Growing up with a Mommy dietitian, making healthy food choices was a habit that formed when I was a little, but this doesn’t mean that I wasn’t, or still am not, invincible to sugar craving munchies. Oh man, do I ever have a sweet tooth!!! When I fly loooonnng days, my sweet tooth likes to sneak up on me. Any resolve that I have made to “eat healthy” takes a hit with the many candies, chocolate, and cookies that can be found on the airplane.
From working as a flight attendant, I have learned the importance of nourishing my body, feeding it food that gives sustainable energy, whole, natural foods. That being said, I don’t always follow my own advice, so I’m writing this for me, just as much as I’m writing this for you. So, how do you, as a flight attendant, or anyone for that matter deal with sugar cravings? What can you do to minimize, or avoid those cravings?
I have put together 3 simple tips on how you can help fight these sugar monsters. It’s not an overwhelming task of items, and not impossible to accomplish. Often, feeling better, eating better, treating yourself better requires only minor adjustments, for major results.
3 Simple Solutions To Fight Sugar Cravings (For those that find themselves on an airplane a lot, and for those that don’t:).
- Ingest, or engage ‘Real’ Energy: Below, I have listed two main components of ‘real energy.’ When I say real energy, I am describing that which can actually provide your body the tools it needs to handle long work days, decreasing potentials for headaches, fatigue, and grumpiness.
- Breakfast: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Eating breakfast kick starts metabolism, and keeps it going through the entire day. I notice that when I fly, and I eat a croissant, or bakery treat, with coffee, instead of oatmeal, a banana, scrambled tofu, or lower glycemic index food, it affects me that night with my want for chocolate. It’s not that I can’t function with the “less healthy” food items in my body, I just function at a lower than optimal level. If you want to maintain your weight over your lifetime, or if you are overweight and want to lose weight, change your life by changing your breakfast habits.
- Sleep: Your body NEEDS sleep…no, not the extra cup of coffee. SLEEP!!! I know I mention my coffee love on this blog often, because yes, I do enjoy Soy Cappuccinos quite a bit, but the last few months, my coffee drinking got out of control. Caffeine is a poor energy substitute for good, old fashioned, rest. I’m not going scientific with you, because there are enough studies that show the importance of a good nights rest, I’m simply going to say what I notice for myself. When sleep deprived, not only am I grumpy, I have headaches, ingest too much caffeine simply for survival purposes, and crave SO much food. I think I am hungry, but really, my body just needs quick carb energy for it’s unrested sadness. When I get solid sleep, like I did when I was in New Zealand last week, I notice a decrease in anxiety, and the desire to eat salad, brown rice, and healthy foods instead of fried foods, or sugar laden carbs. The quickest way to overhaul your health is by taking time to rest.
- Be a Natural Sweetie: Yesterday, I hopped in my car, after completing a fun gym workout on the spin bike, and lifting some weights. Hungry, I bit into the apple that I had tossed in my bag (If you are a flight attendant, or someone interested in health/fitness, always pack snacks in your purse or bag). The crisp pop interrupted my Spotify playlist, as my teeth punctured the apple’s skin. The intense sweetness flooded my mouth! I had seriously landed in some corner of heaven; endorphin exercise high, sunshine, music, and enjoying what I think was the SWEETEST apple I have ever tasted. My next thought was, “Who needs candy when there is natural sweets like this??!” Growing up, I wasn’t allowed very much sugar, or candy, and I remember I used to pretend dried apple slices was a piece of bubble gum. Once my mom made a birthday cake that was SO healthy, us little kiddos broke our plastic forks trying to eat it, and instead took our little chubby fingers and wiped off all the whipped cream (I realize I may have been slightly deprived, but it is benefiting me now!). Sometimes, with eating, we get off track because we become used to the overly sweet taste of cookies, brownies, and ice cream, but the world was created with some of the best natural candies, and natural desserts. If you have ever had fresh mango, or fresh from the field strawberries, you know what I am talking about. Even bakery treats can be healthy. Make an effort to retrain your taste buds and be natural sweetie:) This is a great website with a lot of good recipes for healthier desserts, and sweets, as well as great vegetarian main dish and side dish recipes.
- Accept, and expect the unexpected: You planned on going to the gym, but your kid ended up getting sick. You wanted to make a healthy breakfast, but you slept through your alarm. Your flight was delayed or cancelled. Your day COMPLETELY changed. This is life. So much out of your control. You have decided to make healthier choices, stick to an exercise plan, stop drinking alcohol, but then this, that, and the other happened. There will always be reasons why making changes in your life is too hard, or “do it later.” Don’t excuse yourself from living the life you want, and achieving the goals that you have set. That being said, give yourself room to be less than perfect. Being healthy is not one day perfection, but lifestyle. Follow the 80/20 rule; 80 percent of the time you will eat healthy, and 20 percent, you give into the cravings. Your body wants to maintain a homeostasis, and it fights, whether you are overweight, or underweight, to get back to an ideal-for- you weight, so don’t freak out when you can’t seem to put anything into your mouth but high fat, high calorie foods. Trust me with this, because I’ve experienced it; my body doesn’t like to be 10lbs low, or 10lbs above it’s natural comfort zone. I’ve tested this, not intentionally necessarily, but it really is true. Just get yourself back on track to eating better. You’ll feel better, and feeling better is the best motivation. Once again, healthy doesn’t require perfect. Give yourself a break to enjoy life, enjoy food, and live.
Enjoy some Ice Cream every so often. In The UK with my good friend Hilary:)