Resisting sugary high carbohydrate foods demands willpower. Often my clients will say they have no willpower, and whilst some people don’t exercise a level of control, some people are fighting against biological needs and psychological thoughts that make it really hard to resist.
The biggest enemy to willpower is low blood sugar because this will drive the need for glucose (via sugar or refined carbs) for the brain. The best way to balance blood sugar is to eat meals that are balanced with adequate protein and whole grains, along with a little fat such as olive or flax oil to keep blood sugar levels stable. It is also important not to have long gaps without food which can also lower blood sugar and cause over-eating.
The other problem is denial and forbidding foods. For most people if something is denied or forbidden, the desire to want it grows stronger. In Mireille Guiliano’s book French Women Don’t Get Fat, she highlights how many French women have what they fancy but in very small amounts. For example they may visit a Chocolatier and buy 1 or 2 luxurious delicious chocolates, rather than eat a whole bar of dairy milk.
For some people their serotonin levels drop during the day. Serotonin is a hormone that promotes feelings of well being and converts to Melatonin to aid sleep. A lack of serotonin can cause evening snacking on sugary carbohydrate rich foods.
– Regular meal times with gaps no longer than 5-6 hours
-A balance of wholegrains and proteins with each meal
-Having a balance of small treats but not when you are very hungry
-Eating a banana and live yoghurt during the evening to promote Serotonin
-Cherry juice drank an hour before bed (such as Cherry Active) diluted can increase melatonin