Anyone with a sweet tooth will understand that cravings for sugar are hard to beat. However, controlling intake is important for everyone, especially people who are diabetic or pre-diabetic. The medical community finally accepts that sugar is one of the main causes of a number of medical conditions such as heart disease, obesity, diabetes and tooth decay. However, it can be very difficult to control blood sugar as almost all packaged and junk food has high levels of it. Also, sugar has addictive properties similar to drugs or alcohol, making it almost impossible for addicts to function without their daily dose of sweets or chocolate. Sheer willpower is often just not enough to combat these sugar cravings. Check out the following 5 tips, as even if it’s just one of them that helps you, it’ll be worth it.
5. Cut Down on Artificial Sweeteners
While artificial sweeteners seem like a healthier option as they have zero calories, they are a bad choice in the long run. Sweeteners such as aspartame and sucralose can actually increase your cravings for sugar, as they decrease the brain’s dopamine levels, leaving the body with intense and uncontrollable cravings for sugar. This creates a vicious cycle where you keep consuming sugar and sweeteners. Instead eliminate artificial sweeteners from your diet completely and replace them with healthier, natural sweeteners such as honey, molasses or even maple syrup.
4. Sweeten with Cinnamon
Take things a step further and replace honey and sugar with cinnamon. This spice will impart a rich flavour in your desserts, with just a hint of sweetness. You can use powdered cinnamon with most desserts, coffee, and even smoothies. Besides adding flavor and helping you curb your cravings for sugar, having half a teaspoon of cinnamon every day also helps lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Bonus!
3. Get Enough Sleep
Make sure you get at least 8 hours of sleep each night. Sleep deprivation can create an imbalance in the hormones that control hunger. Also, a lack of sleep can obviously make you feel tired, cranky and lethargic. This, in turn, can make you opt for to sugar to feel alert and energetic. A lack of sleep can also You will also feel hungrier, and more likely to reach for sweets and packaged foods.
2. Eat a High Protein Breakfast
If you start the day without a full breakfast, you’ll be more likely to be reaching for doughnuts, chocolates, and sweets before noon. Having a protein-rich meal in the morning helps regulate your blood sugar for the rest of the day. Eggs, yoghurt, and bananas are all good options to keep your sugar levels steady and will keep you full until lunchtime. Other great options are porridge and whole grain cereals.
1. Have Healthy Snacks
Healthy fats are the best options to snack on between meals. It keeps you full and healthy and also has the added bonus of helping to lower your blood cholesterol. Coconut Oil is one such example and just a spoon can leave you feeling full and energetic. You can add it to your baking and even use it to make your own granola bars at home. Other healthy snacks to eat between your main meals include wholegrain foods, raw carrots, celery, nuts, and fruit. Sometimes, simply drinking a large glass of water will do the trick and stave off your hunger.