10 Tips on how to control sugar cravings
The recommended amount of sugar that you should each day is just one tablespoon, yet the average American eats around one cup of sugar every day, which is over 15 times the recommended amount. There is no question that too much sugar is bad for you. (Feel free to read the article about 20 side effects of sugar’ here.)
If you are eating a cup full, rather than a tablespoon of sugar, then it’s time to think about cutting it down. Sugar though, can be addictive, and so, if you suffer from uncontrollable cravings for sugar, read these ten tips on how to control your sugar cravings:
1. Eat regularly
What causes sugar cravings? Cravings for sugar can be caused by your having peaks and troughs in your sugar levels. Your body needs a constant source of energy, not highs and lows, so our first tip on how to control sugar cravings is – don’t skip meals, especially breakfast, and be sure to get plenty of protein with almost every meal. Eating regularly will keep your blood sugar levels stable and help avoid the urge to eat more sugar.
2. Treat it like a detox
If you are going to go for a drastic reduction in your sugar intake, then you should take this process seriously. Sugar is addictive and the first week that you cut down on sugar might be a bit uncomfortable. You will probably experience cravings, so be prepared for them. Cut out sugar at a time, when you are least stressed and not just when you are starting a new job, for example.
3. Clear out temptations
Another tip on how to control sugar cravings is – clean out your refrigerator and cupboards of all those tempting treats and snacks, and make the conscious decision not to restock them, when you go shopping. Removing temptation for easy reach will make it easier to beat the cravings.
4. Prepare some alternatives
People tend to go for sugary foods, when they have no alternative food to hand, so stock up on healthy treats instead of sugary snacks. Choose some of the healthiest things that you do like, such as blueberries, strawberries, apples, peaches, yoghurt, nuts, dried fruit or trail mix. These alternative snacks will curb the craving for sweetness, and give you a healthy boost of energy and nutrition too.
5. Experiment with other foods
Our next tip on how to control sugar cravings and how to break sugar addiction is – take this as an opportunity to experiment with food and try things that you have never eaten before. Find alternatives to sugary foods that still make you feel good and give you the energy that you need. What you may think of as cravings might just be the result of habit, and replacing the sweet snacks with more healthy ones will be a lot easier, than not snacking at all.
6. Incorporate sweet vegetables into your diet
Everyone gets cravings for sweet foods, but you don’t have to overload on sugar to satisfy that craving. Another good suggestion on how to control sugar cravings is to do it the healthy way: increase the sweetness in your diet by adding sweet vegetables to your meals. Vegetables like sweet potatoes, green cabbage, beets and carrots will help to stabilise your blood sugar levels and ward off the craving for sweetness.
7. Use some mouthwash
When you get a real strong craving for sugar, try cleaning your teeth and then, rinsing with some mouthwash. The strong flavour of the mouthwash will make sugary foods seem less appealing.
8. If you do need a treat, then make it a good one
If you really can’t resist the urge for a sweet treat, then buy the best quality foods that you can. A piece of high quality dark chocolate or a small portion of gourmet ice cream will satisfy your sugar craving far better, than a cheaper alternative in large quantities, so you will eat a lot less and enjoy more.
9. Chew some sugar free gum
Research has proven that chewing sugar free gum reduces the craving for sweetness. Keep a pack of sugar free gum with you and the next time you crave a sweet treat, chew on that for a while, and it will ease the craving.
10. How to control sugar cravings? Don’t rely on artificial sweeteners
Things like diet sodas, which contain artificial sweeteners, don’t help you reduce your cravings, because they fool your body into thinking that it is receiving a blood sugar spike. Like any addiction, to beat the sugar cravings, you need to persevere with a lower intake of sugary sweet foods and, in a relatively short period of time, the cravings will subside.
Do you have some other tips on how to control sugar cravings?
Feel free to share them in the comment section below.
Stay happy and healthy!