Got a sweet tooth? Here are some tips on how to ditch the cravings.
When it comes to sugar cravings, there’s no easy solution as there are both mental and physiological components that come into play, making it that much harder to give up.
For example, the more sugar and refined foods you eat, the more your body craves, and if you’re prone to emotional triggers, this can often set off a junk food frenzy.
Things you can do:
- Name your triggers: Know what foods set you off and avoid them. If having cookies, chocolate and ice cream in the house is going to send you into an eating Armageddon, don’t keep them in your pantry or fridge.
- Gage your hunger: Before reaching for that sweet temptation, take a deep breath and ask yourself if you are hungry. If you are, don’t deny yourself food, but choose a healthy snack from one of the options on your BeYou meal planner.
- Try writing it out. If you’re not hungry, sit down for 5 minutes and jot down your feelings. Why do you want that junk food? What’s really going on and will food help? Often times, food offers us temporary relief only to make us feel worse about ourselves later. EVERY TIME you find yourself turning to food for comfort, take a few minutes to tune into your true feelings.
- Eliminate the source. Sugar has a very addictive quality, as do refined and processed foods. The only way to stop these cravings is to limit your intake or completely stop eating it, as you would with any addiction. Studies have even proved that sugar is more addictive than crack cocaine. Once you start to rid your diet of the source, your body will lose the urge to eat it.
How do we do this?
Slowly. You don’t want to throw your body into shock. If you drink soda or juice, try cutting out 1 drink per day.
- Keep a food journal. On top of writing down your emotional triggers, it’s also a good idea to keep a food journal. Foods these days are so laden with sugar (oftentimes hidden) that we don’t know how much we’re eating. You’ll have to carefully read food labels to track how much sugar you’re eating per day and then try to eliminate just ONE ‘trigger food’ (every day) that you would normally eat.
- Find whole food substitutions. Many people ask what they can substitute a snickers bar for; hoping sugar free, gluten free brownies are the solution. A better alternative however, is fruit, a food that is naturally sweet. You might not think fruit sounds as appealing as junk food, but there are tricks that can certainly help curb a sweet tooth, keep you satisfied and give you an energy boost. For example: The next time you want something sweet, try thinly slicing an apple and sprinkling it with a little cinnamon. Apples are low in sugar, yet sweet, and contain pectin (fiber) that will help you feel full, faster. You can also add a fat, like a few chopped walnuts, for some extra crunch and goodness.