Eat Dates With Nut Butter
Dried fruit has a higher amount of sugar than fresh fruit. This means that dried picks are more likely to spike blood sugar and lead to a sugar craving. However, pairing dates with high-protein nut butter thats full of healthy fats can give us the stable blood sugar boost our body needs. A quick snack of dates and nut butter can satisfy your sugar cravings while also giving you an extra bit of fiber, iron, potassium, and loads of other vitamins and minerals.
Make Sleep A Priority
Getting enough sleep is a vital key to success for good health. Not only will it help you stop your sugar cravings, but it will also keep you energized throughout the day.
Set a regular bedtime and decrease the number of distractions in your bedroom. Try moving your TV out of the bedroom and charging your phone in another room.
Why We Crave Sugar
If you crave sugary foods, you’re not alone. Studies estimate that up to 90% of the adult population may experience food cravings. These cravings are often for sugary foods.
Scientists have long believed that cravings for carbohydrates and other sugary foods are driven by a desire to improve mood due to the fact that consuming sweet treats increases serotonin levels in your brain.
Serotonin, also known as a feel-good hormone, is a brain neurotransmitter that boosts your sense of well-being.
Although serotonin may be the cause of your food cravings, there are a variety of other potential causes that can also play a factor:
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Eat Protein And Fat With Every Meal
Protein and fat slow down digestion, making you feel full longer and curbing sugar cravings better. Snacking on nuts or a small handful of trail mix when your sugar craving comes on strong can do wonders. If you must snack, stay away from sugary sweetsit will only make things worse! Stick with fruit or yogurt. If you must have something sweet, stick with fresh or frozen fruit . Youll get less added sugar that way.
Follow The 85/15 Rule
“Make sure 85% of your meals include innately healthy foods like fresh produce, lean protein, and healthy fats. The other 15% can include some treats,” Scarlata says. “If you make certain foods forbidden, then you just crave them even more. And truthfully, I don’t think there is a need to give up sugar entirely.” A little treat here and there never hurts.
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Win The Inner Battle With Sugar
Sugar cravings, as well as cravings for reward, solace and celebration, are natural. Remember its ok to use sugar to deal with lifes problems some of the time most people do. Difficulties occur when sugar becomes the go-to way of dealing with problems it wasnt designed to fix. By figuring out what you are truly craving, and developing a range of ways of dealing with it, you will be in control, not the sugar.
How Much Is Too Much
Avoiding all sugar is not realistic. Some sugarespecially sugar from natural sources like fruit or dairycan be a healthy addition to your diet. Restricting certain foods can also lead to binge-eating behavior, or overeating the food that you are avoiding.
But most of us do consume too much sugar, which can be problematic for our health.
The United States Department of Agriculture Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend limiting sugar intake to less than 10% of daily calories. But some experts, including the advisory committee for these guidelines as well as the American Heart Association, recommend a lower limit of up to 6% of daily calories.
As you evaluate your sugar consumption and compare it to these recommendations, remember that sugar is added to many unexpected foods. For example, bread, peanut butter, spaghetti sauce, and ketchup often contain added sugar.
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Why Is Sugar Addictive
Many people simply wonder why sugar is addictive. Certainly, not many people report an addiction to broccoli, so there has to be a reason! That reason is found in the chemical release of hormones in our brain when we eat sugar.
With every sweet bite, dopamine is released from our brain into our bodies. This is the link between added sugar and addictive behavior that is also found in substances such as alcohol, cigarettes, and illegal drugs.
The neurotransmitter dopamine is part of the reward circuit in the brain thats associated with addictive behavior. The high one feels from eating sugar makes one addicted to said behavior , creating a vicious cycle.
As you repeat the behavior more often your body adjusts to release less dopamine over time. The only way to feel the same high as before is to increase the release of dopamine, which in this case means to eat more and more sugar.
These same behaviors are found in people with drug and alcohol dependencies, but for sugar, the ingredient is much more accessible, available, and socially acceptable than illegal drugs, making it also much harder to avoid in everyday life.
On average, an average adult in the U.S. consumes around 77 grams of sugar a day, or about 60 pounds of sugar per year!
A Fluctuation In Blood Sugar
If youre craving sweets all of a sudden, most likely you are experiencing blood sugar fluctuations, Goodman explains. When your blood sugar drops, your body may be trying to get you to give it more fuel to keep your blood sugar levels stable.” To keep your blood sugar balanced, she recommends eating a healthy amount of protein and adding more high-fiber foods, like beans and legumes, to your diet, along with complex carbs. This will give you the fuel you need without the blood sugar spikes, she promises.
When your blood sugar drops, your body may be trying to get you to give it more fuel to keep your blood sugar levels stable.
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How Much Sugar Is Okay
If sugar is so bad for you, then is any amount of it okay? Sugar is not a required nutrient in the diet .
The Institute of Medicine, which sets the Recommended Dietary Allowances, has not issued a formal number for recommended or allowable grams of sugar per day one should consume.
The American Heart Association, however, suggests that the average man consumes no more than about 9 teaspoons of added sugar per day, and the average woman consumes no more than 6 teaspoons per day. That is about the amount in a 12-ounce can of soda.
Natural sugars, like those found in fruits and dairy milk, do not count. The focus is on added sugar, found primarily in things like ice cream, candy, cakes, cookies, regular sodas, and other ultra-processed foods.
Keep Sugar And Carbs Out Of The House
Once youve made the decision to make these changes in your diet, you must keep these foods out of the house, so you will not give in during times of hunger, stress, habit, or a weak moment. Just like an individual who is trying to overcome an alcohol or drug addiction would not bring alcohol or drugs into the household, the same principle applies here. It will be extremely difficult to be successful if you are surrounded by these foods.
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Enjoy A Piece Of Fruit
I dont know if its possible to eradicate sugar cravings because theyre part of being human. But I do think that nature gave us fruit for a reason, Largeman-Roth says. Its naturally sweet and loaded with fiber to help us feel full. It also delivers a host of benefits, including antioxidants that help our bodies and skin stay young and healthy. Training your body to crave fruit instead of processed sugar will be greatly beneficial to your overall health.
Tips For Curbing Sugar Cravings
As mentioned, its vital that you combine a fiber-rich carbohydrate with either a lean protein or a healthy fat to help stave off those sugar cravings.
Here are some other ways you can try to limit your sugar cravings and keep your energy flowing:
- Drink water throughout the day. The National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine recommends women drink 91 ounces of water each day, while men should drink 125 ounces of water daily. But factors like your metabolism, diet, physical activity and health all should be a factor in how much water you need.
- Eating regularly throughout the day. Skipping meals is probably going to set you up for overeating later, warns Taylor.
- Make smart choices while grocery shopping. Your grocery basket should be full of food, not products, says Taylor.
- Get moving. Getting up and moving around, especially if you sit at a computer all day, will help with energy levels, she adds.
- Prioritize sleep. The National Sleep Foundation recommends adults aged 26 to 64 get seven to nine hours each night, while those 65 years or older should aim for seven to eight hours.
Eating healthy is about building the foundation with great foods that are going to help you, says Taylor, and also decreasing the focus of some of those foods that arent so good for you.
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Why Do We Crave Sugar
There are many reasons why we go for sweet things.
That appetite may be hardwired. “Sweet is the first taste humans prefer from birth,” says Christine Gerbstadt, MD. Carbohydrates stimulate the release of the feel-good brain chemical serotonin. Sugar is a carbohydrate, but carbohydrates come in other forms, too, such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, which have fiber and nutrients your body needs.
The taste of sugar also releases endorphins that calm and relax us, and offer a natural “high,” says Susan Moores, a registered dietitian and nutrition consultant in St. Paul, MN.
Sweets just taste good, too. And that preference gets reinforced when you reward yourself with sweet treats, which can make you crave it even more. With all that going for it, why wouldnât we crave sugar?
The problem comes not when we indulge in a sweet treat now and then, but when we overdo it. Thatâs easy to do when sugar is added to many processed foods, including breads, yogurt, juices, and sauces. And Americans do overeat it, averaging 17 teaspoons of added sugars per day, according to the American Heart Association, which recommends limiting added sugars to about 6 teaspoons per day for women and 9 for men.
Eat Less Sugar But Dont Go To Extremes
Dont quit sugar by cutting out all sugar from your diet. Just aim to eat less added sugar. Its especially important you dont cut out whole grains, carbs or fruit because fruit is not fattening.
Adding a bit of honey to your meals instead of going for the sweetened version is a good idea. Some sugar is absolutely ok as part of a healthy diet.
Fruit is not fattening. You should never cut out fruit
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How To Detox From Sugar
Overcoming sugar addiction is part physical and part psychological. Id say the psychological element is the most difficult, and in order to move beyond it you must change your subconscious feelings about food. Lets take a look at how you can take care of your body and mind during your sugar detox.
S To Kick Sugar Addiction
Here are the top ways to reduce sugar cravings. There are really four main steps. You need to get more fiber, more protein, more healthy fat and consume sour foods. If you follow those steps, and a fifth one well add here, those things will help you overcome your sweet addiction and sugar cravings.
1. Get more protein in your diet
Protein actually will help balance out blood sugar and so that really helps reduce sugar cravings. That really is the biggest reason there. Some of the best protein foods out there to help kick sugar addiction include:
2. Consume more healthy fats
Your body can burn sugar for energy or fat for energy. If you stop consuming as much sugar, start consuming more fat. Just make sure its healthy fats, the kind common in the Mediterranean diet. Your body will become a fat burner, which will also help weight loss, but that will actually help kick sugar addiction. The best fat for that is actually coconut or coconut oil.
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3. Get more fiber
Fiber helps you stay fuller longer. It also supports detoxification and can reduce candida symptoms in your body. Candida is a major cause of sugar cravings. You want to aim for 3540 grams of fiber a day. Start consuming more high-fiber foods, especially vegetables and nuts and seeds, like chia seeds and flaxseeds.
Other good sources of fiber include:
- Salted gherkin pickles
5. Switch to stevia
The three main types stevia are:
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Just Eat What You’re Really Craving
It may seem counterintuitive, but if you’re truly looking to stop a craving in its tracks, many dietitians would say simply eating a portioned size of the food you are craving will help with feeling satisfied, instead of trying to satisfy the craving with a healthier alternative.
“Some people may take the road of complete sugar avoidance. While this may work for some, it can backfire for others,” says Moskovitz. “In that case, going for the real deal might be the only way to indulge your craving so you can move on. As long as your sweet treat doesn’t replace other nutritious foods in your diet, it’s perfectly healthy to incorporate desserts or anything sugary-tasting into your diet. Having that after-dinner dessert to look forward to can often be a helpful habit to regularly consume a more balanced, nutritious diet.”
Other Things That May Work
I am pretty sure the three steps above would work for most people to shut down a sugar craving.
But of course, the best option by far is to prevent these cravings in the first place.
To do that, toss all out of your house. If you keep them within close reach, youre asking for trouble. Instead, keep healthy foods within easy reach.
Also, if you eat healthy and exercise several times per week, chances are you wont get cravings nearly as often.
Here are 11 more useful tips to stop sugar cravings:
Numerous other methods may help you overcome a craving for sugar. These include drinking a glass of water, getting good sleep and eating high-protein foods.
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Ask Yourself Why You Want It
If you have sweets in the house and find yourself confronting a craving, do a gut check before you indulge. Stop and think before you go searching for the cookies. Sometimes we open the freezer out of boredom. Take a breath and pause. Ask yourself if youre hungry, bored, stressed, or whether you really want it.
If you really want a particular dessert once in a while, Fumagalli suggests skipping the 100-calorie cookie packs and eating what you really like. If youre going to eat the cake or the cookie, get the real thing and enjoy it, she says. Tell yourself, Im going to eat this and savor the heck out of it because its delicious. And Im not going to feel bad about it.
Why Do You Get Sugar Cravings
Sugar is a fast/easy source of energy. Your body is programmed to seek out easy calories. This is why
Sugar tastes really, really good to you.
Sugar makes you feel better. Which is why you emotional eat.
Youre overly exposed to sugar so when food doesnt have added sugar, it tastes bland.
Today, 70% of the products in grocery stores have added sugar. Naturally, you have developed a taste for sweet things.
Crave sugar after meal times? Youve conditioned your body to expect sugar at certain times, in certain places. Every time you eat sweets after dinner, you reinforce the behaviour.
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How To Stop The Craving
One way to get around this little conundrum is to just choose something sweet with artificial sweetener in it, right? Wrong! So, so wrong. Artificial sweeteners might momentarily satisfy that sweet craving, but they trick your body into thinking its getting fuel when its not. Your body soon goes looking for more calories in the form of you guessed it sugar, and youre right back where you started.
Peanut Butter And An Apple
Its a tried-and-true favorite for a reason. Not only does a small apple with peanut butter taste good, but its also good for you.
And make sure you eat the apple peel in addition to its fleshy insides.
Youll get two kinds of fiber, explains Taylor. Youll get insoluble fiber from the outside and soluble fiber from the inside.
Then slathering on 1 tablespoon of peanut butter will add protein and healthy fat. But its important to watch how much peanut butter you actually use.
A lot of people like to keep adding peanut butter to their apple and they end up with a 500-calorie snack, cautions Taylor. But if you keep it to 1 tablespoon and a small apple, youre looking at less than 200 calories.
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