6 Tips to Break Your Sugar Cravings in Seconds
It a brand-new year and statistics show that the number one resolution is to lose weight or eat healthier. Unfortunately, less than 10% of Americans will go through with their commitments and keep them. The true enemy that often plummets us from reaching our healthier lifestyles is the temptation to devour sugar and lots of it. It is found in almost everything we consume!
- Breakfast cereals
- Baked goods
- Fruit juices
- Dried fruits
- Canned fruit
- Sauces and other condiments
- Ice cream and other frozen delights
It is true that sugar can be addicting! It produces the same effects on the brain such as drugs like cocaine or heroin. Crazy, right? White sugar is chemically formulated to make us love the taste and then keep us coming back for more. Therefore, we do not think twice about saying no to a birthday party or stopping by that bakery on the way to work because the smell triggers our urge.
Think about it. When you taste cakes, donuts, ice cream, or any sweets of your choosing, it sends these signals to your brain that makes you feel so happy and energetic inside i.e., endorphins! Let’s say you drink one soda. After an hour or so, you tend to feel worse than you did before drinking soda. So, what do you do? You reach for another soda for that energy and happiness again. Crash and Repeat. This is a vicious cycle!
It is time to break that sugar tooth habit for good and although it won’t be easy, I have a few tips to help you get there, slowly, but surely.
Here are 6 tips to get you headed in the right direction of breaking the sugar cycle:
1. Wrap Your Mind Around the Idea
Quitting an addiction is all mental process because you must be discipline enough to not give in. Basically, you must teach yourself to break a bad habit, here. Find whatever motivates you or inspires you to quit sugar and stick with it. Educate yourself on why you want sugar out of your life and write those reasons down so you will not forget why you are doing this. I have often found that keeping a journal or blog to write down your feelings, thoughts, challenges, and successes often helps me to stay motivated to stay away from sugar and other refined foods.
2. Get More Rest
Sleep is the divine healer of all things. No, really! When you are fatigued, you will do anything to feel better and to get your energy levels back. Before reaching for an energy drink or Frappuccino, try taking a nap and see how you feel afterwards. Sleep deprivation can cause your stress levels to rise which in turn, makes you crave sweet crap even more and not to mention it also causes weight gain. A lack of sleep can also throw off your hormones and make you feel hungrier and crankier than usual. So get your sleep in!
3. Drink Water
Water fills your stomach and makes you full. We all know that. However, so many of us tend to enjoy something with a little more taste to it. I am guilty! I hate the boring taste of water. Instead, I love to add a few slices of fresh lemon to my waters or even infuse fresh fruits as well. This helps to give the water a more natural, fun flavor and spice things up. Lemon can alkalinize your water. If you crave the carbonation or fizziness to soda, try a carbonated water such as sparking water because this will help trick your taste buds into thinking you’re drinking soda!
4. Brush Your Teeth with Minty Paste or Chew Mint Gum
Other than keeping your mouth busy, studies have shown that brushing your teeth and chewing mint gum helps stop a craving. Nothing tastes worse than eating something sweet or any food in general after brushing your teeth or eating something with a minty flavor to it. I even hate eating food after having a peppermint; this gives the same effect. The stronger the mint, the more you are unlikely to reach for sweets. Another bonus? You will reduce your risk for cavities by brushing regularly and avoiding sugar.
5. Read Your Labels
Know your nutrition! This is very important because if you are truly trying to grab hold of your sugar habit, you do not want any sugar lurking around or hiding in your favorite foods. Always read your labels and sugar and carbohydrate contents on your food when grocery shopping.
6. Eat Protein at Every Meal
Though last on the list, this is perhaps the most important tip of all! One of the first signs you’re low on protein: You start craving sweets! Protein is great for satiety and may help with cravings as well.
The Institute of Medicine recommends that adults get a minimum of 0.8 grams of protein for every kilogram of body weight per day or 8 grams of protein for every 20 pounds of body weight. Therefore, regardless of what we believe, we truly do need more protein in our diets for a variety of health reasons! If you are a highly active woman, you might even need more protein in your diet to keep up with your workouts and to feed your muscles after putting them to work.
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