Has your sweet tooth been out of control lately?
Or perhaps you’re preparing for a holiday season full of sweet temptations. Either way, you’ve come to the right place. Follow these tips to beat your sugar cravings when they hit, and before it’s too late.
First, it’s important to understand why we have these cravings in the first place. Cravings are driven by your brain’s desire for a “reward”, not your body’s need for food. If you are able to only have one bite or piece of a sweet snack, indulging when you feel a craving isn’t a bad thing. If you tend to binge and overeat as soon as you get a taste of the sweetness, then giving in to your cravings is a dangerous game.
10 tips to get rid of a sweet tooth
1. Eat lots of foods high in magnesium, chromium, and zinc. These nutrients help improve your cells’ sensitivity to insulin and they maximize the amount of sugar your body is able to metabolize and burn. A deficiency in these nutrients can lead to sugar cravings.
2. Add spices to your meals and snacks. Use spices like cinnamon in your meals and snacks to satisfy your craving for flavor.
3. Have some fruit or another healthy, sweet substitute. Eat a snack that doesn’t contain processed sugar but still offers that sweet taste you crave (like fruit) to substitute for sugar cravings.
4. Chew sugar-free gum or mints. Sugar-free gum and sweets can be a good way to indulge in sugary treats here and there without actually consuming any sugar. But be wary of this tip as sugar-free sweets can be dangerous when overeaten.
5. Manage your stress levels. This seems to be the answer to a plethora of health concerns but high stress and cortisol levels can lead to sugar cravings as well.
6. Eat yogurt with breakfast or as a snack. Yogurt is a healthy, sweet snack that is high in fiber and calcium. A 2012 study found that women who had high-protein Greek yogurt for an afternoon snack were less hungry and ate less later in the day.
7. Eat chia seeds or enjoy drinks with chia seeds. Chia seeds are a good source of many important nutrients, including omega-3 fatty acids and soluble dietary fiber. The fiber will absorb water and swells up to form a jelly-like substance in your gut. This helps to keep you feeling fuller for longer and can prevent sugar cravings
8. Add more legumes to your diet. Legumes like lentils, beans and chickpeas are another great source of fiber and protein. One cup of lentils provides you with around 18 grams of protein and 16 grams of fiber. Legumes are a common ingredient in weight loss diet plans.
9. Take a hot shower. Some people who suffer from intense sugar cravings have experienced relief by taking a hot shower.
10. Get enough sleep each night. Not getting enough sleep can affect the hormones that control our appetite. A bad night’s sleep could be why you’re overeating or craving sugar today.
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Cravings are the main reason people break from a diet. In a study published by Appetite, 97% of women and 68% of men who participated reported that they experience cravings. You know the feeling — no matter what you eat, you’re not satisfied until you eat that one, specific snack.
Learning how to beat sugar cravings is invaluable for sweet lovers and people who have a tendency to overeat. Share these tips with your friends to prepare them for a holiday season full of tempting goodies.