We all know that deep, dark need for something sweet. And we all know that consuming a lot of sugar isn’t very good for us, even during that 2 pm energy slump at our desk, the busy day where grabbing a candy bar snack at the gas station is a very attractive option, or when our emotions are being a challenge!
Luckily, there are a few ways to stop sugar cravings and get back on track. First, be sure to check with your doctor to be sure there isn’t an underlying deficiency or health problem contributing to that need for something sweet. Then, be sure to check out the 5 tips below on how to beat sugar cravings.
1. Drink More Water
Often, thirst is confused with a feeling of hunger or a craving for a certain food. A glass of water might reduce your sugar craving, and drinking water before a meal may help reduce appetite and support healthy weight loss. Plus every sip gets you closer to that daily water goal!
2. Plan & Prep Your Meals
Planning meals in advance will not only help you save time and money but can also help you stick to your caloric and nutrition goals. Knowing what and when your next meal or snack will be reduces uncertainty and may lessen the urge to grab something quick and unhealthy. Taking some time throughout the week to prep your meals and snacks in advance will mean you always have something healthy and ready when you need it. This can also help make sure you never get overly hungry, to the point where you’ll eat anything you can find.
3. Eat More Protein
While planning your meals and snacks, try to keep them rich in protein. This essential macro isn’t only found in meat; be sure to also incorporate plant-based sources like beans, dairy, tofu, and nuts into your diet as dietary requirements and restrictions allow.
4. Reduce Stress & Eat Mindfully
We’re combining these into one tip, as they go hand-in-hand. Stress may encourage us to eat more and crave unhealthy foods (ice cream, anyone?), and also raises cortisol in the body, a hormone that makes you gain weight. Although “reducing stress” is easier said than done, some simple techniques like closing your eyes and taking a few deep breaths, and eating without any distractions (turn off that TV and smartphone!) so you can focus on your meal and not overeating, may help.
5. Give Yourself a Break
No one is perfect all the time. Planning one small treat a day or a cheat meal once a week can help curb cravings and reduce guilt (thereby hopefully reducing some stress too). Knowing you can have something sweet in the not-too-distant future may help you say no to it now. And really, do you need that whole pint of ice cream? Or would one small scoop after a day of eating nutritious and wholesome food be a good reward for a job well done, while still moving you forward on your path to success.
Remember, once your body gets a taste of sugar, it wants more and more! Following the tips above will help you to fight the sugar cravings to keep them under control and help you stay on track in your journey to better health.
Want to learn more about how to control sugar cravings? The nutritionists at Inner Element Fitness can help you reach your health and weight goals.
Call us today at (281) 954-8004 to schedule your health planning session.