If you are trying to lose weight then you will need to take control of your sugar intake.
The problem with sugar is that it is high in calories and offers very little nutritional content. It is also highly addictive, which will leave you experiencing even more sugar cravings.
Read on to discover some tips that really work to cut your intake.
#1: Read the labels
When you buy food it is important that you spend just a little time looking at the label so that you know beforehand what it contains.
What you need to avoid are any “added sugar”, which is often named something else. Often those ingredients that end in “ose” usually.
Other forms of added sugar that you should avoid include:
- Corn syrup
#2: Eat more protein
If you eat protein you will find that you will suffer fewer food cravings in general, not just sugar cravings.
This is because protein is slow to digest, so keeps you feeling fuller for longer. Also, as the energy is released at a slower rate than when sugar is digested you will be able to avoid the subsequent crash.
#3: Eat more often
Eating larger meals will cause a huge rise in your blood sugar levels, which will ultimately crash, leading to further sugar cravings.
When you eat smaller meals but more often your blood sugar levels will remain more constant so you shouldn’t experience the crash.
#4: Add more fibre to your diet
Fibre is extremely filling so if you add more fibre to your diet you should cut down on your cravings for not only sugar but food overall.
Good sources of fibre include oatmeal, whole wheat and sweet potatoes.
#5: Clear your home of sweets
If you are unable to resist the temptation of sweets then it is best to remove them from your home.
Sugar is addictive so just the one can lead to more cravings.
#6: Keep fruit to hand
Fruit contains sugar, but it is not artificial and they also contain other beneficial nutrients like fibre.
It is the fibre content of fruit that slows down the absorption of carbohydrates so they wont cause such a sudden rise in your blood sugar levels.
Just avoid fruit juices though, as the fibre content has been removed.
#7: Eat good fats
Many people still believe that all fat is bad and should be avoided. Well, this is wrong.
There are various types of fat, some of which you should avoid. However you should try to increase your intake of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
These are healthy fats that will aid your weight loss efforts, while also improving your health.
You will often find that low-fat foods are high in sugar, so are actually worse for your weight loss efforts.
You can find the right kind of good fat in the following foods:
- Olive oil
Just stick to a handful of nuts though, as they are high in calories.
#8: Use exercise as a distraction
Exercise can help to release feel-good hormones that can help to take your mind off any cravings.
You should exercise if you wish to lose weight. It is also good for your general health too.
#9: Drink more water
Sometimes cravings for food and sugar are actually signs that you are thirsty.
This is why it is recommended that you keep a bottle of water nearby so that you can take a sip the next time you experience any cravings.
Water is the best thing for you to be drinking when you are trying to lose weight. It contains zero calories and can curb your appetite, which makes it the perfect alternative to those sugary soft drinks.
#10: Sneak some dark chocolate
A method you may want to use to satisfy your sweet tooth could be by eating a little dark chocolate, just not too much.
Dark chocolate is a better alternative than milk chocolate and can actually help with your food cravings too.
This is because it contains phenylethylamine that helps to raise serotonin levels in your body. This is the feel good hormone that will leave you feeling happy and with fewer cravings.
When choosing which dark chocolate to buy, it is best to choose one with the most cocoa content, preferably at least 70%.
The more cocoa present the better.
#11: Cut back on artificial sweeteners
Research has shown that artificial sweeteners can actually cause an increase in sugar cravings.
Again check the labels and avoid anything with the following ingredients listed:
#12: Increase your chromium intake
Chromium is a chemical that is found naturally in broccoli, black pepper, oats and tomatoes amongst others.
It can be used to maintain the balance of your blood sugar levels, so can therefore reduce sugar cravings.
If you do not get enough chromium from your diet there are supplements available, however they are not recommended for diabetics as they may lower blood sugar levels.
#13: Use a little cinnamon
Rather than using sugar or artificial sweeteners to sweeten your cereal and beverages use a little cinnamon instead.
It has been shown to help regulate blood sugar levels. It can also cut the insulin spikes and help control your LDL cholesterol levels.
#14: Get plenty of sleep
If you are not getting enough sleep each night (7 hours minimum) then you will no doubt be feeling tired the following day.
In an attempt to increase your energy levels you may reach for an energy drink of chocolate.
However, these are full of sugar that may give you a quick boost will only leave you craving more sugar.
My suggestion to you would be to do something to take your mind off the initial craving, and to try and get more sleep in the future.