3 Ways to Reduce Sugar Cravings
When you’re trying to cut back on sugar, the discomfort that ensues can be incredibly difficult to withstand. One of the more frustrating aspects of sugar withdrawal is the constant, persistent cravings that keep nagging at you. Is there anything you can do to minimize these cravings, or do you just have to deal with them until they go away?
Unfortunately there aren’t any “magic pills” that will make sugar cravings vanish instantly, but there ARE things you can do to help make them easier to bear. Below you’ll find three good ways to help reduce cravings for sugar:
#1 - Eat more often
The longer you go without eating, the more your blood sugar levels are going to drop. If they drop down too low, your body is going to send a signal that it needs more fuel - and this signal will likely be a craving for something sweet.
You can avoid this problem by eating every 2-3 hours to help keep your blood sugar levels balanced. However, be sure not to eat foods that are likely to trigger more sugar cravings, like white bread, pasta, potatoes, and of course, anything containing added sugar. Instead, eating lean protein, healthy fat from avocados, olive oil and nuts, and complex carbohydrates from whole grains and green leafy vegetables will provide fuel for your body without elevating your blood sugar levels.
Fruit is also a good choice, but only if it’s low on the glycemic scale - meaning it won’t create a large spike in your blood sugar. Good choices include: strawberries, cherries, grapefruit, pears, peaches, cantaloupe, grapes, plums and prunes.
#2 - Stay hydrated
Sometimes when you think you are craving sugar, your body is really calling out for ... water! That’s right - being dehydrated can create all kinds of random cravings that you may have trouble identifying. More importantly, one of the symptoms of dehydration is fatigue, and many people have gotten into the habit of reaching for sugar and/or caffeine for energy. If you have the same habit, drinking plenty of water can give you more energy so you will be less tempted to reach for sugary foods and beverages.
#3 - Prevent emotional lows
Believe it or not, cravings for sugar are not always physical in nature; sometimes they can be triggered by your emotions. You probably know that sugar is a mood-altering substance, and you may be in the habit of eating something sweet when you feel sad, depressed, angry or bored.
Prepare ahead of time for this possibility, and do what you can to keep your emotions balanced and calm. Spend time each day meditating, deep breathing, and doing things you enjoy. This will keep you feeling good so you are less likely to need any mood-altering substances.
Finally, keep in mind that cutting back your sugar intake gets much easier in time. The first few days are the hardest, but after a week or two you’ll notice that you just don’t seem to want sugar as much as you used to.