Dear Coach Alba,
I just began the 8fit Pro meal plan and find myself really craving salt and sugar. How do I deal with these cravings?
Sweets & Savories
Dear Sweets & Savories,
A lot of individuals experience salt or sugar cravings when transitioning to a healthier lifestyle. This is completely normal. Before focusing on nutrition, you likely made chose foods that were more processed, higher in sugar and lower in fiber. Now, you’re eating healthy meals made with fresh, natural ingredients. Your body still craves the food that you used to feed it.
There are a few reasons why you might experience these cravings. First, If you’re new to exercising, you’re probably sweating more than you normally do. This means that you’re sodium levels are lower than usual so you’re craving salt because your body needs it. You can control your salt cravings by lightly salting your homemade food or drinking an isotonic sports drink after intense exercise. Even though you’re adding some salt to your diet, it’ll still be significantly less salt than you used to consume.
A reason why you might experiencing sugar cravings is because your body isn’t digesting sugars as quickly as it used to. Healthy eating is like a workout for your digestive system. It takes more effort to break down fibrous, whole foods compared to the processed foods you used to eat. To control sugar cravings, avoid sweet snacks that cause large blood sugar swings. You may enjoy the sugar highs, but they’ll drop off quickly and leave you wanting more. Limit all chocolate, soda, juices and sweet snacks as much as possible. You will also want to avoid adding sugar to your coffee. If this is hard, try swapping sugar for small amounts of natural sweeteners like honey or maple syrup.
I know none of this sounds fun but, trust me, it’s worth it. Believe in yourself and give the new meal plan a few weeks before reverting back to poor eating habits. I know you’ll begin having fewer cravings and start to enjoy fresh, healthy food.