Since having a "sweet tooth" is simply another way of admitting to having a "sugar addiction," we understand how difficult it can be to break the habit. When someone brings in your favorite glazed donut, we know that you really want to stick with your goals and make decisions that will result in a lifetime of good health. While occasionally indulging in your favorite snack is okay, we all know that moderation is the key to avoiding overeating. The goal is to take steps to completely fight off sugar cravings. That said, here are some tips that will help you control your cravings.
But first of all, let’s find out what causes sugar cravings:
Thirst frequently resembles hunger or a craving for food. In fact, earlier studies discovered that 62 percent of the time, people reacted "inappropriately" to hunger and thirst cues. For instance, they ate despite being thirsty rather than hungry.
Another factor in sugar cravings is stress. In a prior study, it was discovered that long-term stress had a substantial direct impact on food cravings.
Estrogen, progesterone, and estradiol, among other hormones, can contribute to sugar cravings in women. Estradiol levels rise during the menstrual cycle to promote egg development and release as well as uterus lining thickening to promote fertilized egg implantation.
Sugar cravings may also be influenced by diet quality. For instance, eating white, refined carbs, such as those found in processed foods, or eating a higher ratio of carbohydrates to protein and good fats will make you feel more hungry and crave sweets.
Now that we know some of the causes, let’s see how we can control our sugar cravings:
1. Don’t bring your favorite sweets inside the house
Don't buy your favorite chocolate bar if you know you can't resist the temptation; otherwise, at 10 pm, you will be tempted by eating more sweets. The majority of the time we overindulge in sweets at home, so keeping it free of temptation is essential.
2. Beware of the hidden sugars in your drinks
Drinks like Cappuccinos, Frappuccinos, Creamers, and iced tea may be delaying you from reaching your ideal weight. Check the labels, and if your beverage is sweetened, reduce or eliminate it. Of course, we all know that sodas are unhealthy, so stay away from them as much as possible.
3. Enjoy some fruit
Yes, we know; it’s easier said than done. The best thing to do is to always have fruits at home. If you're in the mood for something sweet, try some grapes or a juicy cut of watermelon. Fruits' natural sugar is unquestionably preferable to other desserts' added sugars.
4. Eat Dark Chocolate
Without consuming excessive amounts of sugar and calories, a 1-inch square of dark chocolate can work wonders to conquer a sugar need. One small bit of the bar should be sufficient in this case; not the entire bar!
5. Enjoy a smaller bite
Consuming a modest amount of the food you are craving, such as a fun-size candy bar or a small cookie is advisable as a start. Indulging in a small amount of what you love can prevent you from feeling deprived. Try to maintain a 150-calorie limit and split your treat with a friend or friends if you can't find a small serving size.
6. Mix foods
You can still fill yourself up and satisfy a sugar hunger even if it seems hard to stop at a cookie or a baby candy bar. Combine the food you're wanting with a nutritious one. For instance, if you love chocolate, you may mix some almonds with chocolate chips or dip a banana in chocolate sauce to satisfy your appetite. By eating such nutritious items, you'll satisfy your craving and acquire the essential nutrients you need.
7. Cut down sugar at once
This solution is not for everyone because it’s tough. For some people, eliminating all simple sugars is effective. But it's challenging. The first 48 to 72 hours are difficult. After a few days, some people discover that quitting helps control their cravings. Others realize that while they may still crave sweets, they can still train their taste buds to become satisfied with less over time.
8. Eat More Often
Eat consistently. When you wait too long between meals, you can end up picking fatty, sugary snacks to soothe your appetite. As an alternative, eating every three to five hours can help maintain blood sugar stability and prevent irrational eating habits. Your best options? Select foods high in protein and fiber, such as whole grains and fruit.
Having a sweet tooth isn’t the best thing, especially when you need to lose weight or maintain a fit body. However, it takes persistence and patience to commit and a few steps you follow to control your sugar cravings.
Main image credit: @rosannapansino