Why do we crave sugar? Well, that’s easy, sugar = energy. We need energy to live. So really we just eat it to survive, right? Wrong.
When sugar is eaten, whether from natural or refined sources, the brain releases a chemical called serotonin. Serotonin makes us happy. Additionally, sugar triggers a release of endorphins, which also make us happy, calm, and relaxed. Since endorphins are also released during exercise, wouldn’t you rather skip the sugar addiction now, than pay for its effects later? Try these tricks for curbing your sugar cravings and kicking your sweet tooth completely!
1. Eat more healthy fats and lean proteins
Set yourself up for success by consuming more healthy fats and lean proteins – the foods that fill you up and leave you feeling satisfied. No dessert necessary.
2. Chew gum
Sugar-free gum that is! This will likely distract your brain from wanting to indulge in that fifth cookie.
3. Don’t hate, hydrate
Try adding some low-calorie flavor or bubbles to your water to make it a special treat.
4. Go au-naturale
Stick to fresh fruit or natural sweeteners like honey or maple syrup when sugar cravings hit.
5. Avoid emotional eating
Find ways that help you de-stress that aren’t food related. Read a book. Practice yoga. Do what works for you to get to your happy place.
6. Plan ahead
Sometimes we end up eating sugary foods because they’re what’s available and convenient when we’re hungry now. By making a meal plan for the day or week you’re less likely to habitually reach for the sugar.
7. Add a little spice to your life
The amazing advantage of incorporating spices into foods you eat is they enhance flavor while not increasing caloric count. Select spices that naturally sweeten foods to reduce sugar cravings. I recommend cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, or cardamom!
8. Go cocoNUTS
Coconuts are naturally sweet and extremely versatile. Water, oil, cream, flaked – you’re choice. Their sweet nature and healthy fat makeup are sure to leave you feeling satisfied.
9. Eat regularly
Don’t give yourself the chance to pick up the nearest candy bar or donut just because you’re starving and can’t wait. Consuming regular meals helps control blood glucose and allows you to make better food choices.
10. Move it or lose it
Keep those sugar cravings at bay by focusing on other things. Next time you find yourself obsessing over a sugary treat, go for a walk, call up an old friend, or engage your kids in a board game.
11. Get ample Zzz’s
When you’re tired, exhausted even, you seek out things that provide you with energy. Sugar is a great source for quick and easy energy; our bodies know this. Don’t be fooled – get some rest!
12. Don’t fake it ’til you make it
Skip the artificial sweeteners completely. It’s not worth it. They don’t teach your body anything about curbing cravings if you’re just replacing it with something slightly less addictive.