The fact that sugar is unhealthy is not news. Sugar tastes good and many people actually crave it. But, sugar has been linked to liver problems, diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer. Being aware of and limiting your sugar intake is an important part of an overall healthy lifestyle. But everything delicious has sugar! It can be difficult not to eat all of those tasty carbohydrates and sweet treats, but limiting your sugar intake so that you can beat sugar cravings is an important first step.
Here are a few ways to beat sugar cravings in order to limit your intake:
- Consider what is prompting your cravings. Do you reach for high sugar foods when you are feeling stressed or depressed? Try to manage your stress by taking time to focus on your physical and emotional health. Getting more sleep, exercising, and relaxing can help to mitigate stress and depression and therefore, help curb sugar cravings. Addressing the root of emotional eating can help you to see and address your sugar cravings.
- Don’t skip meals. Skipping meals can cause your blood sugar to drop. To counteract that feeling of lethargy, you might be tempted to reach for high-sugar foods. Instead, be sure to eat multiple small meals per day and plan to have healthy snacks on hand to help combat hunger and cravings.
- Reduce caffeine intake. When we wake up, our brain secretes a stress hormone called cortisol which helps you get up and start your day. When you reach for your morning cup of coffee your body releases even more cortisol. This flood of cortisol makes the body crave insulin aka sugar, which is when you find yourself reaching for that donut in the morning meeting. If you are going to have caffeine, especially in the morning, try to drink it with a healthy meal. That will help your body from looking for an insulin spike.
- Add healthy fats to your meals. Healthy fats help to make you feel fuller, longer and can help to regulate blood sugar. Adding avocado, EVOO, or nuts and seeds to meals or snacks can help to hold off sugar cravings.
- Consume high chromium, magnesium, and zinc foods. By eating more foods that are high in magnesium, like leafy green vegetables and nuts or seeds, foods high in chromium like sweet potatoes or apples, and foods high in zinc like pumpkin seeds or oysters, you can help decrease insulin or sugar cravings. A deficiency in any of these can lead to sugar cravings.
Try these methods for reducing your sugar cravings!