Celebrity nutritionist shares 5 tips for outsmarting your cravings

WGN Weekend Morning News

CHICAGO — Author and celebrity Nutritionist, Daryl Gioffre joined WGN Weekend Morning News to share five tips for outsmarting your cravings.

His new book “Get Off Your Sugar: Burn the Fat, Crush Your Cravings and Go From Stress Eating to Strength Eating” came out earlier this month.

Here are his five tips:

  • Be aware that your taste buds can change: Normally, an apple or some berries should be able to satiate your sweet tooth. However, people who’ve become addicted to sugar have become desensitized to it and may desire an entire pint of ice cream to satisfy their cravings. Fortunately, your taste buds change every 14 days — allowing you to reset your sensitivity to sweetness and wean your buds off foods that are keeping you trapped in a sugar-craving cycle. 
  • Help your transition with smart snacking: Make sure you give your body what it needs to ward off cravings — which starts with well-chosen, smart snacks that provide the health fats and minerals you need to help “flip your switch.”
  • Eat fruit, but don’t drink it: A general rule of thumb is to eat fruit only when it’s in season (berries and melons in the summer, apples and squashes — yes, they are technically fruits — in the fall, citrus and pomegranate in the winter). You either want to eat fruit on its own before a meal, or I like to, pair moderate-sugar fruit with a healthy fat so that the impact on your blood glucose and insulin levels is moderated. You don’t want to eat fruit as part of or after a larger meal because fruit digests very quickly and can make it all the way through the digestive tract in twenty to thirty minutes. If you eat fruit with a big meal, or even worse, for dessert, the fruit will sit on top of all the other food and start to rot. And the problem with fruit juice is that all the things that nature put in to the fruit to slow down the metabolization of the natural sugars is stripped away. You’re basically just getting the sugar water.
  • Adding fiber helps beat cravings before they begin: Fiber is important as it slows down the emptying of the stomach, which keeps you feeling fuller longer. And while mineral-rich greens are decent sources of fiber, you ultimately want to consume 30 to 50 grams of fiber a day, and you need more than mineral-rich greens to get that amount. That’s where fiber-rich, slow-burning carbs come in. These complex carbs won’t spike your blood sugar, or insulin, for that matter. In fact, they help to balance your blood sugar by slowing the absorption of glucose into your bloodstream, thanks to all the fiber they contain. Fiber also feeds the friendly flora in your gut and scrubs your intestines, thus supporting a healthy digestive tract. They’re your allies when it comes to crushing cravings and burning fat.
  • Be careful with sweeteners — even natural ones: There’s a lot of misconception about “natural” sugars and whether they are better for you or not. Just as with fruit, any sugar, no matter its source, is going to keep you stuck in sugar-burning mode and negatively impact your body in some way. Also, some natural sweeteners are even worse than table sugar; for example, agave syrup, which is up to 90 percent fructose. My two favorite sweeteners are monk fruit and stevia. Monk fruit is the sweetener we use in our Alkamind Daily Greens and Daily Minerals powders. It is a traditional Chinese berry that won’t spike insulin. Stevia is derived from the leaves of a plant of the same name and also won’t spike insulin. The only problem with stevia is that it can be a little bitter, so I like “unbitterized” stevia (look for this word on the label).

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