Many of us struggle with overcoming those sugar cravings – you are not alone! Sugar cravings are derived from a variety of reasons, from genetics to lack of sleep to stress, or maybe you’re simply fighting to restrain from the purely addictive nature of sugar. Time to fight back! Let’s gain control over our binges by implementing these tasty strategies that’ll help you conquer any sugar addiction.
Tip #1: Eat Satisfying, Real Meals
This is a lifelong tip to stuff in your back pocket at all times, whether you’re traveling or at home. Eating satisfying, real meals will help you to control your sweet tooth by overcoming it with nutritional elements. A “real” meal can be classified as a balanced-meal with proper amounts of protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats. No matter how many meals you eat throughout the day, make sure you have at least a handful of each of those categories. Slowly, you will start to notice that your sugar cravings are more manageable and sugar is less desirable.
Tip #2: Low-Sugar Alternatives & Homemade Baked Goods
Instead of going cold-turkey on all sweets, try satisfying any sugar cravings with low-sugar alternatives. For instance, try replacing any high-sugar coffee drinks and/or creamers with green tea and honey. Maybe replace those store-bought muffins with homemade banana-sweetened muffins or a fruit salad. Fresh fruit is high in dietary fiber, which can help you better control your blood sugar levels and reduce cholesterol. Another tasty alternative to sweeten your baked goods is using 100% pure maple syrup and/or Medjool dates; both are naturally sweetened and provide added nutrients. There is an abundance of healthier dessert/snack options; you just have to find one that you adore and make it your go-to!
Foods to Fight Your Sugar Cravings:
- Dark Chocolate
More often than not, you’re probably craving a chocolate candy bar. A healthier choice is to choose dark chocolate that contains more than 70% cocoa. Dark Chocolate contains polyphenols that can improve heart health and contains less sugar to help you slowly break your addiction.
- Chia Pudding
Chia seeds are rich in many essential nutrients, including dietary fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. The soluble fiber in chia seeds often helps you feel fuller for a longer time period, aka preventing more sugar cravings later on. A simple chia pudding recipe is to whisk together 2 tablespoons chia seeds, 1 teaspoon honey, and 1/2 cup milk of your choice in a jar. Cover the jar and store in the fridge for at least 2 hours, then enjoy with your favorite fruits on top.
Yogurt is a creamy substitute to ice cream that is high in protein, rich in calcium, and low in sugar. Studies have shown yogurt to regulate individuals’ appetites and control their cravings for sugar over time. When choosing yogurt, search for a nutrition label that shows that it has live cultures and is free of added sugars. For a healthier dessert choice, top 1/2 cup of plain yogurt with a drizzle of maple syrup or honey. For an added crunch, add a very small handful of cacao nibs or dark chocolate chips.
If your sugar craving is pretty intense, then quickly make a fruit smoothie with added greens. Power-pack your smoothie with whole fruits to retain their fiber, plain yogurt, and greens, such as spinach, kale, or collard greens. If you’re searching for any new recipe ideas, try the combination of 1/4 cup orange juice, 1 banana, 1 cube fresh ginger root (peeled), and 2 cups frozen strawberries. A tasty smoothie that stimulates proper digestion and reduces inflammation.
- Trail Mix
Trail mix can be a tricky alternative because there are many options in the grocery stores that are loaded with added sugars. If you have a little extra time on your hands, try making a homemade version that includes your favorite nuts and dried fruits. Roasted nuts contain protein, fiber, and healthy fats essential to a balanced diet. However, trail mix is typically high in calories, so it is best to stick to a serving size of one handful as a snack.
You are already on your way to beating those sugar cravings and making healthier choices!