How to Fight Sugar Craving?
Do you find eating sugary snacks make you crave for more sugary snacks? You are not alone. Eating lots of simple carbohydrates without adding proteins or fats to it can quickly satisfy your hunger and give you a short-term energy boost, but they quickly leave you starved again and craving for more.
Why Do We Crave Sugar?
Sweet is the first taste humans prefer from birth. Sugar is a carbohydrate, but carbohydrates come in other forms, too, such as whole grains, vegetables and fruits and they increase the release of the serotonin. The taste of sugar also releases endorphins that calm and relax us.
Sweets just taste good too, and that preference increases by rewarding ourselves with sweet treats, which make us crave it even more. The problem occurs not when we eat sweets now and then, it occurs when we over consume it and what makes it easier is that sugar is added to many processed foods such as bread, juices, yogurt and sauces.
With all that going for it, why wouldn’t we crave sugar?
Tips to Use Right Now to cut sugar cravings
•Have a little: Consume a bit of what you’re craving, maybe a small size cookie or a candy bar, having a little of what you love can get rid of the feeling of deprivation. Try to not exceed a 150 calorie threshold.
•Mix foods: If the idea of stopping sugar seems impossible, you can still satisfy your sugar craving by combining the craving food with a healthful one, such as having a banana dipped in chocolate sauce or mixing some almonds with chocolate chips. This way you’ll satisfy a craving and get healthy nutrients as well.
•Go cold turkey: Cutting out all simple sugars works for some people, even though the first 48 to 72 hours can be hard, some people find that cutting out all sugar helps their cravings reduce after a few days while others still crave sugar but over time are able to train their taste buds to be satisfied with less.
•Have some gum: If you want to avoid sugar craving completely, try chewing a gum. Research shows that chewing gum can reduce sugar craving.
• Keep fruit handy: when sugar cravings hit have a fruit, you’ll get nutrients and fiber along with some sweetness.
•Take a walk: When you feel like you’re craving for sugar, take your mind off the craving and take a walk.
•Choose quality over quantity: If you are in need of sugar, choose your favorite sugary food but keep it small. For example, choose a perfect dark chocolate truffle and savor every bite of it instead of a king-sized candy bar.
• Don’t cut down sugar completely: you will only come back for greater portions. Learn how to include small amounts in the diet but focus on filling your stomach with healthier options.
•Eat more regularly: Waiting too long between meals will make you choose sugary, fatty foods that cut your hunger. So eating every 3 to 5 hours can keep your blood sugar stable and avoid irrational eating behavior. Choose protein, fiber-rich foods like whole grains.
Finally, go easy on yourself. It may take time to handle your sugar cravings. It’s difficult to shift any system whether it’s the world economy or your eating.
Dietitian Christelle Bedrossian