If you suffer from sugar cravings I understand fully, since a lot of people feel the same way. There are many reasons for it such as eating disorders, hormonal imbalances or you just grew up eating unhealthy foods. However, I have uncovered ways to reduce those cravings naturally. Here are some things that you can try out.
1. Give in Every Now and Then
If you’re just starting to reduce your sugar intake, there’s nothing wrong by giving in a little, or reducing intake bit by bit. According to ADA spokeswoman Kerry Neville (who is also a certified dietitian) there is nothing wrong with eating a small candy bar or a small cookie. As long as you limit it to 150 calories or less, you should be okay. By giving some leeway to your cravings you won’t feel like you’re being denied and you won’t feel any frustration.
2. Get Rid of the Temptation
This might seem obvious, but one reason I know that many people are unable to stop their cravings is they keep their fridge full of cakes, donuts, ice cream and other pastries. Even if you have a lot of willpower you’ll eventually give in to the temptation since everything is within reach. That’s why I suggest that you get rid of these sweets. If there are no sweets in your fridge, you don’t have to fight temptation. And once you have gotten rid of those foods, make it a point to avoid shopping for sweets.
If you’re thinking of what non-sugary foods to add to your grocery list, here’s what I suggest.
- For breakfast, buy or prepare something that isn’t sweet, like blanched veggies, lean protein or brown rice. Don’t eat anything sweet until the afternoon, and eat only fruits.
- Steer clear of artificial sweeteners as they will increase your urge to eat sweets.
- Shop for some bananas or grapes and store them in your freezer overnight. Eat them in the morning as you would a candy.
- Stock up on herbal tea as it can help reduce your desire to eat and drink sweets.
3. Eat Fruits Instead of sweets
I would also recommend that you buy fruits and keep them handy when you get one of those large sugar cravings. Many fruits are as sweet as sugary treats but they don’t have the ill effects that sweets do. And as Judy Chambers, certified addiction specialist says, dried fruits, nuts and seeds are rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber and other nutrients. So anytime you get those cravings, just grab some dried fruits instead.
4. Eat the Right Foods
This is really the best option, but for many it is the most difficult one. You probably know that you should eat fruits and vegetables. But fruits and veggies aside, there are a number of things that you can do.
- Eat foods with more protein such as eggs, cottage cheese, yogurt, fish and chicken.
- Eat frequently but in small amounts rather than just three large meals a day. This won’t just help you lose weight and shed unwanted fats but it will also lower your blood sugar. Low blood sugar, I can tell you right now, is going to lower the odds of you getting diabetes and other health complications.
- Don’t forget to take multivitamins as it can keep your blood sugar levels stable
If you must give in to your cravings, choose quality over quantity and keep it small. Also, it helps if you chew the foods slowly and savor the taste rather than gulp in down. Eating and chewing food slowly will help satisfy your cravings. If you just swallow or eat too quickly, that urge won’t be satisfied and you will end up eating more.
5. Go for the Cold Turkey Method
I know that there are people who were able to curb their sweet cravings by simply going cold turkey. This might seem impossible but according to most people I’ve talked to, the really hard part are the first two or three days. If you get through the first three days then chances are good you will be able to keep this up.
If you’re having trouble going cold turkey, here’s a trick I would like to suggest. Rather than eat dessert after you eat your meals, take a walk for about 10 minutes. If after 10 minutes you still got that urge, gurgle with mouthwash or grab that toothbrush.
The aftertaste is your mouth will very likely remove that craving.
If that still doesn’t work, grab some Gymnema Sylvestre leaves and chew them. After an hour, anything that doesn’t contain sugar will taste better than anything that has.
I want to add here that this method isn’t for everyone. Some people feel more comfortable when if they cut their sugar intake bit by bit over a few days, while others take longer. However, it won’t hurt to try this out to see if it works for you.
6. Distract Yourself
Focus your attention on something else so your cravings are forgotten. There are a lot of things you can do, like playing a video game, surfing the web, take a walk or play the guitar. Or you can read a book or chat online. There are a lot of things that you can do to distract yourself.
7. Try Combining Foods
If the urge to eat those cookies and candies are just getting to you, try combining foods. For instance you can eat a banana and dip it in chocolate sauce. This will allow you to curb those cravings. Apart from combining different types of foods, you might also want to chew sugarless gum. According to health nutritionist Dave Grotto, the act of chewing gum can really lower your craving for sweet food.
I know it’s not easy to curb those sugar cravings especially if you have been used to eating sweets, but it isn’t impossible. But if you persevere you will overcome those urges and live a healthy life.