Don’t get haunted by junk food: Banish the sugar cravings

What I love (and hate!) about the holidays is the food, sweets, dips and chips, and delectable seasonal treats. It’s all so tempting and enjoyable, but afterwards, it seems like we spend months trying to diet and work off the resulting extra pounds.

Dr Disha Sridhar

I am a Gynaecologist Obstetrician ( MD, DNB OBGYN )with an emphasis on INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE.

I’ll never tell you not to indulge, I love it as much as you do, I’ll be the first to tell you it’s healthy to do some feasting over the holidays. It’s not the time to start weight loss diet, nor it’s the time to stuff yourself with whatever you get your hands on. You want to enjoy a balance between enjoying holiday fare and not overindulging on it. There are different types of cravings… cravings are complicated. There are physical aspects to it as well as emotional. Did you know that your body craves the nutrients it isn’t getting enough…no I don’t mean that we are deficient in chocolate and  that’s why we crave chocolate, what I mean is when we don’t have enough of a nutrient, our bodies will start to crave for that nutrient. A lot of times, we are not getting a lot of fat, for example, because we have been told that since childhood that fats are bad. So when our body is actually craving fat, we reach out for our favourite comfort food like potato chips or cakes/ cookies.

  In general, cravings hit me when I haven’t been sleeping well, more stressed ( oh yes there’s an emotional component to craving as well), travelling, in my luteal phase( in my PMS week, yes there’s a cyclic component to the cravings too)or not on my usual routine. 

Today I will focus on how to curb junk food cravings during the holiday season. What follows are my best tips based on science on how to curb your cravings while enjoying some treats in moderation. Balance is the key!

Eating the right foods at the right time:

Follow Truhealing diet most of the time:  

At Truhealing we focus on veggies, fibre and healthy fats. Research has shown that this diet reduces hunger and junk cravings. So when you increase the volume of alkalinizing veggies and healthy fats like nuts, or seeds, Olives, coconuts, This way of eating keeps your blood sugar steady all day so that you avoid cravings.

Practice intermittent fasting most days during the holidays: 

This is a fat-burning, health-building technique you can incorporate into your daily routine to help curb weight gain during this time. It involves going without food from the end of dinner the previous night to a later breakfast (or regular lunch) the next day – a period of about 13 to 16 hours. Please note that I don’t recommend intermittent fasting to clients with a severe adrenal weakness and Diabetes without supporting the body with Truhealing protocol.

Breaking the fast with some nuts, green salad followed by Keto Coffee or Tea, which is a cup of brewed coffee or tea, with a tablespoon of MCT oil and teaspoon of ghee mixed in will help to stabilize the insulin. Replacing your coffee with green tea and holy basil tea can be better as it can support the sugar metabolism.

Stay Hydrated:

Thirst often masquerades as hunger, so drink plenty of water daily. My rule of thumb is this: Drink 60 to 70 ounces of pure water daily. It will vary based on your activity level and climate you live in.

It’s also a bad idea to drink water with meals. Here’s why: Drinking fluids dilute important digestive juices, as well as the enzymes required for good digestion. Saliva is all the water you need at meals! Alternatively, you can drink water up to 20 minutes before you eat a meal, and wait for 1 to 2 hours afterwards to drink more. Staying hydrated really helps…

Fill up before parties:

Holiday social events can be our downfall. One way to stay the course is to eat something prior to the party. I suggest Truhealing Smoothies:

Watch the alcohol:

You don’t need to eliminate alcohol over the holidays; just keep an eye on how much you drink, since alcohol can actually increase your appetite and pack on pounds when consumed in excess. Some of the best choices are low-sugar wine, a or low carb beer. If you like mixed drinks, avoid sugary mixers. You may use club soda with lemon juice instead.

Enjoy feasting but know your limits:

Occasional feasting is important! When the actual Diwali, Christmas or New year dinner rolls around, enjoy it. Festive occasions are significant bonding experiences with family and friends, with everyone enjoying a beautiful meal and lingering at the dinner table for conversation. Just don’t overdo it. Try to stop eating when your stomach feels 80 per cent full. This science wisdom comes to us from the great science of Ayurveda and Japan( the Okinawan custom).

You may want to check out my Instagram page, on how to make your pumpkin soup more wholesome. This creamy, delicious blend is full of fabulous fall flavours and will keep you energized for hours! Maintaining a nourishing, nurturing diet to balance your hormones throughout your cycle will go a long way to reduce your urge for unhealthy foods.

So tell me what are you craving this holiday season and next time I will try to address that.

Originally published January 8, 2020 by Dr Disha Sridhar

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