If you’ve recently decided to reduce your sugar intake but are struggling to control your sugar cravings then this article is for you.
Sugar is addictive.
And it is everywhere.
Although you’ve likely realised this if you are starting to read more of the nutritional labels on your food products.
That healthy yoghurt you’re eating, is probably loaded with sugar.
Full of sugar.
Even most loaves of bread now contain sugar.
This isn’t done by accident.
Scientists have now discovered that sugar is more addictive than cocaine and herion. Manufacturers use that little known secret to keep you coming back for more and more.
If this all sounds a bit too doom and gloomy for you there is good news.
It is possible to kick your sugar cravings and start enjoying a healthy diet that doesn’t revolve around sugary foods.
Follow these simple steps to to help stop your cravings.
How To Stop Sugar Cravings
1. Get More Quality Sleep
We live in a time where more and more of us are not getting enough quality sleep.
In fact government studies have shown that more than 1 in 3 Americans are sleep deprived.
Getting more sleep optimises energy levels, reduces appetite and slashes sugar cravings. When you are tired, your hormones that regulate your appetite are suppressed which can lead to you feeling the need for something sugary to give you a quick energy hit.
In todays busy society it’s can become easy to fall behind on sleep and some people even wear that as a badge of honour.
It can feel like you’re achieving more in a day by sleeping less, but it will eventually catch up to you.
Make sure that you are not only getting enough sleep, but that the quality of your sleep is high also.
Studies have shown that the optimal amount of sleep to get a night is 7 hours. Depending on your lifestyle you may feel better or worse with more or less sleep.
The important thing is to note how you feel in the morning after you wake up and during the day. Then take note of how many hours you slept that night.
2. Go Cold Turkey
Cutting out all simple sugars completely can work great for some people although “the initial 48 to 72 hours are tough,” Gerbstadt says.
You may find that completely removing sugars from your diet helps to diminish your sugar cravings after a few days.
On the other hand you may find you are still craving sugar but over time you are able to train you tastebuds to be satisfied with less.
A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has proven this.
The study looked at two groups. A control group that maintained their regular sugary diet and a second group that followed a reduced sugar diet.
The participants where monitored over three months and after each month they ate a vanilla pudding and a sweet raspberry flavoured drink.
The low sugar group rated the foods sweeter in both intensity and pleasantness than those who had ate their original sugary diet.
3. Drink plenty of water
There are many health benefits to regularly drinking water.
As well as keeping you well hydrated water also helps to fill you up. If you find yourself prone to reaching for a sugary snack this tip might be just what you need.
The next time you get the temptation to get a sugar fix, try drinking a glass of water. Wait 15 minutes and see if your cravings have passed.
If you aren’t a fan of drinking loads of plain water or if it doesn’t quite hit the spot, you can try green or herbal tea instead.
4. Skip artificial sweeteners
Switching to artificial sweeteners might seem like a healthy alternative to sugar, but it isn’t necessarily the case.
While the sweet taste of an artificial sweetener may fool your tastebuds studies have shown that it isn’t fooling your brain.
The nice feeling we get from eating a sugary foods is a result of a chemical called dopamine, which is released in the brain when sugar is consumed and is linked to the feeling of reward.
Artificial sweeteners don’t cause the same reaction in the brain which will leave you with your craving and you will ultimately be more likely to binge on something sugary later on in the day.
Professor Ivan de Araujo, who led the study at Yale University’s School of Medicine says that rather than starving yourself of sugar you can consume very small amounts which tricks the brain into producing the pleasure response.
5. Manage your magnesium levels
If you are deficient in the mineral magnesium you could experience increased cravings to sugar, especially chocolate.
Eating a diet that is rich with dark leafy greens will help you to boost your magnesium levels. Check out this list of high magnesium foods.
Get your doctor to check your magnesium levels if you are worried.
6. Chew Some Gum
Chewing gum can not only freshen your breath but studies have shown that it can actually help you to control cravings, manage hunger, and promote weight loss.
Researchers found that Men and women who chewed Extra sugar-free gum three times hourly in the afternoon chose and consumed less snacks and specifically, less sweet snacks than they did when they did not chew gum.
7. Limit Your Access To Sugary Foods
Sometimes it can be as easy as not having a sugary snack lying around to reduce your sugar cravings.
For a lot of us eating sugary foods just comes down to convenience.
We have a pantry full of them at home and they’re in our desk drawer at work.
A good approach is to have a complete clean out of your house and anywhere else you may have sugary snacks lying around.
If you can make it harder to eat sugar filled foods and easier to eat something healthy that can go a long way to curbing your cravings.
A lot of time just seeing a sugary food or knowing that we have something in our pantry is what actually causes our cravings.
If you remove all temptation this can help to curb your sugar cravings.
Stoping your sugar cravings can be easier than you think.
Once you know the steps to take and decide that you are going to reduce your sugar intake, it’s just a matter of willpower.
The tips highlighted in this article will help get you through the early days until you no longer crave sugar in your lifestyle.
What’s your take on stopping sugar cravings? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!