Stop sugar cravings now with these simple tricks
Whether it’s the energy rush you feel or the taste of something sweet, our reasons for reaching for the candy drawer run the gamut. However, too much sugar can negatively impact our overall health and cause damage to our bodies over time. Turning to these simple tricks can help you stop sugar cravings and be a more vibrant, healthier you.
“The easiest way to stop sugar cravings is by planning your meals and including ample natural sugar sources in there,” Tehzeeb Lalani, licensed nutritionist and founder of ScaleBeyondScale.com said. “If your body cells are nourished with nutrients constantly (by eating small meals every few hours), there won’t be a sugar craving to deal with in the first place.”
Don’t get us wrong–craving sugar is normal. Satisfying that sweet tooth can be achieved in a healthy way without packing your body with useless calories with these three tips:
Keep Your Kitchen Stocked
Staying fortified throughout the day is a great first step to maintaining a balanced, filling diet–without reaching for the doughnuts.
Lalani said, “The best thing one can do is eat every 2-3 hours so that the blood sugar is steady and stable. A lot of blood sugar induces sugar cravings since our body wants to fill up the calorie deficit that has been created quickly.”
Certain foods are natural powerhouses in keeping sugar cravings at bay. Lalani suggests keeping the following handy:
“Tomatoes are a nutritional superhero and one of the best foods to eat on a regular basis if you want to curb sugar cravings,” said Lalani. “Along with romaine lettuce and onions, tomatoes are up there at the top of the list of the most chromium-rich foods.”
In addition, tomatoes are a great source of serotonin, which is great news as studies suggest that decreases in serotonin levels can cause us to crave sugar. Serotonin is a chemical that functions as a neurotransmitter helping brain cells and other nervous system cells to communicate with one another.
Cinnamon has extraordinary properties that can help keep sugar cravings at bay. Lalani said, “A mere half a teaspoon of cinnamon per day has been shown to be very effective at normalizing blood sugar levels and reducing food cravings.”
“The main active ingredient in cinnamon is called hydroxychalcone which is thought to enhance the effect of insulin,” said Lalani. “Cinnamon also appears to prevent post-meal blood sugar spikes by slowing the gastric emptying rate (GER), which means that the food remains in the stomach longer.”
Eggs are an incredibly versatile food that you can prepare dozens of ways. The best part? They’re excellent for curbing sugar cravings! Filled with protein, eggs are one of the most fulfilling foods and can reduce high levels of calorie intake (1). One study showed that after 8 weeks, subjects who replaced their typical bagel breakfast with eggs saw a massive reduction in waist circumference (2).
“Eggs are a great source of B complex vitamins which are known for their ability to control sugar cravings. Research conducted at the Rochester Centre for Obesity in America found that eating eggs for breakfast could limit the calorie intake throughout the rest of the day by more than 400 calories,” Lalani said. “With all that and the fact that they taste great too — whether boiled, poached, or scrambled – it is definitely worth including eggs in your diet.”
Eat Frequently Throughout the Day
Getting into the habit of eating smaller meals throughout the day, rather than three larger meals, is a great way to keep from reaching for a sugary snack.
Lalani said, “The best thing one can do is eat every 2-3 hours so that the blood sugar is steady and stable. A lot blood sugar induces sugar cravings since our body wants to fill up the calorie deficit that has been created quickly.”
Lalani suggests consuming foods with natural sugars throughout the day such as fresh fruit, yogurt, figs, and dates to help curb those cravings for cookies and cupcakes. Try snacking on some make-ahead fruit leather containing fruit and natural sweeteners.
Taking the time to plan meals ahead of time helps to stop sugar cravings for sugar since you can actively include ample natural sugar sources.
“If your palette is sweet with these natural foods and your body cells are nourished with nutrients constantly (by eating small meals every few hours), there won’t be a sugar craving to deal with in the first place,” Lalani said.
Knowing what you will be eating throughout the week allows for healthier choices so that you are prepared with snacks like fruits and vegetables, rather than heading to the office vending machine for a candy bar.
(1) Paddon-Jones D, Westman E, Mattes RD, Wolfe RR, Astrup A, Westerterp-Plantenga M. “Protein, weight management, and satiety.” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2008 May;87(5):1558S-1561S.
(2) Wal, Js Vander, A. Gupta, P. Khosla, and N. V. Dhurandhar. “Egg breakfast enhances weight loss.” International Journal of Obesity32.10 (2008): 1545-551. Web.