There are few things more frustrating than those intense sugar cravings rearing their ugly head, especially when you’re trying to eat healthier or stick to your weight loss plan, according to Eat This, Not That!.
While you may be able to talk yourself out of reaching for the extra cupcake sitting on the counter, this isn’t always the case. Sometimes you’ll need to focus more on the foods you’re eating for breakfast to make sure you have enough nutrients to get you through the day with fewer cravings.
“While food cravings have many biological and physiological causes like lack of sleep, stress, and low glucose, the foods we eat can also be a cause,” says Trista Best, MPH, RD, LD at Balance One Supplements.
“For instance, a breakfast of sugar-laden cereal made with refined carbohydrates will fill you up quickly, but leave you hungry shortly after. This hunger is typically resolved by eating more carbohydrates or sweets.”
According to Lisa Young, PhD, RDN, author of Finally Full, Finally Slim and a member of our medical expert board, the best breakfast you can eat to curb sugar cravings throughout the day is a bowl of steel-cut oats.
“Steel-cut oats are super healthy and great to include each morning because they are a gluten-free whole grain and a great source of fiber along with vitamins and minerals,” says Young. “The soluble fiber found in steel-cut outs keeps your blood sugar steady to reduce cravings.”
Not only that, but Young says oatmeal has also been linked to other health benefits like weight loss and lower levels of blood cholesterol.
“Protein and healthy fat do the trick for an added boost to keep sugar cravings at bay, so try adding low-fat milk, flaxseeds, and peanut butter to your oatmeal, as well as your favorite berries for added fiber,” says Young.
It’s important to eat high-fiber foods like oatmeal and avoid breakfast foods that are high in added sugar, such as donuts or other breakfast pastries.
“Refined carbohydrates found in common breakfast foods like pastries and biscuits are turned into sugar in the body and used for energy,” says Best. “While this is a normal process, they are processed so rapidly that they cause a glucose spike and a quick crash, which leads to increased cravings for sugar or carbohydrate-containing foods.”