Sugar cravings and addiction can be hard to deal with. You might find yourself craving a sweet treat when you’ve just eaten, or maybe you’ll turn down an offer of cake because you’re trying to lose weight. The truth is that sugar addiction is not as simple as just eating sweetsâ€”it’s more complicated than that!
Truth be told, sugar cravings are a real struggle for many people. But, they can be dealt with! Whether you have an addiction or just high strung cravings from time to time, there are some easy ways to overcome them, especially before they result in risky healthy conditions.
Sugar and your Teeth
It’s no secret that sugar can be detrimental to our health. One of the most significant negative impacts of consuming too much sugar is on our teeth. When we consume sugary foods and drinks, the bacteria in our mouths feed on the sugar and produce acid. This acid can erode the enamel on our teeth, leading to cavities and tooth decay. Additionally, consuming too much sugar can also lead to weight gain, which can increase the risk of developing health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancer. It’s important to be mindful of our sugar intake and make an effort to limit our consumption of sugary foods and drinks because of these risks.
Limit your sugar consumption to protect your teeth and overall health. You can also follow these practical tips:
1. Don’t buy sugar
We know, it sounds pretty obvious, but, the first step to overcoming a sugar addiction is to not buy it in the first place. If you’re going to have a sweet tooth, don’t keep sweets in the house or at work. And if you do, get rid of them as soon as possible!
If this sounds like an extreme measure and not something that will help you stay on track with your healthy eating goals, think again: one study found that people who were trying to lose weight were more likely to succeed when they removed all foods from their kitchens except for whole grains and fruits/vegetables. Sugar isn’t your friend–it tricks your brain into thinking it’s hungry when it’s actually just craving something sweet!
2. Eat a healthy breakfast
Eating a healthy breakfast is the most important meal of the day and it will help you to feel full, energized and less likely to snack on unhealthy foods later in the day. A simple piece of fruit or some yogurt with granola sprinkled on top will do the trick!
3. Have a snack before you’re hungry again
Eat five to six times per day, with three meals and two or three snacks in between. Try to have your first meal within one hour of waking up, then have another meal every 3-4 hours thereafter, until bedtime. This will help keep your blood sugar balanced throughout the day and prevent hunger pangs later on in the evening when it’s time for dinner or dessert!
Snacking can also be an important part of maintaining healthy eating habits if you’re trying not to gain weight; by keeping track of how many calories are in each snack item that you eat throughout the day (and not overdoing it), snacking can actually help reduce overall calorie intake compared with eating three large meals per day without any snacks at all!
4. Get active/ Exercise
Exercise is a great way to help curb sugar cravings. The reason for this is that when you’re active, your body releases endorphins and other chemicals that make you feel good. Plus, exercise can be fun and social–you might even meet some new friends at the gym! Not only will it help reduce your cravings, but exercising regularly also has many other benefits:
- It improves sleep quality by releasing melatonin (the hormone responsible for sleep).
- Regular workouts help prevent heart disease by lowering cholesterol levels and reducing inflammation in the arteries.
- Physical activity increases blood flow to the brain, which may improve memory function as we age as well as protect against Alzheimer’s disease and dementia later on down the line
5. Exercise self-control.
Self-control is a key to overcoming sugar cravings. It’s the most important skill to develop when you’re trying to break an addiction or stop eating unhealthy foods.
In order for self-control to work, you need to be able to identify what your triggers are so that you can avoid them when needed. For example:
- If I’m hungry and bored, I tend to eat junk food because it tastes good in my mouth and gives me instant gratification.
- When I feel stressed out at work or school, I often grab a bag of chips or candy bar from the vending machine because it helps calm my nerves (even though this isn’t healthy).
Once you’ve identified your own personal triggers for cravings, it becomes easier to avoid them.
6. Plan ahead for difficult situations
Plan ahead for difficult situations, like drinking coffee or soda with friends, or having cake at a party.
Avoiding temptation can be easier than you think. You might be surprised how much your desire for sugar will decrease once you stop eating it regularly. Use the buddy system: ask someone else to remind you not to eat junk food when they’re around–they can even help keep an eye on it! If there are certain foods that always tempt you (like birthday cake), try not to eat more than one serving of them at all; if you have more than one serving of something sweet-tasting like this in one sitting and then exercise afterwards (even just walking around), your body will seem less likely to crave more sugar later on during the day/weekend/month/year etc.
7. Know when to accept help from others
The best way to overcome your sugar addiction is by getting support from others who have been in your shoes before. You can join an online support group or even ask for help from family and friends if you are ready to take action.
If you’re struggling with sugar cravings, it’s important that you know when it’s time for action instead of just talking about how bad the situation is. It’s easy to get caught up in what we want or need but if we don’t take action on our goals then nothing will ever change!
8. Eat healthy fats
Eating healthy fats can help you stay fuller for longer, and thus reduce sugar cravings. Healthy fats such as avocados and nuts are good for your brain, skin, energy levels and overall health. You should aim to eat around 1-2 tablespoons of nut butter each day or 2-4oz of nuts like almonds or walnuts (1oz = 30g).
- Avocado is also a great source of healthy fats which help reduce sugar cravings by filling you up! Try making an avocado smoothie: blend 1 ripe avocado with 1/2 cup almond milk or water until creamy then add your favourite berries & ground cinnamon if desired.*
9. Drink plenty of water.
Water is a great way to feel full, and it helps flush out toxins. It also keeps your skin and hair healthy. Drink at least eight glasses per day–even more if you’re exercising or in a hot climate.
10. Improve your Sleep Hygiene
Sleep is essential for good health. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults get between seven and nine hours of sleep each night, but most Americans fail to meet even this minimum standard. Not only does poor sleep affect your ability to stay focused and perform well at work or school, it also increases your likelihood of having more sugar cravings and the risk of developing serious health conditions like diabetes, heart disease and depression.
How much sleep do you need? It depends on your age: newborns need 16-18 hours per day; toddlers should get 11-13 hours; kids ages 6-12 need about 10-11 hours; teens should get 8-10 hours (though some experts say this amount may be too low); adults should aim for seven or eight hours each night.
If you feel like you’re struggling with sugar cravings, it’s important to know that you’re not alone. Many people experience this and can help guide you through the process of getting your life back on track. You may also want to consider joining an online support group where others who have been in your shoes before can offer advice and encouragement when needed. Overcoming an addiction like this is tough work–but if there’s one thing we know about humans, it’s that we can do anything if we set our minds (and hearts!) on doing so!