Even if you typically eat a healthy diet, it can be extremely hard not to overindulge on sweets during the holiday season! And the thing about sugar is that it can be highly addictive. That means, the more you eat of it, the more your body and brain can crave it, and prompt you to get your “fix.”
In this article, we’ll reveal some smart ways to avoid sugar cravings (both now during the holidays, but also come January, when you’re still craving the sweet stuff and can’t figure out why)! The truth is, your cravings don’t have to control you, even though it may feel as if they do. How do you stop sugar cravings when they’re pulling you down?! Read on to find out…
Why You Crave Sugar 101
It’s no secret that eating sugar makes you feel delightful (at first), since when you eat it, it can activate the brain’s reward system, releasing dopamine, a “feel good” hormone. Dopamine is associated with pleasure and motivation, and can make you feel like you’re quite simply dancing on cloud nine.
These intense feelings of pleasure are remembered by the brain, which eventually can give you the idea that when you’re feeling low, sugar will do the trick. The problem is that the good feeling sugar gives usually only lasts a short time, and eventually, you can build up a tolerance to it. You start to need more and more of it to get the same effect… and so begins the problem of sugar "addiction"!
Studies actually show that sugar activates the exact same reward system in the brain that highly-addictive drugs do! Some of these studies even elude that because of this, sugar can be just as addictive as these substances – so you can see how this presents a major hurdle in staying on track with your health goals.
As you already know, sugar is not so good for you, for more reasons than one. In fact, it may be one of the worst ingredients in the human diet for health, and overconsumption can lead to weight gain, obesity and other diseases. Not to mention, that once the good “sugar rush” feeling goes away, you my be left with a blood sugar crash that can leave you tired, fatigued, and moody.
Want to break your sugar addiction cycle? Stay tuned because we’re going to show you some great strategies to avoid sugar cravings, and get back in control of your health. Let’s look at 3 easy things you can do to get ahead of this bad health habit, starting today…
3 Strategies to Avoid Sugar Cravings
1) Eat Foods That Can Help Curb Sugar Cravings
Although there are lots of foods that can help curb sugar cravings, one of the best options is to eat plenty of healthy fats throughout your day. High-fat foods may be higher in calories than low-fat ones, but they fill you up more quickly – and have “lasting” power to keep you satisfied until your next meal, so you don’t reach for unhealthy, sugary snacks.
Some of the best healthy fats include oils (coconut, olive, avocado, MCT), grass-fed butter, seeds (such as chia, flax and sesame), nuts and nut butters, and full-fat dairy. In addition, other foods that can help curb sugar cravings through increasing satiety include high-protein foods like chicken, fish, eggs, and meal replacement shakes - Also, naturally-sweet fresh fruits including berries; and small amounts of dried fruits (with no added sugar), such as prunes or cranberries can help satisfy your sugar cravings in a more nutritious way.
2) Choose a Smarter Beverage
Next up, if you think your sugar problem starts and ends with what you eat, you need to also consider the things that you drink. In particular, many juices aren’t actually nutritious beverages. Even though they do contain nutrients and antioxidants, they’re lacking in dietary fiber, and are extremely high in sugar. The type of sugar in fruits is known as fructose, and drinking too much fructose in liquid form (without the addition of fiber) can be the opposite of healthy!
And that leads us to our next problem with juice… it’s far too easy to consume large quantities of it, taking in loads of sugar all at once. You may be fueling your sugar addiction without even knowing it! To help avoid sugar cravings in between meals, cut out or cut down on fruit juices, and any other beverages that contain added sugar.
Instead, opt for drinks such as regular H2O, flavored sparkling waters, and herbal teas. Still want your juice? Try 310 Superfood Juice, a green juice powder you add into water that has no sugar or artificial sweeteners, while providing 70+ whole food nutrients in each serving!
3) Have a Healthier Afternoon Snack
Sometime between lunch and dinner, you may experience a dip in energy that can make you more vulnerable to reaching for a piece of candy or other sugary treat for a quick pick-me-up. If you want to know a way that can help stop sugar cravings in the evening, it’s time to reach for something smarter to hold you over until dinner…
The best afternoon snack is one that is balanced, with healthy fats, good protein, and healthy carbs. Some great options include peanut butter on whole wheat crackers, celery dipped in hummus, and non-sweetened Greek yogurt with berries. Even if what you’re craving is a chocolate bar, try to satisfy that craving in a healthier way - like adding a small amount of dark chocolate to your yogurt or having a chocolate 310 Shake. This will ensure you’re fueling your body, while also allowing you to honor your cravings!
As another tip for how to satisfy sugar cravings in the evening, try a healthy 310 Detox Tea or 310 Lemonade! These great-tasting, health-promoting beverages have naturally sweet flavor to help you get through your afternoons without the need for sugar.
Ready to face your sugar cravings head-on and win?! Or, maybe you’re ready to say goodbye to sugar altogether? Check out this article revealing our Top 10 Tips for Quitting Sugar and being happier and healthier in the process.
What tip to avoid sugar cravings are you excited to implement first? Let us know in the comments, below.
Sources:https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/3-step-plan-to-stop-sugar-cravings https://www.ted.com/talks/johann_hari_everything_you_think_you_know_about_addiction_is_wrong?referrer=playlist-new_thoughts_on_addiction https://blog.ted.com/the-science-of-willpower-kelly-mcgonigal-on-why-its-so-dang-hard-to-stick-to-a-resolution/ https://lilynicholsrdn.com/addicted-to-food/ https://theconversation.com/fact-or-fiction-is-sugar-addictive-73340 https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/foods-that-fight-sugar-cravings#section5