If you want to lose weight, it is essential that you reduce your added sugar intake. By added sugar, I mean the stuff added to many processed foods and in things like cakes, cookies, and candies rather than the sugar naturally present in foods like fruit.
Kicking the sugar habit can often lead to cravings.
Sugar cravings can be very VERY powerful. Trust me, when I gave up added sugar for almost a month (my story here), the first few days were TOUGH!
However, once you get over the first few days, you’ll soon find your sugar cravings disappear altogether.
Here are SEVEN great ways you can fight your own sugar cravings. Remember though, even if you do suffer a craving, it won’t last very long. If you can be tough and hold out, it will often go away by itself. However, if you feel like your sugar cravings are getting the better of you, try these tricks…
1. Eat some fruit
Fruit contains natural sugar in the form of fructose. Fructose is very unlikely to cause you problems like added sugar can as it goes directly to your liver and doesn’t have a big impact on blood glucose levels. Also, fruit is high in fiber and vitamins and minerals so very healthy. Added sugar is refined and devoid of any healthy nutrients.
Eating an apple, banana, a pear, some pineapple, or any other fruit can help eliminate your sugar cravings. Make sure you eat it slowly and also limit your fruit intake to just a couple of pieces a day.
If you want a real treat, take some grapes and freeze them. Eat them straight from the freezer for a cool, refreshing and sweet treat that have to be eaten slowly. Frozen banana chunks work well too.
2. Try a sugar-free dessert
Sugar-free desserts are sweet without containing lots of added sugar. Here are some great recipes to try! These are some of my very own tried-and-tested favorites so you know they are going to taste good.
While I don’t think you should get into the habit of eating a sugar-free dessert every day, having the occasional sugar-free treat when you are suffering from a bad bout of sugar cravings can really help.
When I quit added sugar, like you, I suffered my fair share of cravings. One of the best ways I found to beat those cravings was to distract myself. By thinking about something other than food, I soon found I forgot all about sugar and my cravings soon went away. Anything you can do that takes your mind off your cravings is good but here are a few ideas…
- Go for a walk
- Make a phone call
- Write an email or letter
- Clean your house
- Wash your car
- Do some exercise
- Organize your CDs or books
- Do your ironing
- Play with your kids
- Drink some fruit (fruit smoothies here) or herbal tea
Anything you can do that takes your mind of your sugar craving is beneficial so long as it’s healthy!
4. Drink water
Many sugar cravings come from simple boredom; people eat more when they are bored. Instead of eating, try drinking water. It gives you something to do and also helps speed up fat loss while keeping you rehydrated.
If you want something a bit tastier, add the juice of half a lemon or lime.
If you drink water whenever you suffer from a sugar craving, you’ll end up doing something very good rather than very bad for your health.
5. Chew sugar-free gum
Sugar-free gum contains artificial sweeteners which are, by many people, deemed to be unhealthy. But, in very small amounts, like in sugar-free chewing gum, they are not really a problem – especially compared to sugar!
The next time you suffer a sugar craving, try chewing a stick of sugar-free gum. There are lots of flavors to choose from, from fruity to minty, so try a few different ones to find your favorite.
6. Wait five minutes
When sugar cravings strike, they can be very convincing. So much so that many of us will give into our sugar cravings the instant they show up.
However, instead of giving in so fast, use a timer and resist for five minutes. During that time, ask yourself “do I really need that sugar”. Think about the dangers of eating sugar and why not giving into your cravings will be so good.
Once your five minutes is up, try and resist for another five minutes. Hey – look – you are still alive! Nothing bad happened to you just because you didn’t eat sugar. And guess what, nothing bad will happen if you can hang tough for another five more minutes and five more minutes after that.
You don’t have to give up sugar forever – just the next five minutes. Keep on being tough five minutes at a time and you will eventually win over your cravings.
7. Make sure you home is sugar-free!
Even if you use all these tips, you still may be tempted to give into your sugar craving. In case your willpower lets you down and you feel you MUST have some sugary foods, make sure your home is sugar-free.
Before you start eating a low-sugar diet, take the time to cleanse your house of all added sugar food. Read the labels of the food in your kitchen and make sure it has no sugar added in it.
Once your house is clear of sugar, it will be much more difficult to break your diet and grab a sugary snack. Replace all the added sugar foods with healthy, sugar-free foods instead.
Sugar is one of the most addictive substances in the world and the food industry add it to your food to make you eat more of it. Don’t let them derail your weight loss efforts and make you unhealthy. Instead, say NO to added sugar. Your health, your teeth, and your weight will soon improve if you do.