Lowering your sugar intake is among the best things you can do for your health. It can lower your cholesterol, help you lose weight, give you clearer skin, help manage Type 2 Diabetes, and give you more energy.
But cutting back on sugar can be tough, especially in the beginning. When you first cut back your sugar intake it may seem like your sugar cravings are all you think about.
Breaking a sugar habit is hard to do through willpower alone; here are some tips to help you curb cravings.
1. Don’t Keep Temptations in the House
Keeping sugary foods around the house makes breaking a sugar habit harder.
Nobody has unlimited willpower; you can only say no to that chocolate bar so many times before you give in to temptation.
It’s easier to say no to sweets once at the grocery store than to say no to sweets fifteen times at home.
By removing the temptation from your home you reduce the amount of willpower you must exercise on a daily basis and set yourself up for success.
2. Eat More Fruit
Fruit is great for satisfying your sugar cravings without eating processed sugar. Although fruit does contain natural sugar, it also has plenty of fiber which helps control your blood sugar levels.
However, the natural sugar fruit contains does add up so it’s best to limit your fruit intake to 2-3 servings per day.
3. Don’t Deprive Yourself Completely
Going cold turkey on sugar does work for a few people but for many, it leads to a sugar binge. In order to avoid this binge, allow yourself to have a couple of portion-controlled treats each week.
The key to stopping at just one sweet treat is to focus on quality over quantity; instead of buying a large bag of cheap sweets, have a slice of cake from a bakery or a bar of your favorite chocolate.
If you’re seeking to completely cut out processed sugar, reduce your sugar intake gradually.
4. Get Some Exercise
When you exercise, it reduces your stress levels. This is important when cutting back on sugar because high stress-levels may lead you to reach for sugary foods.
The exercise doesn’t have to be strenuous to have a positive effect, even a brisk walk can help reduce your stress levels and keep you on track.
5. Learn to Distinguish Cravings from Hunger
When you have a craving you may feel like you are truly hungry, but this isn’t always the case. You may be seeking out a specific food because you’re stressed, bored, or upset rather than because you are truly hungry.
To determine whether you are truly hungry or simply having a craving ask yourself if you would eat something like eggs, carrots, or an apple or if you only want sugary foods.
If the answer is that you only want sugary foods find something to take your mind off of eating until you are truly hungry.
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