Cravings can be the culprit that derails your good intentions to stick with a brain healthy program. Here are 9 simple changes you can make to your daily habits to get better control of your cravings.
1. Keep your blood sugar balanced.
Low blood sugar levels are associated with lower overall brain activity, including lower activity in the PFC, the brain’s brake. Low brain activity here means more cravings and more bad decisions. Low blood sugar levels can make you feel hungry, irritable, or anxious—all of which make you more likely to make poor choices.
Here are tips to keep your blood sugar levels even throughout the day so you can reduce cravings and boost your self-control.
- Consider taking the supplements alpha-lipoic acid and chromium. They both have very good scientific evidence that they help balance blood sugar levels and can help with cravings.
- Eat a nutritious breakfast every day. Eating a nutrient-rich breakfast helps get your blood sugar off to a good start and can help keep it balanced for hours so you don’t get hungry before lunchtime. Studies show that people who maintain weight loss eat a healthy breakfast.
- Add a dash of cinnamon. This fragrant spice has been found to help regulate blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes.
- Have smaller meals throughout the day. Big meals send your blood sugar skyrocketing only to plummet later on. Eating smaller meals helps eliminate the blood sugar rollercoaster ride that can impact your emotions and increase your cravings.
- Stay away from simple sugars and refined carbohydrates. Things like candy, potatoes, white bread, pretzels, sodas, sweetened fruit juices, and alcohol cause your blood sugar to spike and then drop, so you feel great for a short while and then you feel stupid and hungry. Be very careful with high-fat, high-sugar, high-calorie foods because they work on the morphine or heroin centers of the brain and can be addictive.