Experiencing sugar cravings regularly is quite common. This is one of the main reasons it can be so hard to stick to a healthy diet.
Consuming too much sugar significantly increases the risk of life-shortening diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
Eliminating these cravings and cutting back on added sugar is quite hard. Sweet foods decoy us at every turn, and for many people, eating these foods is a habit associated with ease and festivity and, a lot of times, stress and near addiction.
Why Do We Crave Sugar?
Sugar cravings happen because of numerous reasons, such as hormonal changes, psychological reasons and various habits.
When we consume food containing sugar, a neurotransmitter known as dopamine is released into the brain, this is called a “happiness” chemical — it makes us feel delighted.
Sugar cravings are one of the body’s ways of telling us it requires a “dopamine dose.”
Moreover, magnesium deficiency can cause sugar cravings because it regulates glucose and insulin levels and dopamine neurotransmitters. The lack can lead to intense sugar cravings.
There are many ways by which we can curb our desire for sugars without going off a healthy diet.
16 Ways To Reduce Sugar Cravings
1. Balancing Our Diet
Having a balanced meal full of proteins, vitamins, fibres, carbohydrates and fats will keep you full for longer and reduce your urge to consume sugar. A balanced diet has various other benefits such as increased immunity, building the body stronger and increasing our stamina and energy.
2. Adding Spices
Spices like coriander, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and cardamom naturally sweeten the foods and reduce cravings. Spices and herbs not only act as an alternative to sugar but provide various perks as well. They act as an immune booster, enhance our immunity, fight against cold and influenza infections during winters, and add taste to the food.
3. Being Attentive Towards The Patterns
Noticing and following the patterns is crucial. Keeping a check on time and our body’s reactions and stimuli is essential. Keep track of your time and observe when you usually crave sugar. Eat a protein snack or protein-filled food at that time instead of something sweet.
4. Taking Some Time Off
Take a rest and take some time. Distract yourself and indulge in other activities. Listen to music, dance, read a novel or do anything. These will not only uplift your mood but also help you forget about your cravings.
5. Listening To Our Body
Listen to your body’s needs and think about what the body wants, such as instead of eating chocolates, toffees, or candies, go for fruits and nuts to fulfil the desire for sugar. Swapping unhealthy foods rich in refined sugars and carbohydrates with natural resources like fruits helps fulfil the desire and supplies many nutrients to the body. But try taking everything in moderate amounts.
6. Eating A Wholesome Healthy Meal
Have a whole, healthy meal instead of a processed meal—a whole, healthy meal consisting of proteins, carbohydrates, fats and fibres in the proper proportions. Having a whole meal instead of processed food will provide adequate amounts of nutrients and will help in reducing your cravings since you will be full.
7. Take A Hot Shower
Anecdotal reports suggest that hot showers or baths may be effective at stopping cravings. We crave food when we feel low and drained out. Hence having a hot shower will make you feel better and will curb your sugar craving. Moreover, it will refresh you, and you will be pretty energised.
8. Try Walking
Going for a brisk walk or running may help reduce cravings. Going for a brisk walk or running may help reduce cravings. Walking or movement distracts us, and we don’t think about cravings and other stuff. Walking or performing exercises or cardiovascular activities will aid in diminishing cravings and will also burn calories.
9. Stay Hydrated
Dehydration can cause a feeling of craving. Our body easily gets fooled between dehydration and hunger. Therefore staying hydrated may help in eliminating the sugar cravings. Moreover, dehydration has various disadvantages and can lead to severe health hazards. Hence staying hydrated is very necessary.
10. Consume Fruits
Consuming a piece of fruit may help satisfy sugar cravings for a few people. Fruits are naturally rich in sugar that is healthy, and good for health. Fruits are rich in fructose which is the simplest form of natural sugar and doesn’t add up as empty calories in our body. Hence fruits are a fantastic way to kill those cravings.
11. Maintain A Healthy Sleep Cycle
A night of good sleep is necessary for overall body functioning. Hence having an excellent 7-hour sleep every day will help in reducing sugar cravings. A night of disturbed sleep can lead to weight gain, improper digestion and various other health problems. Therefore a healthy sleep cycle is primarily essential.
12. Eat More Protein
Protein is great for satiety, and it may help with cravings as well. It keeps you full for a longer duration of time. Hence incorporating proteins in the diet helps a lot in decreasing sugar cravings.
13. Avoid Artificial Sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners may sound attractive and a sugar substitute, but they do not lessen the sugar cravings and might trigger the cravings. Advertisements and companies gimmick and fool you to buy the sweeteners. They add up in our body and have empty calories that accumulate as fat beneath the adipose tissues and can lead to various health hazards.
14. Avoid Starving
Eat a proper diet: breakfast, lunch, and dinner, including mid snacks in between. Skipping food is never a solution. Don’t starve yourself, as it might cause a sudden urge to binge eat. Binge eating can lead to guilt, and then you are trapped in a vicious cycle of guilt eating and overeating. Therefore it is royally recommended not to starve yourself.
15. Take A Multivitamin
Vitamin deficiencies can make cravings worse. Certain nutrients seem to improve blood sugar control, including chromium, Vitamin B3 and magnesium. Hence taking multivitamins helps in curbing the sugar desire.
16. Avoid Stress
Excessive stress might cause a sudden increase in sugar cravings; hence it is advised to reduce stress to eliminate sugar cravings. Taking some time for yourself and regularly exercising and meditation helps in mitigating stress. If you are too stressed out, seeking medical help is appreciated.
Sugar cravings happen to almost everyone. Almost everyone got a sweet tooth. Consuming too much sugar might cause various diseases such as obesity and many cardiovascular diseases. Sugar craving also happens due to magnesium deficiency, which causes the release of dopamine hormone.
There are various ways by which one can eliminate the sugar craving, such as doing exercises for having a healthy diet and having a proper sleep pattern. Distressing and hydrating helps in curbing sugar cravings.