20 Tips to Curb Sugar Cravings and Kick the Addiction

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We explained why we are all addicted to sugar here and wrote about why sugar is bad here. Now here are 20 tips to rid ourselves of this addiction:

  1. Eat Regularly: Eat three meals and two snacks or five small meals a day. For many people, if they don’t eat regularly, their blood sugar levels drop, they feel hungry and are more likely to crave sweet sugary snacks.
  2. Drink Lots Of Water: Sometimes drinking water or seltzer water can help with the sugar cravings. Also sometimes what we perceive as a food craving is really thirst.
  3. Choose Whole Foods: The closer a food is to its original form, the less processed sugar it will contain. Food in its natural form, including fruits and vegetables, usually presents no metabolic problems for a normal body, especially when consumed in variety.
  4. Have A Breakfast Of Protein, Fat And Phytonutrients: Breakfast smoothies are ideal for this. The typical breakfast full of carbs and sugary or starchy foods is the worst option since you’ll have cravings all day. Eating a good breakfast is essential to prevent sugar cravings.
  5. Try To Incorporate Protein/Fat Into Each Meal: This helps control blood sugar levels. Make sure they are healthy sources of each.
  6. Add Spices: Coriander, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and cardamom will naturally sweeten your foods and reduce cravings.
  7. Move Your Body: Exercise, dance or do some yoga. Whatever movement you enjoy will help reduce tension, boost your energy and decrease your need for a sugar lift.
  8. Get Nutritionally balanced: Nutrient deficiencies can make cravings worse and the fewer nutrient deficiencies, the fewer cravings. Certain nutrients seem to improve blood sugar control including chromium, vitamin B3 and magnesium.
  9. Sleep: When we are tired we often use sugar for energy to counteract the exhaustion.
  10. Detox: our experience has been that when people do a detox, not only does it reset their appetites but it often decreases their sugar cravings. After the initial sugar cravings, which can be overwhelming, our bodies adjust and we won’t even want the sugar anymore and the desire will disappear.
  11. Be Mindful Of Emotions: Be open to explore the emotional issues around your sugar addiction. Many times our craving for sugar is more for an emotional need that isn’t being met.
  12. Keep It Out Of Reach: Keep sugary snacks out of your house and office. It’s difficult to snack on things that aren’t there!
  13. Don’t Substitute Artificial Sweeteners For Sugar: This will do little to alter your desire for sweets. If you do need a sweetener, try Stevia or Xylitol, they are the healthiest.
  14. Learn To Read Labels: Although I would encourage you to eat as few foods as possible that have labels, educate yourself about what you’re putting into your body. The longer the list of ingredients, the more likely sugar is going to be included on that list. So check the grams of sugar, and choose products with the least sugar per serving.
  15. Become Familiar With Sugar Terminology: Recognize that all of these are sweeteners: corn syrup, corn sugar, high fructose corn syrup, sucrose, dextrose, honey, molasses, turbinado sugar and brown sugar.
  16. Look Out For Sugar In Disguise: Remember that most of the “complex” carbohydrates we consume like bread, bagels and pasta aren’t really complex at all. They are usually highly refined and act just like sugars in the body and are to be avoided.
  17. Meditate: Find a quiet spot, get comfortable and sit for a few minutes and focus on your breath. After a few minutes of this, the craving will pass.
  18. Distract Yourself: Go for a walk, if possible, in nature. Cravings usually last for 10-20 minutes maximum. If you can distract yourself with something else, it often passes. The more you do this, the easier it gets and the cravings get easier to deal with.
  19. Have A Piece Of Fruit: If you give in to your cravings, have a piece of fruit, it should satisfy a sweet craving and is much healthier.
  20. Keep Some Raw Nuts Around: When you feel your blood sugar lowering, snack on a small handful of nuts!

 

As Originally published on Huffington Post

 

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