Keep hearing all those terrible things about sugar? Confused about how to fight your own sugar cravings and begin to cut sugar from your own life? Read on to find some tips & tricks on how to do just that.
1. Eat regularly. Eat three meals and two snacks or five small meals a day. If you don’t eat regularly, your blood sugar level drops and you crave – you guessed it – sugar!
2. Choose whole foods. Pick foods close to their original form - they will contain less processed sugar. Food in its natural form, including fruits and vegetables, usually presents no metabolic problems for a normal body, especially when consumed in variety.
3. Start your day off right. Have a breakfast of protein, fat and phytonutrients. Breakfast smoothies are ideal for this. The typical breakfast is full of carbs and sugary or starchy ingredients – leaving you with cravings all day. Eating a good breakfast is essential to prevent sugar cravings!
4. Try to incorporate protein and/or fat with each meal. This helps control blood sugar levels. Make sure they are healthy sources of each.
5. Spice up your life. Coriander, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and cardamom will naturally sweeten your foods and reduce cravings. Don’t be shy!
6. Move your body. Exercise, dance, run, bike, swim, or do yoga. Moving helps reduce tension and stress, boosts your energy, and decreases your need for a sugar session. Try to find movements you enjoy so it’s easy to stick with it. Don’t forget to vary it up!
7. Catch those ZZZ’s. When we are tired, we often use sugar for energy to make up for our tiredness. Sleep is vital not only for normal blood sugar, but for literally every other aspect of life!
8. Why the sugar addiction? Many times our craving for sugar is more for an emotional need that isn’t being met. Don’t be afraid to look into your heart and be honest with yourself. What is it that is missing from your life? Sugar won’t fill the gap. Seek the answers and get to the root of the problem.
9. Keep your house and workplace sugar-free. It’s impossible to eat sugary snacks that aren’t present! Throw out any sugary snacks you already have lying around. Yes, that means tossing the M&M’s in your desk drawer at work, disposing of the chocolate-covered pretzels in your treat jar at home, and black-bagging the soda bottles lying around in your car. Do yourself a favor: look at the ingredients, then google the ingredients. It’s a guarantee you’ll be grossed out enough to happily get rid of them!
10. Read those labels. Educate yourself about what’s going into your body. The longer the list of ingredients, the more likely sugar is going to be included on that list. So check the grams of sugar, and choose products with the least sugar per serving (I teaspoon of sugar is roughly equivalent to about 4 grams). Become familiar with sugar terminology and recognize that all of these are sweeteners: agave, corn syrup, corn sugar, high fructose corn syrup, sucrose, dextrose, honey, cane sugar, cane crystals, fruit juice concentrates, molasses, turbinado sugar and brown sugar.
11. If you’re having a craving, distract yourself. How long do cravings last? 10-20 minutes max. If you can distract yourself with something else, the craving is often forgotten about – or at least it loses its strength. Take a walk. Do some jumping jacks. Have a piece of fruit.
12. Drink lots of water. Sometimes drinking water can help with sugar cravings. A lot of the time, what we perceive as a food/sugar craving is actually a water craving.