Is the jar of cookies taunting you, the pastry in the fridge seducing you and the box of mithai tantalising your senses with its fragrance? After fighting a long and hard battle with your cravings, you might just eventually give in to your guilty pleasure. Well, whether it is to stay fit or to keep a check on blood sugar levels, everyone wants to curb their sweet tooth. So, here are some easy and effective ways in which you can reduce your sugar cravings and intake.
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Cut sugar from your breakfast
Instead of eating a jam or marmalade sandwich, go for a stuffed vegetable sandwich. Substitute the sweet breakfast cereal with oatmeal and eat it without sugar. Add more protein in your diet, like eggs and fish. Proteins stimulate your energy and boost your mood. Also, ditch those juice boxes for fresh fruit juices. Juice cartons contain lots of sugar. So, a healthy breakfast should be your starting point!
Get natural sweetness of fruit
Fruits like grapes, mango and spodilla (chikoo) contain a lot of natural sugar, which can satisfy your craving. Always store fresh fruits in your fridge and eat them when you need a sugar rush. It is definitely a healthier option as well.
Eat green vegetables
Broccoli, spinach, asparagus, coriander and other green vegetables are a good source of magnesium, which helps to reduce your body's sugar cravings. Green vegetables, with their slightly bitter taste, are known to reduce your longing for sugar. (Also read on 8 Healthy Foods that Help You Live Longer)
Indulge in fats
Fats, surprisingly, are good for you if you are looking to reduce sugar in your diet. Fats slow down the release of sugar in your blood, thus stabilising your blood sugar levels. So, add some cheese, nuts, olive oil and avocado in your diet to reduce your sugar pangs. This also helps to reduce depression and anxiousness, which are the most common reasons for sugar cravings.
Combine sweet with something healthy
On days when you sugar urges seem uncontrollable, drizzle your fruit salad with a little cream, dip a strawberry in a chocolate fondue or have oatmeal with a little honey. It is a good idea to combine sweets with something healthy. This ensures that you get some nutrients along with the calories. However, do not make this a regular habit.
Spice up your food!
To leave your sugar cravings behind, learn to fall in love with spices. Spices add a dimension to your food and help you get your sugar cravings under control. Spices like nutmeg, cloves, cardamom, coriander, and cinnamon add natural sweetness to your food. So, add at least one of these spices to your dishes, be it the curries, vegetables, rice or even salad dressing.
Eat at regular intervals
Many a times, when you are busy, you tend to skip your meal and pick up some processed food, instead. But this is a huge mistake. Your body needs a set number of calories daily and when it does not get it, it starts craving for sugar. Remember, sugar provides your body with instant energy boost, along with the harmful calories. That is why you must eat food at regular intervals.
Go out in the sun
Vitamin D helps to produce serotonin, the ‘feel-good’ hormone, which controls the desire for sugar. It also reduces cortisol which is the anxiety hormone of your body that tends to push you towards sugar and fat cravings. So, wake up every morning and go for a walk to soak in as much sunlight as possible.
Get enough sleep
If you don’t sleep well for at least 8 hours, you tend to feel irritable and exhausted. Your brain produces ghrelin, a chemical that increases your longing for sugar. Also, leptin, a chemical, which tells your body to stop eating, is suppressed when you have insufficient sleep. Well, it is a perfect recipe for disaster! Your exhausted body will crave for sugar to receive instant energy boost. So, good sleep helps to keep your sugar cravings under check. (Also find out What Your Sleeping Position Says about You)
Give in a little!
Remember, you do not have to cut down sugar completely from your diet. It is okay to give in a little once in a while. But, in order to ensure that you are not bingeing, maintain a sugar diary. Write down whenever you eat something sweet. This will tell you if you are consuming sugar too quickly.
Reducing your sugar cravings is a long and difficult process. But for your health and fitness, you need to realise that excessive sugar craving is indeed a problem. So, use these tips to crub your sugar cravings, now!