An Easy Plan on How to Stop Sugar Cravings: Meaning, Tips, and Causes
8 minute read
Sugar cravings can be some of the most difficult cravings to keep at bay. In fact, some research has shown that sugar can be even more addicting than cocaine in some cases.
Sure, the occasional sweet treat is fine, but, when cravings strike, it seems like nothing can satisfy them. Often you end up eating much more than you bargained for, just to quiet the cravings that just don’t seem to go away.
Well, you’re not alone. Sugar cravings are a very common occurrence, and many people fall victim to them from time to time. If you’ve ever struggled with sugar cravings, then keep reading, because here is a simple, 3-step plan to stop sugar cravings in their tracks.
1. Eat Filling Meals With Healthy Foods
One of the simplest reasons why you might suffer from sugar cravings is because you’re hungry. Often, that’s how it starts. Your body is naturally hungry, but then your brain decides it wants to eat sweet, sugary junk.
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Well, if you’re hungry, that’s your body sending you a message that you need to eat food that’s rich in nutrients and important vitamins and minerals. Sugary treats obviously don’t have any of those high-nutrition elements, and that’s why it seems like you can eat endless amounts without actually feeling satisfied.
Stuffing your face with cookies and cakes isn’t going to make you feel less hungry, because those foods don’t contain the type of nutrition your body actually needs. So the next time you feel a sugar craving coming on, eat a nutritious meal that will satisfy your body.
And even if you don’t feel the craving, if you notice yourself getting hungry, don’t ignore it. Eat a filling meal full of the good stuff like omega-3 fatty acids will help stop those sugar cravings before they even get started.
2. Get a Good Night’s Sleep
There are a ton of benefits associated with getting a proper night’s sleep, but decreased cravings is definitely one of them. When you sleep properly, your body and your mind have the chance to repair and refresh after the wear and tear of the day.
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One of the reasons people crave sugar is because they feel it gives them an energy boost. While this is true for a short amount of time, the type of energy that sugar gives to your body is not a healthy energy. It can cause jitters and eventually a crash.
In contrast, the energy you feel after a good night’s sleep lasts all day and is “clean-burning,” meaning there’s no crash or negative effect on your digestion. So if you struggle with sugar cravings regularly, try adjusting your sleep schedule to give yourself more rest.
3. Avoid Artificial Sweeteners
You might be tempted to turn to artificial sweeteners, if you’re the type who really suffers from a sweet tooth. But resist the temptation! As bad as sugar is, artificial sweeteners are much much worse for you for a number of reasons.
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Not only can they cause even worse cravings than sugar, they can really damage your health. They can cause your hormones to get thrown out of whack, disrupt your mood, and they’ve even been linked to certain diseases like obesity.
Of course, one diet soda isn’t going to do too much harm, but if you regularly replace sugar with artificial sweeteners thinking it’s healthy, think again.
Expert Tips on Avoiding Sugar
Hopefully those three suggestions will help keep your sugar cravings at bay. But if for some reason they don’t seem to work as effectively as you need, there are a number of other tips you can try to help cut down on those sugar cravings:
Fruit contains naturally sweet compounds and certain forms of sugar that are much less harmful than the processed sugars you’ll find in sodas or sweets. If you really need to enjoy the flavor of something sweet, try a banana or a nice tangy orange.
These fruits are also loaded with vitamins and minerals, so not only are you saving yourself from a potential sugar crash, you’re actually boosting your body’s health with the nutrients it really needs. And that could save you from a future craving down the line.
Take a Multivitamin
Similarly, a multivitamin can help make sure you aren’t suffering the effects of malnutrition. You may have a deficiency of a certain vitamin or mineral that you don’t even know about, especially if you are a vegetarian or have certain food allergies that cause you to avoid specific foods.
Taking a regular multivitamin will help ensure that you are covered in all aspects of nutrition, so you won’t feel the cravings that come with not getting enough vitamins.
Have Some Water
Another possible source of cravings could be dehydration. We often mistake the feeling of being thirsty for being hungry, and it can drive us towards those snacking binges.
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Drinking enough water throughout the day will help make sure you’re not getting dehydrated. It can be tough to remember to drink enough water, so try keeping a refillable water bottle at your desk or in your car, so you can keep better track of how much you’ve had.
Take a Walk
Going outside for a walk, or even a jog or a run if you feel so inclined, can help cut cravings down on two fronts. First, you’ll be putting physical distance between yourself and the food you’re craving, which can help keep it out of your mind.
But also, when you walk or run outside, you release chemicals in your brain that provide a feeling of happiness and satisfaction. This positive mood booster will help you forget about those cravings.
The Bottom Line
We all fall victim to cravings from time to time, so there’s no need to feel like anything is wrong if you occasionally feel the need to eat something sweet. But hopefully, with these tips in mind, you can take steps to make sure you don’t overdo it the next time you feel that sugar craving coming on.