If you’ve experienced the power of a sugar craving (and let’s be honest- who hasn’t!), you won’t be surprised to hear that studies have shown sugar can be even more addictive than certain drugs. That urge to grab a snickers bar when you’re feeling tired, sluggish, or in a funk is almost overpowering.
Over consumption of sugar has been linked to everything from heart disease to cancer, and while there is nothing wrong with the occasional treat, too much sugar can have a serious impact on your physical and emotional well being.
To reduce the amount of sugar in your diet and get off the sugar high/sugar crash train, check out these 5 tips to help cut sugar cravings.
- Reach for naturally sweet foods. Cutting out or reducing refined sugar doesn’t mean you have to give up sweet foods all together! By incorporating naturally sweet foods into your diet, you’ll satisfy your sweet tooth without any negative side effects. My favourites include sweet potatoes, carrots, dates, fruit of any kind, and Ezekiel bread. If you’re used to eating a lot of refined sweets, these natural foods may not taste as sweet at first because your taste buds are used to a flavor overload. As you reduce refined sweets, you’ll begin picking up a wider flavor palate in plant based foods.
- Read labels. Sugar isn’t just found in sweets and desserts- it’s hiding in almost every packaged food. If you’re serious about cutting down on sugar, start reading labels and making more low-sugar choices.
- Chromium helps regulate insulin, and can be effective in curbing sugar cravings. A study done by the Pennington Biomedical Research Center at Louisiana State University found people taking Chromium had less of a desire for sweets and carbohydrates compared to others taking a placebo. Females should take up to 25mcg a day, while males should take up to 35mcg a day. Chromium can be found naturally in foods such as broccoli, natural grape juice and whole grain breads. We recommend seeing your doctor when taking any new supplements to discuss dosage and whether it’s right for your lifestyle.
- Take time for self-care. Often, when we crave sweets, what we’re really craving is more “sweetness” in our lives. Sugary foods offer an immediate dopamine boost and can be a go-to way of cheering ourselves up, but it’s likely not really providing you with what you need. Instead of reaching for a brownie (which will only offers a short term boost), add sweetness to your life in other ways. Make yourself a cup of tea, take a few moments to yourself, listen to relaxing music, or indulge in anything that makes you feel nourished.
- Be easy on yourself. Remember sugar is extremely addictive, and cutting or even reducing sugar from your diet likely won’t happen overnight. Beating yourself up for having extra ice cream or overindulging on dessert is not the least bit productive. Congratulating and being kind to yourself along the way will give you the confidence and support to continue on the journey.