5 Easy Ways to Curb Sugar Cravings
Sugar cravings can be one of the biggest reasons it can be difficult to stay motivated and stick to a healthy diet. It’s totally normal to crave sugar or any type of carb, but sometimes it can set your goals back especially when not controlled properly. Check out these 5 easy ways to curb your sweet tooth and develop healthy habits!
1. Eat a Healthy Snack or Filling Meal
It might seem obvious at first, but sugar cravings aren’t the same thing as being hungry. Sugar cravings are nothing more than your brain asking for something it’s been trained to associate with a release of dopamine, the “reward” chemical.
Hunger, on the other hand, is your brain saying you need to replenish your energy. So when the temptation for a sugary snack hits you, reach for one of these healthy alternatives instead and make sure your kitchen is stocked up with superfoods for a filling meal.
Studies also have shown that eating a wholesome breakfast can help with keeping you full longer and making healthy decisions throughout the day.
Hold yourself accountable by buying healthy snacks you have access to when you're at home or work.
2. Keep Moving
Getting some exercise will help you curb sugar cravings in at least 1 of these 3 ways:
- High-activity workouts (like sprinting) release endorphins in your brain, which serve a similar purpose to dopamine
- Outdoor workouts help to put distance between yourself and the temptation of sugary snacks
- Simple, low-impact workouts (like yoga) will leave you feeling re-energized
More often than not, you’ll find your sugar cravings are gone by the end of your workout session. Keep in mind that most exercises release energy, which you will need to replenish properly with healthy snacks.
Additionally, if you’re already feeling lethargic when the sugar cravings hit, it might actually be a misdirected attempt by your brain to get more energy, in which case going for a run can just make things worse.
3. Eliminate Stress
Speaking of misdirected attempts at replenishing lost energy and/or dopamine, another very common cause of sugar cravings is stress.
Stress is a serious problem in general, as it leaves you feeling less focused and productive. It can also lead to other issues, such as a lack of sleep (which we’ll cover in the next section too).
Once again, there are a few different things you can try to help you reduce stress at the moment (as well as long term).
A few examples include:
- Yoga and/or meditation
- Drinking less coffee and more water
- Setting priorities and taking control of your schedule
4. Get More Sleep
The typical adult needs between 7 and 9 hours of sleep every day. If you’re not getting enough, then you’re inviting a whole slew of issues.
A lot of them are the same as those caused by stress:
- Lack of focus
- Appetite loss
- Feeling unmotivated
It’s a vicious cycle because being stressed can also lead to sleep deprivation – and not getting enough sleep increases your stress levels.
Next thing you know, you’re reaching for sugary snacks and drinks to get a quick-fix.
Instead, start off by reducing stress as much as possible and making more time to get enough sleep every night.
5. Satisfy Those Cravings the Smart Way
This one takes a lot of self-control, but indulging a little is absolutely fine – so long as you’re smart about it.
Instead of sugary snacks, have a piece of fruit. It should be part of your diet anyway and fructose is much better for you than glucose.
Dark chocolate (in moderation) is also a great way to satisfy those sugar cravings – and it has some awesome health benefits too!
This is not to say you can't enjoy delectable sweet food once in a while. In fact, there are many food recipes that are sugar-free but will definitely satisfy your sweet tooth.
Do you have other tips to help curb your sugar cravings? Share your ideas in the comments below!
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