Do you find yourself craving ice cream or searching for a sweet treat throughout the day? You’re not alone. Many people struggle with sugar cravings. Our modern lifestyle often includes processed foods, irregular sleep schedules, artificial light, and inactivity. These factors all contribute to sugar cravings, weight gain, and mood problems.
I often hear the argument that sugar is ok in moderation and that eliminating any “food group” is dangerous. Certainly, avoiding an actual macronutrient category completely (carbohydrate, protein or fat) would be problematic, but sugar in itself is not a food group. Though sugar in some form is naturally present in many foods, by itself, it contains:
no healthy fats
Here are a few other things I’ve found that can help you curb sugar cravings naturally.
1. Eat More Protein and Good Fats
Sometimes, the cause of food cravings might be as simple as snacking on too many processed carbohydrates on a regular basis and not getting enough protein and fats.
Proteins are made up of amino acids, which are vital for balancing hormones and avoiding sugar cravings. Healthy fats from whole foods like avocado help fuel the body, while helping keep full for longer. Over the long-term, eating healthy fats and proteins (along with lots of veggies) can help with sugar cravings. They provide your body with essential fatty acids, amino acids, and micronutrients it needs to remain in balance and not crave foods unnecessarily.
2. Eat When You’re Hungry (and Plan Ahead)
When we are hungry and it's combined with stress or lack of sleep, we tend to make poor food choices and reach out to fast foods or sugary treats. The best way to deal with this is to plan your meals ahead for the day. You can also add healthy snacks like a portion of fruit, nuts or yogurt in between meals to help curb any sugar cravings.
3. Get Moving
Exercise releases some of the same endorphins you get from sugary foods and can be a great substitute when done consistently. You don’t have to go running or do anything incredibly intense to get the benefits. Just a brisk walk, a few minutes of jump rope intervals, or a few bodyweight exercises can be enough to get the endorphins moving and dodge the sugar cravings.
4. Get Some Sleep
It is no secret that sleep is important. Not getting enough zzz’s is linked to just about every chronic health problem. Specifically, not getting enough sleep can increase your risk of heart attack, cancer, diabetes, and other metabolic disorders.
Sleep is also vital for balancing blood sugar and maintaining the correct levels of the hormones that manage insulin. In fact, just one night of impaired sleep can leave you with the blood sugar levels of a pre-diabetic. Not the best idea if you are trying to master sugar cravings. For this, and a million other reasons, make sleep a priority.
5. Get Your B-Vitamins
B-vitamins are important for so many reactions in the body, including the way you metabolise carbohydrates. You’ll deplete these important nutrients when you’re stressed or eat too many carbs. Studies show that you will have much more energy when you take fermented live-source b-vitamin complex.
6. Stay Hydrated
When you’re dehydrated, your body has a harder time producing the glycogen you need to stay energised. Thirst might be the culprit behind your sugar cravings. Drink lots of water to make sure this isn’t adding to your sugar problem!
Following these steps will help you get rid of your sugar addiction naturally. Beware of sugar substitutes as some of them are highly process and more harmful than sugar. Ensure you read the labels and understand how they are made.
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