I love all things sugar. In fact, dessert has always been my favorite meal and I have a particular weakness for chocolate. But, my affinity for the sweet stuff was seriously showing on the bathroom scale and I had to find a way to fend off sweet, sweet taste of all things sugary.
No. 1 – The More You Eat It, The More You Crave It
The more simple carbohydrates that you consume, the more that your body craves them. They are an abundantly available and easily converted source of energy for the human body. The good news is that the cravings don’t last long and there is no painful withdrawal so making it a few days until you’re in the clear takes minimal effort. When I get into a bad pattern of indulging in desserts every day, it is usually because I have let too many simple carbohydrates sneak into my diet. I used to just cut the obvious sweets like dessert. But, it wasn’t until I cut all of the simple carbohydrates that are broken down into sugars like potatoes and pasta, that I realized where those cravings were coming from.
Challenge yourself to go three whole days without ANY simple carbohydrates, including sugary drinks, candy/dessert, potatoes, chips, pasta, rice, etc.
You will probably feel the loss for those first three days, but after that, you should be in the clear on the need to eat these types of foods. At the very least, you will be able to stop going out of your way to hunt down sugary delights. Even after the three days, you will have occasional cravings, but read on for the other ways that I have found to beat those cravings.
No. 2 – Fight Back with a Little Bit of Protein
Protein has the ability to satisfy a sugar craving because what your body really wants is energy, it only craves the sugar because it is an easy form of energy. Protein is harder for the body to convert into energy, but it lasts longer. One of the biggest triggers for me is food days at work. I started keeping raw almonds in my desk at work and I eat a half serving (10-12 almonds) whenever I feel the urge to stop by the vending machine. I started snacking on almonds as an effort to add healthy fat into my diet, I only found that it effectively stopped a sweet tooth in its tracks by accident. Why I Eat Almonds Every Single Day
No. 3 – Fill in the gaps in your nutrition. Focus on foundation foods.
Sugar seems to be the default craving for a whole range of nutritional imbalances. While consuming the sugar will do nothing to correct those imbalances, it will provide a temporary and immediate relief from the unpleasant symptoms of the actual deficiency, whether it is a lack of energy or headache. Even if you eat healthy choices and even if you take a multivitamin, nutritional deficiencies could still be the root of your problem.
It wasn’t until I doubled my B vitamins that I really saw a benefit to taking any vitamin supplements. I had been eating a healthy, well balanced diet and taking a multivitamin with regular exercise for over a year. Yet, in all of that time of making the right choices, I was still suffering from chronic fatigue. I was eating well and taking supplements so it never occurred to me that the cause of the fatigue was a nutritional deficiency. However, within one week of increasing my B vitamins, I immediately saw a dramatic increase in energy. I believe that the additional B vitamins helped increase the absorption of nutrients, helping fill the gaps in my own nutrition that I didn’t even realize weren’t being met.
No. 4 – Understand how your blood glucose levels work to Properly Fuel your Body.
You are surely familiar with health conditions related to blood glucose levels such as diabetes and hypoglycemia, but even for reasonably healthy people, an understanding of how the human body is fueled with energy is necessary to correcting dietary problems. Glucose, or sugar, is the body’s primary source of energy. Glucose is necessary for all parts of the body to function properly. When glucose levels in the blood drop too low, the very first thing that you will experience is a craving for sugar. Sugar is the easiest energy source for the body to access, perhaps that is why we are programmed to prefer its sweet taste from birth.
But, the problem with sugar is that, while it delivers a quick-acting source of energy for the body, it is burned quickly and causes a crash when its depleted. Fuel your body with more sustainable energy sources and your sugar cravings will naturally diminish. Focus on complex carbohydrates, lean proteins and healthy fats.
Diabetics are not the only ones who need to pay attention to what their blood sugar levels are telling them. If you have trouble losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight, and experience intense sugar cravings, these could be signs that your blood sugar levels are not stable. Prolonged, unbalanced blood glucose levels will likely eventually worsen into a chronic diabetic condition. 10 Powerful Reasons to Eat More Bananas
No. 5 – Be Committed. Don’t settle for sugar substitutes.
When your body craves sugar, it is looking for a quick fix on energy. Artificial sweeteners don’t provide calories and essentially trick your brain into thinking that it is tasting something sweet without satisfying the need for fuel. As a result, you end up eating more. A 2010 Yale study suggests that artificial sweeteners actually lead to weight gain for this very reason. Why I Avoid Artificial Sweeteners Like the Plague
Instead, try boosting flavor with something more savory. Cinnamon, vanilla and citrus will satisfy your taste buds without the added sugar.