This guest post by Hannah Giangaspro, Exercise Science and Nutrition Intern shares how she overcomes sugar cravings, plus her recipe for Banana-Nut Cookies.
Confession time. I am a soon-to-be Bachelor of Exercise Science as well as an aspiring registered dietitian. So, naturally, I do my best to eat right and stay fit. That being said, I LOVE SUGAR!! Like absolutely adore it, especially when I’m stressed out to the max or when I’ve had a long day of work. What I would like to do after a long, stressful day of work would be to just layer a whole tub of vanilla ice cream on top of an entire tray of double dark chocolate brownies, smother it with peanut butter, and then attack it with a spoon. I admit that. But, because you and I know that would not end well, I do my best to draw a line between what I actually do and what I would like to do.
However, although what I actually do may not be what I would like to do, it is still something I like doing. “What are you saying?” I honestly don’t know anymore, I’m a soon-to-be college graduate and my brain is a fried pile of mush. To try and explain, if I know that I am craving sugar hard-core, I EAT SUGAR, just in moderation. I can’t ignore my brain.
Respect Your Brain
To explain, if you commonly crave sugar after a long day of work, a tough power-hour in the gym, or just a lot of general stress, that’s completely normal! In fact, there’s some science behind it! (Oh, Lord, Hannah’s being nerdy again.) You see, your brain needs to eat too, and when you push it into overdrive (such as in the workplace, at the gym, or even driving your car), it’s going to eat more. And, your brain really only prefers to eat one thing: glucose, i.e. SUGAR! So when you’re having one of those sugar-cravings, yeah, that’s most likely your brain speaking. So I choose to give that poor guy what he needs darn-it!
But how without overdoing it? Well, you should attack the cravings as soon as they come on. If you keep ignoring them, they will end up possessing you like a scene out of The Exorcist, and they will cause you to overdo it on the sugar intake, shoveling cookies into your mouth so fast that your brain won’t even have time to tell you it’s had enough. If you attack the sugar cravings early, just a tiny sweet treat will do the trick, and, you will be much more likely to be in control.
The Recipe for Success
For me, this can be something like a small square of dark chocolate in the afternoon (I try to keep individual squares on-hand to help with portion control). Another treat that I absolutely adore is this recipe for Banana-Nut cookies from skinnytaste.com. It’s only three ingredients (bananas, walnuts, and oats) and is probably one of the easiest and most satisfying desserts I’ve ever made! An added bonus from this treat is that it’s homemade, meaning no artificial additives or other junk that will end up in your trunk. To help with portion control, portion out one or two cookies into separate baggies… we sugar-cravers can use all the help we can get (;
Check out the recipe here! If you like to live on the wild side (and can afford just a few extra calories and sugar), add some dark chocolate chips to this recipe (: Your taste buds will thank you. And remember, RESPECT YOUR BRAIN!