the pounds in the same way as she’d been doing previously.
This meant she could let go a little during holidays and celebrations and not need to worry so much about the aftermath the week after, as long as she returned to her healthy routine.
So if the sugar monster has got his grip on you, it is possible to break free and if going cold turkey sounds too terrifying, remedies like Metabolic Balance can really take the edge off and help to speed things along.
For more information on this topic, call Nicola at Health and Herbs, Pedder Street, Morecambe, at her clinic on 01524 413733.