You wake up in the middle of the night craving chocolates or ice cream or better still… chocolate ice cream! All of us get sugar cravings but we use euphemisms like “sweet tooth” to hide from the bitter truth that we are nothing more than sugar junkies. But sugary treats make you gain weight so one morning when you can no longer button your jeans, you are forced to accept that it’s high time you cut back on your sugar intake. Unfortunately, as with any other drug, it’s not easy to kick the habit.
Sweet Nothings: How To Overcome Sugar Cravings
Indian health experts are getting concerned as lakhs of Indians are becoming sugar dependent, even though they don’t realize it. The recommended upper intake for sugar is 9 teaspoons a day for men and 6 teaspoons for women. However, the packaged foods we consume on a regular basis are ridiculously high in sugar – for instance just 4 cream biscuits contain 10 teaspoons of sugar! Here’s how you can beat your sugar cravings.
Get More Protein
“High protein foods regulate appetite and curb cravings”
High protein foods regulate appetite and help to curb cravings. A combination of proteins and healthy fats will keep you satiated for longer periods. A breakfast that consists of eggs along with a peanut butter sandwich or a handful of nuts will help you stay off snacks for the rest of your day. Alternatively, you can have a large protein shake for breakfast.
Sour Over Sweet
“Increasing the intake of sour foods can help to reduce sugar cravings”
Before you try to overcome your sugar cravings, you can reduce your cravings simply by increasing the amount of sour foods you consume. Sprinkle lime juice liberally over your food or have pickle along with your meals. Have yogurt on a daily basis but avoid flavored yogurt and lassi; have chaas instead as this will reduce your sugar intake. It will take a while for you to retrain your taste buds but within a matter of days, you will notice that the craving subsides and you start to appreciate other flavors.
Swap Sweets For Fruit
“Fruit is a good way to satisfy your sugar cravings and still stick to a low-sugar diet plan”
What if there was a way to have your cake and eat it too – well, not cake per se, but fruit is a good way to satisfy your sugar cravings without sending your low-sugar diet for a toss. When you decide to cut back on sugar, carry a couple of apples in your bag for the first few days so that if your sugar cravings get too strong, you have a healthy alternative. Finding a balance is the key to controlling your sugar cravings.
Eat Every 3-5 Hours
“Sugar cravings get more intense when you’re hungry so small frequent meals throughout the day helps to curb these cravings”
Sugar cravings get more intense when you’re hungry so don’t wait until you are hungry to have your meals. You can follow a meal schedule or eat every 3-5 hours to curb your appetite – scheduling meals helps with weight loss too so it will just be a matter of time before you’re able to slide into those slim jeans once again!
Why Is Sugar So Addictive?
When you eat chocolate, ice cream, doughnuts, or just about any sugary food, it triggers the production of dopamine – the “happy hormone” and after a while your brain views sugar as a reward. This is why almost all your comfort foods are high in sugar. Research proves that sugar addiction is not just a cutesy term, it’s a very real problem as recent studies show that sugar can be every bit as addictive as coke!
Even though these methods will help you cut back on your sugar intake, you need to accept that it is not easy to give up sugar and that you will constantly crave your ‘fix’. Keep yourself busy and preoccupied as this will help to keep your mind off your sugar cravings. Pamper yourself to non-sugary treats so that you don’t feel deprived.