How to Stop Craving Sweets in 4 Steps
Studies show that sugar is one of the very first tastes human beings crave for right from birth so it’s no surprise that a lot of people are addicted to it. However, too much sugar can completely destroy your diet and your health – which is why it is important to know how to stop sugar cravings before it’s too late.
Unfortunately, there are just so many sugary choices in the world today. There’s probably a sweet candy bar not more than twenty feet from where you are right now. However, without having to dive into a strict sugar addiction diet just yet (or even if you are detoxifying right now) you can benefit from these simple steps:
Curb the Cravings by Giving In a Little
That’s right – one of the best ways to get away from sugar is to give in a little and eat some when you want some, especially if you are feeling heavy withdrawal symptoms. It’s hard for a lot of people to completely ignore the sweets and you should reward yourself with a sweet treat when you really need to do. Just make it worthwhile: give yourself the best sweets instead of just one small chocolate bar.
Of course the better solution is to partner your choice of sweets with other food choices. You’ll want to eat a real meal along with your donut or candy bar. Make that treat a reward for taking the time to prepare a nice healthy meal. You’ll feel fuller and the craving to reach for another bar will diminish significantly.
Chew Some Gum
Sure it sounds like a cop out but chewing bubble gum has been scientifically proven to cut down sugar cravings. If you really want something sweet then go ahead and grab a stick of gum – the simple mechanic of chewing something juicy will reduce your need for sweets.
The secret is how chewing gum tricks your brain. Gum is often sweet but there are no sugars in it. You don’t swallow it so you’ll always have something in your mouth. You won’t feel hungry since you’re chewing on something too.
How to Control Cravings with Fruit
Really want something in your tummy that’s sweet and delicious? Put the candy bar in time out and instead reach for some of these sugar busters. A nice fruit, pears, apples, grapes, and oranges are perfect choices, or get crazy and opt for a mango or banana. The natural sugars will give you that craving relief – and since they contain fiber you’ll feel a little bit full at the same time which tells the brain it doesn’t need more.
A nice piece of fruit will satisfy your need for something sweet without actually eating something unhealthy. The natural sugar in fruit is fructose and while high amounts of fructose in one’s diet is not a good thing the amount of fructose in fruit is insignificant when compared to the amount in processed sugar. If you’re a bit sensitive to fruits (some people get stomach pains) you can accompany your apple with a glass of water. Water will keep you full so your need for more sugary goods is even more diminished.
Walk Up and Walk Out
Go take a walk. That’s right – simply walking away and changing scenery is a good way of stopping sugar cravings. Medical experts have seen how a simple change of scenery and activity can alter your train of thought regarding food, sugary goods included. Plus walking, hiking or any light exercise boosts Serotonin (a mood lifting chemical in the brain) levels which is a good substitute for the adrenaline rush that sugar gives you.
If you’re on a sugar detox plan then taking a walk around town is a good option – you can drop by the grocery to buy fresh veggies for your next detox diet meal. Even better if you live within walking distance of a good farmers market where you can find grass fed meats, pastured eggs and fresh vegetables.
Sugar Withdrawal Symptoms
Cutting sugar from your diet isn’t easy, since nearly everything store bought contains way too much sugar how can you avoid that dastardly crystal? And more so what happens if you cut sugar from your diet too fast? If you are a coffee drinker and have gone a few days without your friend Joe you’ll probably recognize a few of these detox symptoms as they can be quite similar to those you’ll experience when quitting sugar.
Fatigue or Insomnia: Since sugar floods the brain with a temporary boost of energy when you cut sugar consumption down your energy levels may fall with it. Over the long term your energy levels will return to normal and most likely even improve, but it may take a few days to a few weeks of sluggishness before you can party like a rock star. On the flip side sugar detoxing can mess with your sleep patterns preventing you from falling asleep while at the same time you are dealing with fatigue – how unfair right?
Irritability and Mood Swings: Unfortunately for those around you sugar withdrawal may make the crotchety monster rear it’s ugly head. Since sugar effects dopamine (a pleasure chemical in the brain) until dopamine levels even out you may feel edgy and cranky. Also feelings of low grade depression or anxiety may surface along with anger (GIVE ME MY DONUT NOW).
Headaches or Flu-like Symptoms: Any detox can cause you to feel crummy before you feel better and removing sugar is the same. For anyone with a sugar sensitivity throbbing temple tumblers, the shakes and over all fluey feelings can be pretty normal. Usually they won’t last more than a few days until your body chemicals regulate from the sugar rush.
If you are giving up sugar or attempting a no sugar diet professional guidance can go a long way to helping lessen those sugar detox symptoms.
Here is a news interview with Christa Orecchio a holistic nutritionist where she discusses overcoming sugar addiction, the 21-Day sugar detox diet and why sugar is a four letter word (okay so it’s 5 letters but you know what I mean)
One of the shocking facts she mentions is that in the US the average person eats 158 pounds of sugar per year!!!