Breastfeeding burns around 500 calories a day but it also means we are hungrier and as most mums are tired pretty much all of the time we tend to crave sugar for a quick pick me up instead of eating healthy foods.
1. Eat a low GI diet. Eating a diet full of low GI food will slow down the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream and will stop the rapid insulin surges. It will also keep you feeling fuller for longer and prevents a rapid rise and fall in blood sugar levels which then causes cravings.
2. Get lots of nutrients in your diet. Your body needs a wide variety of nutrients to work properly, and to help sugar move into the cells efficiently If you don’t eat the right foods then your cells will not be nourished and a common side effect of this is craving sugary foods. If you are pressed for time and finding eating a high nutrient diet hard then try one of our smoothie plans which will nourish your body and cells.
4. Eat more fibre. Fibre is extremely important for slowing down sugar absorption in the body and making us feel fuller for longer. Eating lots of fruit and vegetables will provide fibre, as too will swapping white rice, pasta or bread for the whole grain varieties. You can also put a couple of tbsp of psyllium husks or oats into your smoothies – this will combine with water and expand in your stomach, making you feel fuller. It is important to increase your water intake when you have more fibre as it can be counter productive other wise
5. Clean your teeth! After dinner, clean your teeth straight away. This works well for a lot of mums because you are less likely to snack on sweets when you have that clean toothpaste taste in your mouth, and if you do, you know you have to clean your teeth all over again!
6. Eat the right snacks. When you are hungry you need to eat the right foods that will satisfy your appetite and nourish your body – as well as preventing large rises in blood sugar. Try to have only nuts, seeds, and fruits, high protein snacks and cut out junk food. Good fruit choices are apples, pears, and strawberries. To have a healthy snack try making up ‘fruit kebabs’ every couple of days and keep them in the refrigerator. Cut up chunks of apple, strawberries and other fruits and then thread them on skewers, drizzle with lemon juice, and store in a glass jar in the fridge.
You can also reduce sweet cravings by substituting regular sugar with natural sweeteners like honey, maple syrup and stevia.