Do you find yourself craving sweet desserts throughout the day? Though we may not think of it that way, sugar is a super addictive substance. Whether it’s naturally occurring or artificially added, sugar is in tons of food products from whole fruits to processed junk food. While a little bit of sugar can be good, eating too much of it can lead to health issues, acne breakouts, and mood changes. On the other hand, cutting down your sugar intake can improve your disposition, give you more energy, and boost your overall health. So, what can you do when those nasty cravings hit? Read on to learn about a few of the best natural remedies for sugar cravings.
Plan your meals
When you’re hungry, your decision-making skills become impaired. You’re unlikely to make smart, healthy choices when it comes to deciding the easiest way to alleviate that hunger. This means you probably don’t have the patience to prepare and cook a whole meal. Instead, you may be tempted to stop for fast food or snack on the closest sugary treat. To avoid these impulsive decisions, try planning your meals in advance.
Whether you prep your meals a week in advance or simply decide what you’re going to eat the day of, having a plan can help you avoid giving in to your cravings. It’s also helpful to eat multiple small meals throughout the day, keeping you full so you’ll be less tempted to snack between meals.
Stack your diet with protein and good fats
Frequently, food cravings are caused by eating too many processed carbohydrates and not enough protein and fats. Carbs can be healthy in moderation and give you a quick boost of energy, but when you eat too many of them, the resulting blood sugar fluctuations can cause cravings.
Try incorporating more healthy fats and proteins, like meat, fish, eggs, avocados, and nuts, in your diet — protein and fat help to reduce hunger and prevent unnecessary food intake. One study found that eating more protein reduced food cravings by 60%, so make sure you’re supplementing carb-heavy meals like pasta and rice with nutrient-dense sides like veggies, meat, and tofu.
The same portion of the brain handles both appetite and thirst, and often, we confuse these signals and eat a snack when we really need a glass of water. Plus, when you’re dehydrated, your body has a difficult time creating glycogen, which it needs for energy. This means dehydration may tempt you to reach for a sugary snack to get a quick boost. If you’re finding a hard time kicking the sugar craving, start tracking your water consumption and make sure you’re hitting the recommended eight glasses per day.
Both exercise and sugary foods release endorphins in your body. When you work out regularly, you can effectively substitute one for the other and cut down your cravings. Being physically active every day doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming. Sure, you can head to the gym or go for a run, but taking a brisk walk daily can be enough to get your endorphins flowing and bust those cravings.
Additionally, exercise kickstarts a process that makes more blood sugar available to your brain, thus cutting the cravings for something sweet.
Sometimes, a good night of rest is all you need. Sleep plays a critical role in our overall health. Not getting enough sleep and not sleeping straight through the night is linked with a number of health issues. Additionally, while you’re sleeping, your body balances your blood sugar levels and maintains the proper levels of the hormones that regulate insulin. A poor night’s rest can severely diminish these essential processes, leaving you craving more sugar during the day. If you’re fighting day-long sugar cravings, start keeping a sleep journal and track how much you sleep each night, as well as how well you slept. Chances are, you’ll start seeing a pattern between your sleep and your sweet tooth.
Limiting your sugar intake, or cutting it out entirely, can be a difficult process, and frequent cravings make it so much harder. Luckily, there are plenty of simple ways you can stop these hankerings before they even begin. By sleeping well, exercising, eating a healthy diet with lots of fats and proteins, and staying hydrated, you can knock out sugar cravings and live a healthier life.
BlissMark provides information regarding health, wellness, and beauty. The information within this article is not intended to be medical advice. Before starting any diet or exercise routine, consult your physician. If you don’t have a primary care physician, the United States Health & Human Services department has a free online tool that can help you locate a clinic in your area. We are not medical professionals, have not verified or vetted any programs, and in no way intend our content to be anything more than informative and inspiring.
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