Chocolate, cakes, sweets, fizzy drinks… with such low energy, it’s no wonder we crave these boosts. But the short-term highs can simply propel us up a ramp towards an even bigger crash. Plus there’s the other health impacts such as weight gain and poorly teeth, among others!
The realisation I’ve come to this week (after eating two Double Deckers for breakfast then zonking) is that we have enough symptoms to worry about without self-inflicting more – there must be a better way! So I put the question to various M.E and fatigue communities that I’m part of and have collated all the ideas shared here.
Naturally, this comes with the disclaimer than we’re not doctors or dieticians, so do seek advice and eat a balanced diet etc… but hopefully some of these suggestions will really help us all to swap baaaaaaad sugar for good alternatives, and with better results! I’m going to try some of these so will report back – and let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments below, too 🙂
“Porridge for breakfast will help with energy in the morning – and you could put a tiny bit of honey in it 🙂 “
“My go-to are roasted nuts & 100% chocolate. I get my dark chocolate from www.montezumas.co.uk . I drink lots of hot water & lemon too!”
“I was advised to have 3 small meals and 3 small snacks a day to keep energy levels up and blood sugar constant. I tend to snack on hummus (a limited amount in a small plastic tub) and wholegrain crackers, or cheese and crackers, with some grapes or other fruit. My cravings have reduced considerably.” “Manuka honey on wholewheat toast, in tea instead of sugar, in plain yogurt, on top of porridge or banana, egg, pancakes etc. It’s expensive but a little goes a long way and is very good for you and your sweet tooth.”
“One thing I’ve made recently is a low carb bread (made mainly with ground almonds) that when spread thickly with cream cheese makes a nice afternoon snack and one piece is quite satisfying. It is almost like cake but much healthier as it’s sugar-free.”
“If anyone likes peanut butter and bananas, it is a real energy boost!!! Fills me up too so stops you resorting to the bad stuff!!”
“I downloaded the Food Smart app to check for hidden sugars – this has helped the whole family cut down.”
“Strange as this may sound, it does help… sniff/smell a chocolate wrapper. The smell tricks your brain into thinking you ate it. Protein snacks will also curb the sugar craving “
“I’ve cut out refined sugar the past few weeks. Normally I can’t resist treats but I now have alternatives on hand to kerb the cravings – and it’s worked An easy one is hot Cacao (I make it with almond milk) sweetened with honey, plus refined, sugar-free cakes. Another easy-ish one is a mug cake recipe with banana, cacao, nut butter and honey. Pinterest is good for finding sugar-free treats. Normally I have no willpower but I’ve lost weight and some of my CFS symptoms have eased. Now I just have to stay strong over Easter! “
“Sweet teas! I have lots, caffeine-free of course! Obviously fruit salads – add some honey when being naughty! Also really dark choc, like 85%. I also freeze banana slices – you can make banana ice cream with it but I just take a few slices when I need sugar – tastes amazing!”
“I’m just reading a book called ‘I Quit Sugar’ and there’s also this website… lots of suggestions in the book and advice about hidden sugars too. Worth a look. I was driven to reading it after demolishing the two Easter eggs I’ve been given for Easter already… they were just calling my name!”
“Nuts are my go-to snack, I get big catering size bags for economy and roast my own for when I need something salty, that way I ensure no added oil. I also have eggs for breakfast, the protein really sets you up for the day and I rarely get cravings.”
“A simple but very effective one is good old water which can make a huge difference – I make it more interesting by either adding in fruit (you can get some good, easy, infuser bottles from Amazon) or sparkling water which tricks my brain into thinking it’s a fizzy drink! Most pubs will give you “soda water” for free, too.”
“I snack on fruit (grapes, mango, melon, strawberries and raspberries to name a few!). This helps with the sugar craving. The Cadburys options are a low-calorie sugar fix as well. For energy though you’re better off with proteins like boiled eggs (just apologise to the people around you first…) chicken pieces, ham etc.”
“Take a look at your carb intake. You can crave carbs if you eat excessive carbs if that makes sense. Vicious cycle syndrome. Be warned though: coming off excess carbs can give you a rotten headache for a day or two!”
What are your tips or experiences?
3 thoughts on “Oh, Sugar! 15 people with M.E share their energy alternatives.”
Yes! Carbs and sugar are a huge no-no for me. I have been much better (no longer bedridden) since going keto at the start of the year!
I cheated the other day and had a few bites of regular chocolate (not the 90% Lindt I have daily) and I crashed so badly, I couldn’t stay away and was asleep 4 hours before my usual bedtime, slept for 12 hours! It’s like poison for my body.
Not to mention the increase in pain and brain fog that comes from carbs and sugar because of the inflammation they cause. (even fruit and honey have the same effect). Keto has been amazing, hardly any pain left and mental clarity is beautiful to experience again!
That’s brilliant to hear. It is all about trying things; trial and error to see what helps reduce/manage symptoms better, so I am really pleased that keto has helped you.
Right, we all suffer similarly, but we all respond to things so differently, we have to just be patient and try things till we find the right combination of habits that make a difference for us.
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