This time of year, it's hard to avoid it....
The candy aisle.
Everywhere you look, there are gobs and gobs of fun sized candy bars just calling your name.
Sure, you could talk yourself into indulging by saying that they are prepackaged for portion control, but you have to try and fight it.
The cravings are real. The cravings are strong. It's so hard - especially when the advertisements are everywhere!
How in the world can you crush those sugar cravings with the fall and winter holidays coming up?
Don't fret. We have all the info you need to crush those sugar cravings for good and never look back!
But first, lets start with why we have those sugar cravings in the first place.
WHY WE CRAVE SUGAR
There are many reasons why we go for sweet things.
Your appetite may already be hardwired. Sweet is the first taste humans prefer from birth.
Carbohydrates stimulate the release of the feel-good brain chemical serotonin. Sugar is a carbohydrate, but carbohydrates come in other forms, too, such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
Did you know that sugar and processed foods are as addictive as heroin or cocaine?
The taste of sugar also releases endorphins that calm and relax us and offer a natural "high."
Sweets just taste good, too. And that preference gets reinforced by rewarding ourselves with sweet treats, which can make you crave it even more. With all that going for it, why wouldn’t we crave sugar?
The problem comes not when we indulge in a sweet treat now and then, but when we over-consume, something that’s easy to do when sugar is added to many processed foods, including breads, yogurt, juices and sauces.
Americans have a bit of a sugar problem, averaging about 22 teaspoons of added sugars per day, according to the American Heart Association, which recommends limiting added sugars to about 6 teaspoons per day for women and 9 for men.
So how can we crush those cravings for good and consume less sugar?
HOW-TO CRUSH YOUR CRAVINGS
Sugar seems to be in everything these days - except for whole foods and vegetables, of course.
There are some tried and true ways to overcome those strong cravings that can sometimes take over your life.
Eat regularly. Waiting too long between meals may set you up to choose sugary, fatty foods that cut your hunger. Instead, eating every three to five hours can help keep blood sugar stable and help you avoid irrational eating behavior. Your best bets? Choose protein, fiber-rich foods like whole grains and produce.
Get up and go. When a sugar craving hits, walk away. Take a walk around the block or do something to change the scenery to take your mind off the food you’re craving.
Reach for fruit. Keep fruit handy for when sugar cravings hit. You'll get fiber and nutrients along with some sweetness. Stock up on foods like nuts, seeds, and dried fruits. Have them handy so you reach for them instead of reaching for that sugar-filled treat.
Go cold turkey. Cutting out all simple sugars works for some people, although the initial 48 to 72 hours can be really rough. Some people find that going cold turkey helps their cravings diminish after a few days; others find they may still crave sugar but over time are able to train their taste buds to be satisfied with less.
Skip artificial sweeteners. Artificial sweeteners may sound like a great idea, but they don’t lessen cravings for sugar, in fact, they may make sugar cravings even stronger. Be weary of drinks and foods that claim to be sugar-free because they are usually filled with other fake sugars to make them tasty. This also causes your body to crave more sugar throughout the day, which can send you into a downward spiral.
Stay hydrated. Dehydration is linked to food cravings. You should be drinking about half your body weight in ounces of water daily. If you're not a huge fan of water by itself, add a slice of lemon, lime, grapefruit, orange or even cucumber to your water to improve the taste and gain some other health benefits while you're at it. Check out our Simple Hacks to Stay Hydrated.
Get enough sleep and exercise. When tired, we have the tendency to binge on sugary foods. The solution is to make sure you are getting good, quality sleep on a regular basis (7-9 hours). If you have a difficult time getting to sleep or staying asleep, check out our 11 Tips to Sleep Better & Longer. Exercising regularly will help to boost energy levels and reduce stress. Exercise releases endorphins which boost your mood. This in turn causes you to make better food choices throughout the day.
Drink more OOLONG TEA. Oolong tea can do wonders for your sugar cravings! It has an amazing ability to stabilize blood sugar to keep those cravings from sneaking in throughout the day. Drinking just 2 cups per day is all you need to feel fuller longer, curb carb and sugar cravings and help you make healthier food choices! Soon you won't even think about your kids Halloween candy in the other room and you'll feel healthier and more energetic with the natural energy boost Oolong tea provides.
Sugar is a powerful "drug" that has overtaken the grocery store shelves and your pantry. If you don't read the ingredient labels, you could be consuming an overabundance of sugar each day, which could be adding to your sugar addiction.
Be smart. Take care of yourself and your family by eating more clean, whole foods to avoid the sugar epidemic causing obesity all over the country.
What are some ways you try to avoid those pesky sugar cravings? Let me know in the comments below!
Yours in Health & Happiness,
P.S. For the best craving crusher, pick up a box of Wu-Long Slimming Tea and you won't be disappointed! With all of those holidays coming up, you'll need something to help you stay strong and avoid temptation.