Dealing with a sugar carving can be tricky, especially if you have easy access to sugary foods. However, with self-discipline, a strong will, and the help of the people around you, it is possible to overcome your sugar cravings.
In the modern era of fast foods and junk meals, it is difficult to avoid sugary meals and drinks. On average, every American adult consumes 48 pounds of sugar annually. Consuming sugar on a daily basis puts you at risk of developing dental problems as well as other health-related ailments. According to studies, increased sugar intake puts you at risk of developing diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and life-shortening obesity. The recommended daily limit of added sugar is 10% of your total calorie intake. However, some people have exceeded this amount due to sugar carving.
Reducing and regulating the amount of sugar intake can be an uphill task since most people find sweet foods tempting. The best way to deal with this problem is to understand why you are getting the cravings in the first place and come up with a diet plan to help you cultivate a healthy habit. Below are some of the best ways to overcome sugar cravings.
Pay Attention to Patterns
Humans are known as creatures of habit; this means your body is likely to form a habit toward sugar cravings. If you notice your cravings hit at a specific time, say between 8 to 9 pm, you should consider replacing your sugar intake with healthy, protein-filled snacks. This move will leave you satisfied and better placed to handle your sugar cravings for the rest of the evening.
Balance your Meals
One of the best ways to fight sugar cravings is through a balanced diet, which includes breakfast, lunch and supper. Be sure to add proteins, veggies, healthy fats and carbs to your plate every day. A balanced meal will help keep you full and stabilize your blood sugar. You should also recognize the difference between hunger and cravings. Hunger is when your body calls for energy, while cravings are when the body needs something to trigger dopamine release. However, a combined feeling of hunger and cravings is difficult to resist. The best way to deal with this feeling is by eating balanced meals throughout the day.
Remember to stock your kitchen with pre-made meals and healthy snacks. You should consider increasing your intake of protein-rich foods such as fish, eggs, and meat to deal with hunger. Eating a balanced meal or real food may not seem appealing, but it is the best option to overcome your sugar cravings.
Perform a Physical Activity
Aside from managing your diet, you also need to work on your body. When the sugar cravings come in, it's advisable to go for a short walk or engage in a few exhausting exercises such as body-weight squats, push-ups, or even running. This way, the body can release endorphins which induce the feeling of ''feeling good''. This way, the brain can turn the cravings off. Walking or running can also help distance you from the food you crave until the feeling wears off.
Spice Things Up
Today, most people spend several hours at work, leaving very little time to prepare decent meals. This trend has forced people to depend on fast food restaurants or make simple meals every day. This lifestyle contributes to sugar cravings as most simple or fast foods are laden with sugar, causing a sugar addiction. However, you can spice your meals by replacing sugar with organic spices. There are several delicious flavors that are achieved from easily accessible spices that don't have added sugar. These spices include cinnamon, rosemary, and red pepper.
Give in a Little
Giving in to your cravings may seem like the worst idea, but it can help you balance your sugar cravings. According to some dietitians, eating a little of what you are craving can help you wean off the urge instead of denying yourself completely. However, this approach requires you to have self-discipline and seek the help of your loved ones. For instance, you should ensure your sugar intake balances out your recommended daily calorie intake of 150. If you can't find small helpings, be sure to split the one you have with the people around you.
You should stock your kitchen with fruits just in case your cravings hit at odd hours. Fruits provide the nutrients, fiber, and sweetness you're craving. You should also add nuts, seeds, and dried fruits to help overcome your sugar cravings. Make sure to place them somewhere that is easily accessible instead of reaching for sugary snacks beforehand.
Go Cold Turkey
This may seem like the most difficult approach but is the most effective. Cutting off all simple sugars can help you overcome your cravings. The first 2-3 days may seem difficult, but you get used to it after some time.