Sugar cravings are one of the most common wreckers of a healthy diet. Here are some ways to deal with them.
Manage your blood sugars.
If you eat properly throughout the day and can prevent high and low blood sugars, cravings will diminish. To do this, make sure every meal has a balance of carbohydrates, protein and (healthy) fat. If you skip carbohydrates, you will likely crave them later in the day. And skipping protein and fat can leave you unsatisfied and cause your blood sugars to spike.
Increase variety of foods.
If you are eating the same thing for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day, you could get bored and turn to sweets. Add variety to your diet by trying new healthy foods that have different textures and tastes.
Don't deprive yourself; embrace your love of food.
Sometimes ignoring a craving can cause you to overeat because you don't feel satisfied. Instead, try to incorporate the food you crave in a healthy way. Mix a handful of dark chocolate chips with some almonds to make a homemade trail mix; use chocolate protein powder to make a healthy smoothie; or roast chickpeas with olive oil and salt to satisfy your salty, crunchy craving. Include small portions of fun foods rather than depriving yourself, which only causes you to crave them more later on.
Plan things to do during down time.
When you're bored or upset, your emotions can get the best of you and increase your cravings. Food is a comfort and something to do, and cravings are usually heightened during down time. Come up with a list of five things you can do and turn to them when you are not actually hungry. Examples include going for a walk or jog, fixing or building something around your house, reading a book and doing yardwork.
If you are not getting adequate sleep, or you feel like stress is getting the best of you, your body will crave sugar to try to wake up. Find ways to cope with stress and unwind each night. A mini-stretching/relaxation session might help, or journal your thoughts and observations for the day.
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