Conquer Your Sugar Cravings? Yes, You Can!

Conquer Your Sugar Cravings? Yes, You Can!

Does it seem like you’re always reaching for sweets? And do you want to do something to change that?

There are a lot of reasons to rein in your sugar addiction. Too much added sugar in your diet can lead to a staggering number of health problems. For starters, excess sugar consumption raises your risk for cavities, weight gain, obesity and most diseases, including diabetes.

How much sugar is okay? According to the American Heart Association, the maximum amount of added sugars you should eat in a day are:

  • For men: 150 calories per day (37.5 grams or 9 teaspoons)
  • For women: 100 calories per day (25 grams or 6 teaspoons)

The bad news is, we typically take in more sugar than we think!

The good news? There are some simple, yet effective steps you can take to wean your body off of the white stuff for good. Here’s how to get started:

Look at Your Lifestyle

Lifestyle plays a role in fighting sugar cravings. Do you eat breakfast every morning? Do you drink half your weight in ounces of water daily? Do you get enough sleep? If you answered no, it’s time for a change-up. Incorporating more foods high in protein (eggs, hemp hearts and nut butter), probiotics (Greek yogurt) or fiber (fruits, veggies and whole grains) into your daily meals may also help curb cravings. These foods offer satisfaction and a feeling of fullness at the same time.

Do a Sugar Detox

If you’re concerned about sugar intake, a sugar detox can be a good idea. Select a detox start date and, on that date, avoid all added sugar for two weeks. You may find the first few days challenging, but as your body resets itself, it gets easier. As the days pass, you’ll soon be in control of your sugar urge.

During the detox, you can enjoy something sweet, but it should be a treat with natural (and not added) sugar. For example, a banana is perfectly fine, but honey, maple syrup, juice, soda and artificial sweeteners are off-limits.

Go Natural

Before you decide to get off the sugar merry-go-round, stock your pantry with some healthy options that will slash your cravings, while satisfying your taste buds.

  • Dark chocolate (70 to 85 percent cocoa) is always a do! A small square satisfies your craving without sabotaging your energy, blood sugar and mood.
  • Enjoy your fruit — fruit sugar does NOT count as added sugar.
  • Sprinkle some cinnamon on your coffee, tea or apple slices to get a satisfying sweet fix.
  • Adding ⅛ teaspoon of pure vanilla extract to your yogurt, smoothie or coffee.
  • For a sweet bite, spread some nut butter in the middle of two or three sliced dates.

Get Out

If you feel a craving coming on, get out of the kitchen. Sometimes an activity like taking a brisk walk, hitting the gym or getting bendy in a yoga class is enough to cut out the craving and replace it with feel-good workout vibes. No time to get up and out? For a quick and convenient way to stop a binge before it starts, turn to high-quality essential oils. Simply inhaling the scent of peppermint revives the senses and may help refocus your brain to more important tasks in front of you, instead of leftover cake in the fridge. Other essential oils that may help to slash cravings include black pepper, bergamot, fennel, grapefruit, lemon, marjoram and wild orange.

You Are More Powerful Than Your Sugar Cravings

When trying to break a sugar addiction, meditating on how powerful you are can be as helpful as making more mindful food choices. So remind yourself daily that you’re in control of your life — and that sugar doesn’t have anything on you. A supportive mindset may be the missing link you need to slash sugar cravings for good.

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