There are a lot of different theories on the causes of those sugar cravings we have. Cravings for the sweet treats can range from the late night cookie binge to a sugar addiction.
To some, sugar becomes as addictive as heroin or cocaine, which people use to manage stress, deal with boredom, and to fight off depression. If you are yearning for that sweet something after dinner or feel driven to eat sugary foods when sadness or stress feelings arrive, you can beat those sugar cravings and ditch your sweet-tooth for good with a few changes to your routine.
Remove the Temptation
If those sweet treats are all over the house within easy reach, you will be hard pressed to stop eating them. A substantial first step is to remove the sweet temptation from reach. Replacing the sweets with whole foods instead of processed food, and keeping to fresh foods like fruits, green vegetables, and whole grains will give you a great start at beating the sugar cravings.
Giving up processed foods and sweet treats do not mean you can’t enjoy sweet flavors. Many healthy foods are naturally sweet. Have some fresh pineapple, apple, mango, or peach slices instead of cookies or a slice of cake, or your favorite yogurt topped with fresh berries. It will help satisfy your desire for something sweet. The more naturally sweetened foods you eat, the less you will crave processed, unnaturally sweet foods.
If fruit doesn’t seem to fill you up or satisfy your sweet craving, try eating one or two mini whole grain bagels. These take longer to chew and will stick with you longer. Eating foods high in minerals, such as magnesium (dark leafy greens, quinoa, nuts, and seeds), chromium (broccoli, sweet potatoes, and apples), and zinc (whole grains, Brazil nuts, pumpkin seeds, and pasteurized eggs) will help make sure your body is not missing key minerals and will decrease cravings.
Drink lots of water! Some sugar cravings are confused for your body letting you know it’s dehydrated and is actually craving water. Adding lemon to your water or drinking green tea are natural remedies for craving sweets. Work to keep your blood sugar stable by eating several small meals throughout the day. Large meals will lead to your blood sugar levels to peak and dip throughout the day, which leads to sugar cravings.
Spice your food with cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom. These spices add natural sweetness and will help balance your blood sugar and diminish those sugar cravings. Eating healthy fats with your meals like those found in avocados, nuts, coconut, olive oil, and wild salmon. Healthy fats will keep you feeling satisfied, level out blood sugar, and curb the cravings.
Make sure to get enough sleep at night to help you manage stress. If you don’t have an exercise program, it’s a perfect time to start one. Exercise will help boost your serotonin level, which is also called the “happiness hormone” because it can improve your mood. Exercise will naturally increase your energy levels and reduce cravings for sweets. If you suffer from sleep problems, a regular exercise program, decreasing unnatural sweets and processed foods from your diet, and increasing your water intake will help regulate your sleep/wake patterns.
You can make some changes to overcome craving those sweet treats and processed food. You will find that you manage stress better and have fewer feelings of depression. Your energy level will increase over the course of the day, and you will feel amazing!