Keep Healthy Snacks On Hand
Its no good trying to clear your environment of sugary foods without having something tasty, healthy and convenient to replace them with. That way you are less likely to go looking for that sugar fix. A snack with a good source of protein will tide you over much better than a sugary snack, and keep you from feeling the need to snack too much throughout the afternoon. Some good examples included:
A great replacement for sweets or chocolates when you start to feel that afternoon energy slump is a handful of trail mix with nuts, seeds and dried fruit .
Its also worth remembering that sweet doesnt have to mean unhealthy. A piece of fresh fruit can make a fantastic snack when youre in the mood for something sweet. Fruit is low in fat and much less energy-dense than snack foods with added sugar. Fruit is high in many important nutrients and high in dietary fibre, which can help keep you satisfied. Were heading into summer so get ready to make the most of Australias delicious summer fruits. Try:
Eat Protein And Fiber At Each Meal
We all know how important protein is to our diet, but making sure we have enough at each meal is also helpful for staving off sugar cravings. “Eat protein and fiber at every meal! This is the most important tool you could have on your plate,” says Brooke Alpert, RD, and author of The Diet Detox. “Both protein and fiber help to slow down the absorption of sugar to prevent any blood sugar spikes which would make you crave more sugar. Plus, they help keep you fuller longer, leaving you more in control over your food choices and less likely to dive into that cupcake!”
We Become Conditioned To Need Something Sweet To Feel Complete Or Satisfied And Continue To Self
In stark contrast to this clinical assessment is the fact that, for most of us, something sweet is a symbol of love and nurturance. As infants, our first food is lactose, or milk sugar. Later on, well-intended parents reward children with sugary snacks, giving them a treat, turning a biochemically harmful substance into a comfort food. We become conditioned to need something sweet to feel complete or satisfied, and continue to self-medicate with sugar as adults, using it to temporarily boost our mood or energy. But as any addict knows, one quick fix soon leaves you looking for anothereach hit of momentary satisfaction comes with a long-term price.
The bottom line is that sugar works the addiction and reward pathways in the brain in much the same way as many illegal drugs. And, like other drugs, it can destroy your health and lead to all sorts of ailments including heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, weight gain, and premature aging. Sugar is basically a socially acceptable, legal, recreational drug, with deadly consequencesand like with any drug addiction, you have to have a flexible but structured plan to beat it.
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What Is The Root Cause Of Sugar Cravings
The root cause of sugar cravings is a micronutrient deficiency. The human body is intelligent and gets us to crave foods that contain the nutrient we may be missing. For example, you may be strongly craving chocolate because you have a magnesium deficiency chocolate is a rich source of magnesium! Moving forward, make sure youre checking your vitamin levels and aiming to eat foods rich in the nutrients you need, without the high levels or sugar.
Sugar Cravings: 4 Reasons They Happen And How To Stop Them
Sugar cravings are the worst.
Its like a little army of meanies grab hold of you and torture you until you feed them jellybeans, right?
Give into this craving too often and you might be setting yourself up for a slew of negative health outcomes. All that extra sugar can lead to higher caloric intake and contribute to chronic inflammation.
In a randomized controlled trialof 29 healthy young men, sugar-sweetened beverage consumption increased inflammatory blood markers in just three weeks. On the flipside, data from a national U.S. cohortstudyfound that reducing sugar-sweetened beverage consumption correlated with a reduction of inflammatory and chronic disease biomarkers. Given this research, its not surprising that excess sugar consumption is linked to an increased risk of conditions such asheart disease, cancer, Type 2 diabetes and obesity.
Yet, sugar cravings can still be so hard to resist.
Sugar cravings affect everyonemyself and Natalie Jill included. Clients ask both of us about this quite often, so we thought wed explain why they happen and what you can doto fight them.
The key to dealing with sugar cravings is to start with understanding why youre getting them in the first place.
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Be Mindful Of How Much Sugar Is In The Food You Eat
For sugar cravings, being mindful of how much sugar is in the food you eat can make a big difference. Many people dont realize just how much sugar they consume on a daily basis. For instance, did you know that a can of cola has about 10 teaspoons of sugar?
Thats more than the amount of sugar in a candy bar!
Sugar Craving Cause: You Chowed Down On Salty Foods
When you dine out or eat highly processed, packaged foods, your food has more sodium in it than you probably even realize. This usually remains true even when youre eating something healthy, such as grilled salmon and sautéed or steamed spinach, from your fave healthy restaurant. Heres the kicker: Oftentimes, the saltier your food, the bigger your sweet craving.
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How To Deal With And Overcome Sugar Withdrawal
When symptoms strike, it can be challenging to persevere and continue on your journey toward better health by cutting out added sugar. Here are a few fast tips to help you take on sugar withdrawal:
Why Is Sugar So Problematic
This wouldnt be a big issue if sugar wasnt so bad for your health. More and more information is coming out every year about just how dangerous sugar is for our minds and bodies.
In addition to contributing to poor blood sugars in people with diabetes, increased sugar intake, over time, also contributes to the development of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes in people without existing diabetes, and the development of dental cavities, higher blood pressure, heart disease, whole-body inflammation, dementia, weight gain, fatty liver disease, and even cancer in the entire population.
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Dont Relapse & Fight Against Sugar Temptation
When you have made it a few weeks without sugar and other sweeteners, dont forget that you are still addicted.
You might be tempted to reach out for a chocolate bar again, which could be just as devastating for you as a sip of beer is for a sober alcoholic.
Some Bacteria process sugar quickly this type of bacteria will increase, demanding more sugar.
It is entirely typical for your body to adjust to a new diet for a few days, sometimes even weeks. Reducing in increments is preferable for most people.
Some may suddenly change everything from one day to the next but may be more affected by withdrawal symptoms.
Slowly change your sugar consumption step-by-step, its easier for your everyday life, and you can prevent relapse more easily along with preventing severe illnesses and diseases in the future.
How To Kick Sugar Cravings To The Curb
When you take a drink of your favorite sugary coffee beverage, enjoy a delicious bite of cake, or indulge in your favorite pasta, you trigger a dopamine release in your body thats similar to when youre listening to your favorite music or falling in love. This release creates a positive association with that trigger in your brainor what is commonly known as a “sweet tooth”causing you to crave sugar. Sugar tastes good, it makes you feel good in the moment, so you want more. Yet, sugar doesn’t offer any real benefits to your health.
You might be looking to reduce your sugar intake to prevent health issues such as obesity and diabetes, or perhaps youre trying to lose weight. Whatever your reason, the following tips can help you kick your sugar cravings to the curb and improve your overall health.
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How To Stop Sugar Cravings Once And For All
Plus, the best foods to try when you’re in the mood for something sweet.
The average American woman consumes 48 pounds of added sugar every year. Thats four pounds a month! And dental cavities arent the only potential health problem we have to worry about. Eating too much sugar significantly raises your risk of life-shortening obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. In fact, a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that people who exceeded the recommended daily limit of added sugar increased their risk of death due to heart disease by at least 30%.
Want to really take a break from sugar? Join our new membership club, GH+, to unlock access to Good Housekeeping‘s 21-day sugar detox plan, which will ease you out of your sugar cravings and help you form a healthy relationship with the sweet stuff.
Putting an end to sugar cravings and cutting back on added sugar is hard sweet foods tempt us at every turn and for many people, consuming those foods is a longtime habit associated with comfort or celebration. Sometimes sugar whispers at you from the grocery store aisle other times it screams at you from the freezer. The good news is, with some smart sugar strategies, you can significantly reduce your sugar cravings and take back your health.
Why Is Sugar Almost Everywhere
Many people want to give up sweets. The question is: Why is there so much sugar in our food?
The food industry uses sugar to make its products more attractive to us, and of course, its much cheaper than oil.
Whether subconsciously or consciously, we find the taste of sugar delicious, and its addictive.
Sadly enough, these foods are additionally sweetened, which is not necessary. The food manufacturer provides us with what we demand and buy a vicious cycle.
Thats why its so hard for us to give up sweets. Even juices that are supposed to be healthy have a considerable amount of sugar.
Did you know there are up to 29.3 sugar cubes in 1 liter of orange juice?
Not only is sugar used to optimize taste, but its also more of a flavor enhancer.
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How To Stop Sugar Cravings: 8 Tips To Use Right Now
If you’re craving sugar, here are some ways to tame those cravings.
But won’t eating more often mean overeating? Not if you follow Neville’s advice to break up your meals. For instance, have part of your breakfast — a slice of toast with peanut butter, perhaps — and save some yogurt for a mid-morning snack. “Break up lunch the same way to help avoid a mid-afternoon slump,” Neville says.
Can Poor Sleep Or Stress Cause Sugar Cravings Too
Yes, they definitely can. When you dont get enough sleep, you have more trouble decision-making because your brain is looking for energy from food containing glucose. When it comes to stress , were more likely going to choose foods that soothe our mood. Considering sugar increases dopamine, the feel food hormone, youll just want to have more and more.
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Turn To Naturally Sweet Or Peppermint Tea Or Essential Oil
My favorite taste bud trickster is organic licorice tea. It is naturally very sweet, offers a variety of health benefits and always satisfies my sweet tooth. Blend it up with a splash of nut milk and youve got yourself a delicious, guilt-free latte.
Keep a couple tea bags of your choice in your purse. Take one out and leave it on the counter for evening time. Mentally know its a great option to fall back on.
Drink A Large Glass Of Lemon Water
We so often confuse thirst with hunger. Lemon water hydrates and offers our palate a clean slate, as well as aids the body in its natural detoxification process and promotes alkalization.
This is a great tool mid-afternoon trick in between meals, if and when you start to feel the craving monsters creep in. Because water can dilute our digestive enzymes and interfere with the breakdown and digestion of our food, opt for a tip #1, 5, or peppermint essential oil if dealing with a craving post meal.
Bring lemon wedges in the ziplock bag with you to work. Try adding them to your water in the afternoon. Alternatively, pack a peppermint essential oil with you in your purse for post-meal cravings.
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What Causes Sugar Cravings
While the causes can vary between individuals, the following often play a major role:
- Conditioning – when we eat foods high in added sugar, it stimulates the brains reward system, and helps reduce our cortisol levels, making us feel happier and less stressed. Because of the way they make us feel, over time we condition ourselves to reach for these high sugar foods when we are feeling tired, anxious or unhappy in order to make us feel better. This creates a sugar craving cycle we feel stressed or unhappy, we eat something sweet, feel better and then repeat.
- Low blood sugar levels – When our blood sugar levels drop too low, we can crave sugar . This happens because our brains primary fuel source is glucose, a type of sugar. If our brain doesnt receive adequate amounts of glucose, it can send out signals telling us to eat something containing it so your brain has a readily-available source of the energy it needs to function.
- Seeing, smelling or thinking about sweet foods – When we see, smell or think about the sugary foods we love, it can cause us to crave them.
Choose Quality Over Quantity
Its important to remember that trying to control your sugar cravings doesnt mean cutting out sugar altogether. Theres no reason to completely deny yourself the enjoyment of your favourite sweet foods, as long as youre comfortable with your choice. When you do decide to have something sweet, pick something you truly enjoy. Dont give in to just any old thing be sure to really make it special. When Ive decided to eat something sweet, I like to pick something small but expensive. That way I cant bear to just mindlessly devour it and I savour it so much more.
If youd like further help with your nutrition please click below:
This article was written by , intern from the University of Canberra at The Healthy Eating Hub.
Duyff, R.L., Birch, L.L., Byrd-Bredbenner, C., Johnson, S.L., Mattes, R.D., Murphy, M.M., Nicklas, T.A., Rollins, B.Y. & Wansink, B. 2015, Candy consumption patterns, effects on health, and behavioral strategies to promote moderation: Summary report of a roundtable discussion, Advances in Nutrition, vol. 6, no. 1, pp. 139S-146S.
Elder, S.J. & Roberts, S.B. 2007, The effects of exercise on food intake and body fatness: A summary of published studies, Nutrition reviews, vol. 65, no. 1, pp. 1-19.
Rampersaud, G.C. 2009, Benefits of Breakfast for Children and Adolescents: Update and Recommendations for Practitioners, American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, vol. 3, no. 2, pp. 86-103.
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Sugar Craving Cause: You Ate Too Much Starch And Not Enough Fat And/or Protein
When you eat a heavy, starchy meal, like a giant bowl of grandmas spaghetti, youre pretty much setting yourself up for a guaranteed gelato craving. All that pasta with no fiber or protein is like a big bowl of sugar that will lead to a blood sugar spike and crash, leaving you yearning for more sugar! Those calories in that bowl of spaghetti are absorbed fast and dont keep you feeling full or satisfied.
Sugar Is Responsible For Many Diseases
You might think that fat is responsible for obesity or diseases, but fat alone wont cause weight gain, the combination of sugar and fat is the leading cause of obesity.
Sugar indulgence can cause tiredness, cravings for sugary foods, carelessness, depression, weight gain, tooth decay, muscle/joint pain, lack of concentration/energy, giving you bad skin, and of course, can cause heart disease.
Sugar can also disturb the digestive system, cause inflammation, promote fungal infections in the intestines, weaken the immune system, nourish tumor/cancer cells, and develop allergies.
Since embracing the ketogenic diet, which is high in fat, low in carb, and moderate on protein, the benefits have been amazing!
We have lost weight, feeling much better in having more energy and better concentration. All allergies, such as hay fever, skin rash, inflammation, have either diminished or have gone away.
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