5 Tips to Curb Your Sugar Cravings
5 easy tips to start kicking your sugar cravings today.
If you’ve gotten used to giving in to your sweet tooth more often than you’d like, you’re not alone. In fact the majority of Americans, around 60%, report exceeding the U.S. dietary guidelines on sugar intake. However just because it’s a common habit, doesn't mean it's not a dangerous one. Eating too much sugar can have a range of adverse effects on your health, from increasing your risk of serious illnesses such as heart disease to decreasing energy and even affecting the look of our skin. However with the right info, limiting your sugar intake doesn't have to be painful. Below, our top tips for how to kick your sugar cravings for good.
Give in to temptation every once in a while.
Most nutritionists and health experts agree that one of the keys to lasting nutritional health is moderation. This is especially true of sugar, which can invoke particularly intense cravings. So if you’re craving chocolate or cake one day, you won’t completely derail your progress by indulging a little bit. However make sure not to overdo it. Experts suggest a treat of around 150 calories, and the healthier the better. If you are a big chocolate fan, for instance, try a few squares of antioxidant-rich dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate, which contains more refined sugar.
Distract your cravings.
When you’re trying to curb your sugar cravings, especially in the beginning, it’s important that you retrain your brain so you can actually walk away from your craving instead of giving in to them. A good way to accomplish this is by setting a plan: come up with a few short and simple activities you enjoy that can do to take your mind of your sugar cravings whenever they hit. Take a 10 minute walk, for instance, or treat yourself with 15 minutes of your favorite show. The thing about sugar cravings is, the more consistently you successfully you ignore them, the less they come around.
Go sugar-free for one week.
Completely eliminating added sugars from your diet isn’t one of the easiest way to limit your sugar cravings, but it’s definitely one of the most effective. In fact, people who are able to cut added sugars out of their diets for a week generally find that their cravings decrease substantially, or in some cases dissipate altogether. For most people, the first 48-72 hours are the most difficult to get through. It’s not exactly smooth sailing after that, but cravings will become weaker each day.
Find some healthier sweet alternatives to refined sugar.
Stocking your kitchen with fruits, dark chocolate and other healthy sweet treats without refined sugars is a great way to make sure you don’t stuff yourself with Peppridge Farm next time you're craving something sweet. Fruits like berries and oranges or tropical fruits like papaya and pineapple all satisfy a sweet tooth but don’t contain refined sugar, and are packed with nutrients such as antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. When you’re looking for healthier sweet alternatives, look out for products that are low in calories, don’t contain any refined sugar and are as natural as possible. Make sure to stay away from synthetic sweeeteners like aspartame and sucralose. While they don’t contain any calories, research has shown that zero calorie sweeteners can actually exacerbate cravings for refined sugar.
Get the sugar out of the house.
This one might sound like a no-brainer, but believe us: it’s easier said than done. Most of us inherently have an outsized understanding of our own willpower; just because there’s some Ben & Jerry’s in the freezer, doesn’t mean you're going to eat it! However most experts agree you’re setting yourself up for failure by doing this. Just seeing sugary products every day keeps them at top of mind, which is great fuel to kickstart cravings. Easy access to sugary foods also monumentally increases the chances that you’ll end up eating them at some point. While it doesn’t take a huge craving to convince yourself you can eat a bowl of sugary cereal, it does take a huge craving to convince yourself you should drive to the store and buy some. It might not sound like a big inconvenience now, but when a craving hits, having to procure those foods from an outside source makes all the difference.