Lets face it – sugar cravings are complicated!
Whether we are at the grocery store, at a party, or at an event, sugar is usually there. Sometimes it’s right in plain sight and other times it’s hidden and harder to identify.
If you are ready to finally kick your sugar cravings, here are some tips to successfully say bye-bye to them once and for all!
Take a little break from sugar.
The first necessary step in tackling sugar cravings is to eliminate the culprit altogether. This will give you the chance to break the cycle, stop the cravings and regain control.
Do a 10 day sugar cleanse and eliminate all sugar for that time. This is generally enough time to get cravings under control.
Balance blood sugars through food.
The rise and fall of our blood sugars can cause us to keep craving more.
Eating a balanced, healthy diet will reduce your cravings for sugar drastically. Always be sure to include:
- Healthy fats
These key players will help keep your blood sugars balanced and stabilized throughout the day. When consuming something with sugar (i.e., fruit), always make sure to pair it with adequate protein, fat or fiber to slow the entry of that sugar into the bloodstream to reduce a quick spike in your blood sugars.
Don’t skip meals.
Skipping meals leaves you vulnerable to sugar cravings. It causes a dip in blood sugars that can trigger unwanted cravings.
Plan to eat every 3-4 hours. If you are out during a meal or snack time, bring something with you on the go – mini quiches, hard boiled eggs, nuts and a piece of fruit or a protein bar are typically our go to’s.
Get to know your food labels.
It is so important to learn to recognize what sugar is on a food label.
Anything ending in “ose” such as glucose, fructose, sucrose, and dextrose are all sugars. It is also important to remember that ingredient labels always list their ingredients from the most to least amount, so if sugar is listed near the top, then the sugar is most likely plentiful.
Corn syrup or high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is another particularly bad source of sugar as it causes the most rapid rise of blood sugar levels.
Sugar substitutes that end in “ol” such as xylitol, glycerol, sorbitol, malitol, mannitol and erythritol are used as an alternative to sugars. These are incompletely absorbed in the small intestine and provide fewer calories but can cause problems with bloating, diarrhea and gas.
Sucralose (splenda) or aspartame are not sugars but are chlorinated artificial sweeteners that can be detrimental to health, as well as contribute to more cravings for real sugar.
Swap for healthier alternatives
Once sugar cravings are under control, you can begin to incorporate more natural sugars in moderation.
- Coconut sugar
- Raw honey
- Natural maple syrup
- Raw cane sugar
- Monk fruit drops
- Unsweetened coconut flakes
- Unsweetened cacao powder
Dehydration is among one of the most common causes of sugar cravings.
When a craving hits – try having a glass of water or a cup of herbal tea as your first line of defense to tackle the craving.
Some handy foods to have on hand when a sugar craving hits:
- Sweet herbal tea
- Frozen fruit
- Skinny chews
- Mini container of unsweetened apple sauce
- Natural gum or mints
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