3 Tips to Help Fight Sugar Cravings
There is nothing wrong with indulging in sweets every once in a while – the problem comes when we overconsume.
Unfortunately, it’s too easy to overdo the sugar intake because sugar is added to many everyday processed foods, including bread, yogurt, juices, and sauces.
The average American consumes around 19.5 teaspoons (82g) of added sugar every day, which comes out to 66 pounds every year1 – the recommended daily allowance is about 6 teaspoons (25g) per day for women and 9 teaspoons (38g) for men!
Why should you care? Consuming too much sugar can have a range of negative effects on your body: Weight gain, fat building up around your liver and a higher risk of diabetes and heart disease. This makes limiting sugary snacks very important in order to maintain a balanced diet.
Tame Your Sugar Cravings
Treat yourself – a little! Cutting out sugar altogether isn’t a good long-term strategy. Eat a bit of what you’re craving, maybe a small cookie or a fun-size candy bar. Dark chocolate is an even better choice – packed with antioxidants, it’s been shown to actually improve health and lower the risk of heart disease! Savoring just a little of your favorite treat can help you avoid that feeling of being denied. Remember, the key is to not overdo it. Read the nutritional information posted on the packaging and keep the daily empty calories from sugary treats to a minimum.
Eat regularly. Regular small meals every three hours can help stabilize your blood sugar and stave off cravings. Waiting too long between meals may set you up to choose sugary, fatty foods that cut your hunger.
Take a walk. When a sugar craving hits, walk away. It is easy for your mind to fixate on one thing as you remain still, but changing the scenery will help take your mind off the food you’re craving. After a few minutes, your craving should subside.
The most important tip we can give is to go easy on yourself. There will be times that it will be difficult to curb cravings. It will take time to get a handle on your sugar cravings. As long as you stick to it and progressively decrease your sugar intake, cravings should be easier to conquer over time.
- SugarScience, University of California San Francisco