5 Tips to Tame Your Sugar Cravings
Do you have a sweet tooth? Many do. The cravings can be so strong that you may feel as if sugar has a hold on you. But eating too many foods that are high in added sugar is not good for your health. Here are 5 tips that can help you get control of your cravings and gain the upper hand.
- Develop a plan to quit. Pick a date to quit, or cut way back, and then come up with a quit plan. Your plan could include a list of strategies for dealing with sugar cravings, like some of the ones below. It might also include ways to avoid or manage triggers that make you crave sugary treats. For instance, you might want to avoid certain places, like the bakery. Or you may want to bring a healthy dish to a birthday party so that you can skip the cake.
- Reduce or eliminate added sugar. Remove food and drinks that contain refined sugar from your home. Review food labels if you’re not sure what has been made with sugar. You might be surprised. Sucrose, dextrose, fructose, honey, molasses, and corn syrup are all forms of sugar. You may also want to steer clear of artificial sweeteners. Some studies suggest they boost cravings.
- Eat healthy meals on a regular basis. Try to eat 3 balanced meals a day, with healthy snacks in between. Plan to eat healthy portions of lean protein, healthy fats (nuts, olive oil), fruits and veggies, and whole grains. Stay hydrated, too. Healthy food at regular intervals can help you keep your blood sugar steady all day. And that may mean you’ll be less likely to crave sugary foods.
- Manage your emotions. Strong feelings like stress, sadness, and anger may lead you to crave high-calorie foods. This is known as emotional eating. To help you avoid falling into this trap, try to manage your feelings in healthy ways. Getting active can be a great way to ease stress and boost your mood. Relaxation techniques like deep breathing and meditation can also help.
- Get enough sleep. A lack of sleep can boost levels of a hormone that sends hunger signals to the brain, causing you to feel hungry. And when you’re tired, you may want a quick burst of energy. Sugar, which is a stimulant, can be very tempting. Studies also suggest that people who are tired tend to crave foods high in sugar, as well as fat. Being well-rested can help you avoid these cravings.
These 5 tips may help you gain some control over your cravings. Once you have the upper hand, you may decide to enjoy a sweet treat every now and then. But you’ll be better able to stay in control if you do.