While answering the question “Salty or sweet?” may divide us, it is undoubted the general U.S. population is consuming too much sugar. In fact, the American Heart Association (AHA) estimates Americans eat an astonishing average of 80 grams per day! To put these numbers into perspective, the AHA further proposes males should consume no more than 38 grams of added sugar per day while women are limited to 25 grams. But with sugar so deeply embedded into the food supply and displaying addictive properties, there really is no surprise cravings towards it continue to intensify. But with these tips and tricks, defeat your sweet teeth and overcome your sugar addiction once and for all!
How to Stop Sugar Addictions
Eat A Well-Balanced Breakfast
Set the scene for a healthful day by eating a well-balanced breakfast. Swapping out the sugary donut with protein-rich can keep both blood sugars and hunger levels at bay, further combating against sugar cravings.
Select Natural Sweets
Fruits are essentially nature’s sweet treats to us! Swapping out sugary pastries with a piece of fruit can not only taper that sweet tooth, but save on hundreds of calories while supplying an ample supply of nutrients. Continuing the intake of naturally and lightly sweetened foods readjusts the flavor palate, even making sugar-dense treats taste overly sweet.
Defeat the Snack Attack
Pesky hunger between meals can heighten the temptation of a sugary drink or pastry. Keep cravings at ease by defeating the snack attack with a naturally sweetened piece of fruit or high-fiber veggies paired with a protein source, including cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, milk, cheese, beef jerky, or another other protein, fiber-packed snack desired.
Limit refined grains and go whole. Unlike highly processed products, whole grains provide valuable fiber and other nutrients. Sources such as brown rice and oats are considered whole grain sources.
Kiss Soda Goodbye
For all those soda lovers, you can benefit most by kissing it goodbye… Soda is nothing more than sugar, provides the body with empty calories, and increases the risk of weight gain. Nutrition experts further encourage to dismiss even diet soda, as pouring evidence suggests it may not be any better than regular.
(And not with regular or diet soda…) Thirst is oftentimes mistaken for hunger, posing the risk of heading towards food rather than a glass of water. Staying hydrated can save on hundreds of unnecessary calories while providing the hydration the body needs to properly function. Especially if weaning off soda and other sugary beverages, try one of these ways to flavor your next glass of water.
Understand Hidden Sugars
Though it is clear sugar is used in sweet treats, not all sugars are so obvious… Sugars can be hiding in a number of unlikely sources, including sauces, dressings, marinades, and many more. Interestingly, too, food companies may be hiding sugar in products by using “natural” or “healthy” sugars, applying numerous sugars, slapping on food claims, and adding to “healthy” foods.
Shop the Store’s Perimeter
The store’s aisles are merely scapegoats of sugar-laden products, as they are stocked with the most packaged and processed foods. But instead of weaving through the aisles, shop the store’s perimeter where fresher, more whole foods tend to occupy (including nature’s sweet fruit)!
Keep A Food Journal
While the average American is consuming way too much sugar, they may not even realize it! Keeping a food journal and documenting all intake can fact check actual sugar consumption, along with identifying any sort of dietary and emotional patterns that may provoke a sugar craving. Find more on the benefits of food journaling and just how to do it here.
Simply Give In
Well, a little bit… The desire for a sweet treat can be magnified if firm restrictions are set into place, subsequently increasing the likelihood of a binge in the near future. So rather than completely placing sugar off-limits, give in a little and practice quality over quantity by sensibly enjoying a small, homemade sweet over mindlessly eating a large candy bar grabbed on the way out from the grocery store.
Follow the “No Entry” Rule
Although you can give into favorite sweet treats every now and then, it is important to know your limits. Especially if sugar is such a temptation, practicing the “no entry” rule into your home may be in your best interest, or perhaps purchase individually-sized products to keep portions and servings in check.
Keeping active is valuable to get rid of sugar cravings in a number of ways. First off, being active attributes to a healthier lifestyle, which may shift the mind to disregard high-sugar products and opt for more nutritious options, while further lessening the risk of boredom eating. Staying active and distracting the mind can also prevent against mindless eating, particularly when sitting in front of the television or computer.
On the contrary of keeping active, it is also important to rest the body. In fact, perhaps sleeping is one of the most simple ways to overcome sugar addiction! Sleep plays a large impact on cravings, as an inadequate night of sleep can heighten cravings for carb and sugar-rich foods. Lessen such risk by sleeping the recommended seven to nine hours each night and implement a regular sleep schedule, turn off electronics, and build a dark, comfortable environment conducive to relaxation for best results.
Primarily known as “emotional eating,” cravings tend to surface and become fueled by emotions, or also known as “emotional eating.” But rather than feeding into such emotions, squash cravings and temptations by controlling emotions and relieving stress. Stress-relieving techniques include the practice of yoga and meditation, any form of exercise you enjoy, and listening to music.
While reaching and confiding in others may be difficult initially, getting social with others can ultimately transpire into much needed support. Gaining a strong network is valuable in triumphing obstacles, including when trying to overcome sugar addiction. Ultimately, feeling supported is essential to nourish both physical and psychological health.