10 Ways to Fight Sugar Cravings
These simple tricks make saying "no" to sugar easier.
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Get Rid of Sugar Cravings Once and For All
We all get cravings, especially for sweet, sugary foods. When the craving its, it can feel impossible not to indulge — and it's okay to savor a sweet snack sometimes. But if you’re reaching for that sweet temptation regularly, that can lead to unhealthy habits and possible weight gain. That said, your cravings don't have to be unbearable. Take control of your sugar cravings by trying these tricks.
Arm yourself with sweet options that will give you some nutrients when you get the urge to reach for the candy drawer. These healthy sweet foods can satisfy your craving and offer some health benefits at the same time. Try frozen grapes, nonfat plain Greek yogurt topped with melon and a drizzle of honey, or a homemade trail mix with nuts and dried fruit.
Don't Deny Yourself Chocolate
When it comes to chocolate, it’s okay to indulge - but just a little. Instead of eating an entire bag of your favorite go-to brand, keep a bar of 60-70% quality dark chocolate on hand. Break off one ounce and savor it slowly. Not only will it help fight your chocolate craving, but you’ll also get a healthy dose of theobromine, a powerful antioxidant that may help reduce inflammation and lower blood pressure.
Retrain Your Taste Buds
If you’re used to super sweet foods like tons of sugar packets in your morning cup of coffee, then it’s time to readjust those taste buds. Slowly scale back on added sugar. Use one less sugar packet each week. Over time, your body will become accustom to less sugar, so you hopefully won’t need as much to satisfy your craving.
Walk It Off
Research suggests that good old exercise can help curb cravings. Find an exercise you like, such as pilates, running, weight lifting, bike riding or just walking and stick with it. If you’re not a fan of exercising alone, look for group sports like tennis, volleyballs or basketball and exercise with friends.
Instead of over-indulging on one sugary food, combine a small amount of the junk food with a healthy one. For example, spread a little chocolate hazelnut butter on an apple or banana, or add chocolate chips to a trail mix made with nuts and dried fruit. This way you can satisfy your sweet tooth and feed your body a bit of satisfying, nutritious food at the same time.
Get Your Zzz's
When we're tired we tend to turn to sugary, high-carb foods. In addition to not-so-healthy sugars, these foods contain the good-for-you chemical called serotonin, so it makes sense that your body is craving them when you’re exhausted. Getting enough sleep (six to eight hours!) can help minimize these sleepy cravings, and hopefully empower you to make healthier choices because you’re feeling well-rested.
Research has shown that mental imaging can help curb cravings. For example, when a craving hits imagine seeing rainbows and other non-food related items in order to focus your brain on something else.
Another method to help your brain redirect is by performing another task. For example, research has shown that playing the digital version of Tetris can help curb cravings. So they next time a craving hits, you can keep your mind and hands busy by turning to your favorite online game.
Reduce Your Stress
Stress reduction techniques such as meditation, yoga, breathing or taking a hot bath can help overcome a craving. When your craving hits, decide the best technique for you and give it a go.
Wait It Out
Set a timer and wait 20 minutes to allow the craving to pass. By giving yourself more time, you can also take a step back and make a healthier choice.