Tackle Diabetes and Beat Cravings With Protein Powder
Tell us if this sounds familiar. You’re freshly committed to a new diet and you’re off to a great start — until a sudden craving hits you out of nowhere, that is.
Whether you’re a diabetic or not, everyone has cravings. These sudden urges are a significant challenge for anyone trying to live a healthy lifestyle, but they can be even more challenging for diabetics.
For those without diabetes, the consequences of snacking and giving into a craving are relatively insignificant. The unfortunate reality for many suffering from diabetes is that giving into these cravings — especially for food that’s high in sugar — can put their health at serious risk.
Keep reading to learn more about why diabetics have cravings and how you can beat cravings with protein powder to fuel your fight against type 2 diabetes.
Diabetics and Cravings: Let’s Define the Relationship
Generally speaking, a craving is defined as “a powerful desire for something.” For diabetics and non-diabetics alike, this desire is often for unhealthy, sugary food. After all, who craves a vegetable?
Diabetics are frequently afflicted with either high or low blood sugar, which can cause sudden feelings of hunger or a desire to eat. More often than not, these cravings are so strong that we end up giving into them — and doing so can affect both our bodies and minds in a negative way. Luckily, there are a number of different ways to manage these cravings, which we will discuss later in this blog.
The Power of Protein
A common misconception is that protein powder is only suitable for people who are trying to bulk up — but it’s not just for bodybuilders or professional athletes! One of the most effective ways to beat cravings is by adding more protein to your diet, whether it be through protein-rich foods or protein powder.
But what makes protein such an effective tool for beating cravings? For starters, protein takes longer for the body to digest than carbs, which can help reduce cravings and feelings of hunger in general. Protein has the power to reduce your level of ghrelin, a hunger hormone that increases your appetite. Additionally, protein also boosts your body’s levels of peptide YY, a hormone that makes you feel full.
The bottom line is that protein is powerful — and protein powder specifically is an effective and efficient way to manage your cravings and fuel your fight.
5 Ways to Beat Cravings with Protein Powder
1. Start your day with a high-protein breakfast
The old adage that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” isn’t just a wives tale after all. Starting your day off strong with a balanced breakfast that’s rich in protein is perhaps one of the most potent ways to set the tone for a healthy, craving-free day. Like we mentioned earlier, increasing your protein intake is scientifically proven to reduce feelings of hunger, so loading up on it in the morning is a great way to get your day off to a healthy start.
2. Add protein powder to your coffee
For those who are constantly on the go in the mornings, cooking a protein-rich breakfast might not always be feasible. We’ve all been there — you hit snooze one too many times and your morning is off to a later-than-ideal start. As a result, you don’t have enough time to whip anything up in the kitchen before rushing off to work.
Keeping a container of protein powder on your kitchen counter or even your desk at work can be a quick and easy way to add more protein to your daily diet. For the coffee lovers, adding a scoop of protein to your morning brew is a simple way to kickstart your day without spiking your blood sugar. If you’re going to drink coffee anyways, you might as well get the added benefit of protein at the same time, right?
3. Mix up a smoothie or shake
Tired of constantly relying on eggs or chicken to be your main source of protein? Eating the same thing every day can be boring, so shake it up!
If you’re looking to beat cravings with protein powder, making a smoothie or shake is the logical first choice — and for good reason. Adding protein powder to a shake or smoothie can be an effective way to make sure your body is getting the appropriate amount of protein and nutrients it needs.
Milk or water is always a safe bet when mixing your protein shake — but we challenge you to get creative. To make the most filling protein shake, mix your powder with other nutritious foods like fruits, veggies, and nut butter. Whether you drink one for breakfast or use it as a meal replacement throughout the day, we guarantee your sweet tooth will be experiencing a whole lotta yum.
Related: Diabetic-Friendly Recipes: Smoothies
4. Add protein powder to your snacks throughout the day
If you’re the kind of person who can’t resist the urge to snack on something throughout the day, adding protein powder to your snack of choice is a good way to ensure you don’t have additional cravings throughout the day. Oatmeal is a very popular snack choice for many due to how easy to prepare it is. Adding a scoop of protein powder to a low carb oatmeal mix is a very practical way to ensure you’re snacking smarter and less frequently. (Or, try this Chocolate Covered Almonds recipe!)
5. End your night with a diabetic-friendly protein powder
Craving a scoop of ice cream or maybe a slice of cake before bed? We don’t blame you. While you might not always be able to indulge in these sweet treats, we’re here to tell you that delicious alternatives do exist. Adding a scoop of protein powder to a shake before bed can help satisfy your cravings and provide your body with the protein necessary to prevent any desire for late night snacks from occurring. Sweet dreams!
6 More Sweet Tips for Managing Cravings
1. Recognize the difference between hunger and cravings
Being able to differentiate between real hunger and a craving is one of the most important things someone trying to live a healthy lifestyle can do. For diabetics, this can be as simple as asking the question: “Is this real hunger, or is this being triggered by a swing in my blood sugar?”
Take a second to pause and ask yourself this question, then proceed to test your blood sugar before giving into a craving. Doing this can help you recognize the difference between hunger and cravings, and decide whether or not you actually need to eat.
2. Distract yourself
When you start having the urge to indulge in a snack, sometimes the solution is as simple as distracting yourself. If what you’re experiencing is true hunger, it will keep nagging you — but a craving will likely pass if you wait it out.
Rather than sitting around and thinking about how hungry you are, fill the time by doing something to take your mind off your cravings. Go for a walk, call a friend, listen to music, or catch up on your favorite show. By the time you complete the task, you might even forget you were ever hungry to begin with.
3. Identify your triggers
You are unique and so are your cravings! Various foods and situations can trigger cravings for different people. For example, many people eat when they aren’t even hungry to combat feelings of loneliness or boredom. Meanwhile, other people snack when they’re feeling stressed or anxious. Knowing what foods you tend to crave is also important, so you can avoid them as much as possible. After all, it is much easier to resist your cravings when they aren’t sitting in your pantry.
4. Eat on a regular schedule
Having well-defined blocks of time set aside each day where you know you’ll eat a meal is an important aspect of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. If you don’t know when your next meal is going to be, you might find yourself prone to snacking or overeating food that isn’t good for you to compensate. It might require some planning ahead on your behalf, but committing to meal windows every day is a crucial part of any diet — especially for someone with type 2 diabetes.
5. Choose healthy alternatives
Self control is one of the most important parts of a healthy lifestyle that no one seems to talk about. It might not always be easy, but simply holding yourself accountable and committing to choosing healthier alternatives is paramount for someone with diabetes.
So, the next time you find yourself craving something sweet, opt for a healthier alternative instead. Luckily, choosing healthy alternatives doesn’t mean you have to settle for food that is bland and boring. We have plenty of diabetic-friendly recipes to satisfy your sweet tooth that are just as delicious as they are healthy!
6. Indulge within reason
At the end of the day, there’s nothing wrong with indulging in your cravings from time to time — within reason, of course. After all, you know your body better than anyone else. Your journey to fight type 2 diabetes won’t always be perfect, but our S2 Community will be here to help you every step of the way.
Want to get involved with a group of people who are fighting type 2 just like you? Join our Facebook Group for recipes, support, ideas, answers and solutions.
Manage Cravings with Swee2ooth
As we’ve discussed in this blog, there are many ways to beat cravings with protein powder — and of course, we recommend managing your cravings with our Swee2ooth Super Blends.
Formulated specifically for type 2 diabetes, our Super Blends feature a powerful blend of fast and slow release proteins that help lower blood sugar and curb cravings. Our formula also has vitamins and minerals for blood sugar maintenance, as well as a unique blend of fibers and fats to promote healthy digestion. We might be biased, but we think our Super Blends taste delicious, too.
Ready to beat cravings with protein powder? Click the button below to get started!