We’ll be the first to admit that we’ve got sugar cravings! From creamy chocolate to gooey brownies to warm and crisp cookies, we want it all! Sadly, we know that what we want, our body doesn’t. We know that too much sugar is not good for our bodies, but we’re not ready to quit cold turkey, and you shouldn’t have to either. Learning to enjoy sweet treats in moderation is a life skill. And, let’s be honest, a world without chocolate is a world we don’t want to live in. Instead, we’ve opted to search for opportunities to reduce our daily sugar intake and take control of our sugar cravings, and here’s how you can do it too:
#1 Rethink Your Glass
Sugar is very sneaky. It can hide in many different places, especially in beverages! Your glass may contain as much or even more sugar than a candy bar, and you may not even know it. For this reason, whenever possible you should fill your glass with water. But, if you’re not ready to fully transition to the #welovewater club, or if you prefer something a little more flavourful yet lower in sugar, we still have many options for you. You can start by transitioning to the low sugar or no sugar added version of your favourite drink. This simple change can make a significant change in your sugar consumption, without the need for much sacrifice. And, if you don’t love the low sugar or no sugar added version of your favourite drink, there are tons out there for you to choose from. Simply, get out there and start sipping away! Have a taste-testing party if you will! If you’re ready to make a greater commitment to the sugar-free lifestyle, then flavoured water might be your calling. Some low-sugar or sugar-free water drops may be all you need to ditch the sugary drinks for good.
Here are some of our favourites to get you started:
#2 Hit The Snooze Button
Throughout the day (and night), we utilize our brains to control our every move. But, even our brain gets a little tired of calling all the shots and needs some time to sit on the bench and rest. And, as you can predict, this rest time occurs while you’re asleep. A good night’s rest allows your brain to recover from the daily stresses. But, if an inadequate amount of high quality sleep is received, then your brain’s decision making skills can become impaired. One of the decisions that may become compromised is the decision to eat healthily. Since your brain is tired and it operates mainly on glucose (i.e. sugar), it may push you towards sugary, high calorie food to quickly obtain the energy that it needs. For this reason, you are likely to crave more sugary foods when you’re sleep deprived. So, if you’re looking for more reasons to hit the snooze button, this for sure qualifies!
#3 Develop New Stress Coping Mechanisms
You’ve had a stressful day, so you come home and treat yourself to your favourite sweet treat to alleviate the stress. The next time you have a stressful day, you reach for a sweet treat again. And, again, and again. Next thing you know a pattern starts to develop. You, like many, may have unknowingly adopted eating sweets as a stress coping mechanism. Some even develop it at a young age. You can see this occurring when a lollipop is given to a crying child and they instantly stop crying. But, using sweets as a stress alleviator, is not the most effective stress coping mechanism, and it can come with serious health consequences. Is kind of like putting a band-aid on a boo boo--It may mask the problem but it is still there under the surface. And, if you take a closer look, you might be able to see that you’re not entirely sure how to manage your stress. The best thing to do in this situation is to seek professional help from a therapist or a trusted practitioner. They can provide you with strategies that can help you manage stress. Some coping mechanisms that may be helpful are journaling, walking, or talking to a friend.
#4 Eat Balanced Meals
Sugar cravings typically come about when your body is searching for a quick source of energy or dopamine, the happy hormone. Your body releases dopamine when it obtains a reward. And, although dopamine can make you feel good, it can also cause cravings and addictions. Another reason why you may experience sugar cravings is because of sudden, drastic drops in blood sugar. An easy way to control sugar cravings is to ensure to eat enough of each macronutrient (carbs, protein and fat) at each meal. Complex carbohydrates have lots of fiber which slows the release of sugar into the bloodstream and provides energy. Protein is responsible for creating hormones, like dopamine; Consuming a balanced or a high-protein meal, may give your brain the dopamine boost it needs without the need to consume extra sugar and calories. Aside from protein, you’ll also want a good source of fat in your meals. A healthy fat alongside protein and a complex carb will help to regulate your blood sugar levels and prevent sugar cravings.
#5 Swap to Low-Sugar or Sugar-Free Sweets
Like we mentioned above, we don’t want to live in a world where sweets are off-limits. And, the best part is that we don’t have to, and neither do you! Cookies, brownies, cakes, candy, all of these sweet treats are available in less sugar or no sugar added versions. And, we guarantee that you won’t even notice a difference! These less sugar and no sugar added treats are just as good or even better than the real thing!
Here are some low-sugar versions of sweets that are worth trying:
Sugar cravings can make maintaining a healthy diet difficult. Whether your brain is searching for a little pick-me-up or you’re using sweets to relieve stress, sugar addictions are easy to form and can be difficult to break. However, by ensuring to eat balanced meals, resting, and properly managing stress, you can prevent sugar cravings from occurring and reduce your overall sugar intake. Reducing your overall sugar intake is highly beneficial for your body and can improve your health. However, it is important to note that you don’t have to eliminate sugary sweets from your diet. Practicing eating sweets in moderation or switching to less-sugar or sugar-free sweets can help you reap the same benefits of a low sugar diet without having to give up sweets. While learning to moderate sugar, ensure to stock up on delicious less-sugar or no-sugar-added treats for when sugar cravings hit! Shop less sugar sweets here!