Do you have a sweet tooth but would like to reduce your sugar intake? Join the back of the queue! Or do you have that urge to stuff your mouth with all the sweetness the world has to offer but on a milder dosage? Still at the back of the queue!!
Here are 6 tips to reduce the sweet taste of your sugar cravings.
- Add more natural sugars: Consume foods that curb sugar cravings. This way you tend to eat less sugar. Artificial sweeteners only increase sugar cravings. Instead, try natural sugars. Although this may be tough initially, you will gradually begin to appreciate the taste. Starting with carrots, nuts, and beetroots is a good idea. These indirectly protect your health and help in weight loss too. Fruits are also natural sources that help to reduce sugar cravings in a great way. Hence, include more berries and legumes in your diet. Even lentils have a sweet taste and are rich in protein and fiber. They also give a stomach-filling feeling. Thus, you can avoid hunger-driven sugar cravings. Dates and chewy nuts also compensate for sugar cravings. You can substitute these for a candy. However, ensure that you do not eat too much of these.
- Watch your calorie intake: You should ensure that your body gets the right number of calories. When you deprive your body of the desired number of calories, you begin to feel hungry frequently. You will notice more symptoms of sugar cravings in such cases. Having a healthy meal made from whole grains will reduce hunger pangs and sugar cravings. These stay in the bloodstream longer. Hence, the body gets the necessary energy and fatigue levels will be low. Automatically the sugar requirement for the body too will come down.
- Read the labels: Many do not understand the importance of reading food labels. Ignoring this can result in consuming more hidden sugars. In most foods that you consume daily such as bread, cereals, etc. a whole lot of added sugars are present. Reading the label can help you understand the nutritional facts about the food you eat. It makes you more health-conscious. Once you care for your health, sugar temptations would be low. You can switch to more fruits, nuts, and vegetables. Further, you should restrict the purchase of store-bought foods, which are usually high in sugar content.
- Substitute sugars with spices: Research reveals that few spices have the ability to control your sugar cravings. This, in turn, prevents increased sugar consumption. Adding these spices to your desserts can reduce the amount of sugar usage as well. For example, adding cinnamon to yogurt gives it a natural sweet flavoring, which you can have without adding any extra sugar.
- Check your sodium consumption & vitamin deficiencies: Ironically, we think that sugary foods increase sugar cravings. However, salty foods to produce the same effect. You tend to consume more sodium, especially when you consume fast food, meat, fish, etc. from restaurants and other eateries. Further, vitamin deficiencies can also cause sugar cravings. For example, vitamin D deficiency makes a person yearn for sugar. Iron deficiency causes fatigue and to compensate this the body demands more sugar. Similarly, zinc and calcium deficiency too can make you crave more sugar.
- Talk to yourself: When you want to reduce sugar cravings, talk to yourself. Absurd as it may sound but you need to find out what tempts you the most. You can then avoid such things or those situations. For example, if visiting your favorite food outlet makes you want to have ice cream, it is best to avoid it. You should also find out any underlying medical conditions that could result in increased sugar cravings. For instance, people suffering from Type II diabetes or obesity tend to consume more sugars. Various other reasons like stress hormones, insulin resistance, etc. also cause sugar cravings. If you feel something is wrong within your body, then seek medical help. Treating the cause will help solve many problems. Moreover, never skip meals. Instead, have five to six small low-calorie healthy meals a day.
Cutting down on sugar can initially cause a lot of discomforts including anxiety, headache, muscle pain, frequent hunger pangs, and more. However, these feelings begin to subside when you continue to ignore cravings.