The BIG question I get all the time: ‘How can I reduce sugar cravings?’
Nine times out of ten, when I tell people the name of my business, Sugar Free Glow, they immediately tell me they could never give up sugar.
‘Oh, I could never give up sugar!’
I get it. Sugar was the biggest stronghold in my life next to pride (boy am I stubborn!).
I would eat sugar-free, totally toxic foods (and drinks) thinking I had the upper hand.
If the food was low-fat or sugar-free I ate it, never mind that I couldn’t pronounce any of the ingredients.
If I started to feel tired, I just drank more coffee and had just a few more chocolate chips to give me a quick pick-me-up.
Know this, dear reader: You CAN beat sugar cravings. Oh, yes you can.
10 Tips to Reduce Sugar Cravings
1. Reduce or eliminate caffeine. I know, boo. Here’s why: blood sugar swings and dehydration are caused by too much caffeine, both of which can create more frequent sugar cravings.
2. Ditch the artificial sweets. Toxic, toxic, toxic. Use gentle sweeteners like maple syrup, stevia, coconut nectar, raw honey, dates.
3. Eat root vegetables. Carrots, turnips, celeriac, sweet potatoes. They are sweet yet grounding. In other words, they give you that sweetness you’re craving but don’t make you all hyped-up and jittery.
I love to roast a big batch of root vegetables and snack on them, especially late afternoon when I want to reach for the coffee or a piece of chocolate.
4. Get more sleep and chill out. Your body craves sugar for a quick burst of energy. If you are rested and make a conscious effort to reduce stress you won’t need that quick burst of energy because your engine will be running smoothly.
5. Get physically active. Gosh I wish we could just sit on the couch pinning photos on Pinterest all day but we really do need to move our body and not just a little. Start with a little but then get moving. The more you move, the better you feel and the less you crave sugar.
6. Spice up your life! Cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, cardamon, coriander all naturally sweeten your foods and reduce sugar cravings. When I really started to pay attention to spices, my food started tasting so much better. Good spices really can make a difference in flavor and when your food tastes good and has all the good nutrients your body needs, you don’t want sugar.
7. Say ‘NO!’ to fat-free and low-fat foods. I blame these yucky processed foods for messing so many of us up. Why are they so bad? They contain high quantities of sugar to compensate for lack of flavor (no kidding!). They also don’t contain enough good fat so your blood sugar levels go up and down and you’re never really satisfied.
8. Recognize that sugar can’t love you back. Cravings often have a psychological component that is overlooked.
Are you lonely? Unsatisfied in your relationships? Feeling inadequate? Stressed? Bored? Nervous? Sad?
Are you doing too much? Have too many responsibilities? Are you looking for affection or recognition?
Do you stuff your face in order to stuff your feelings?
If you’re feeling that urge to grab something sweet in order to stuff your emotions ask yourself the WHY question.
Why am I reaching for this _________ (cupcake, candy bar, piece of cake, etc.)?
Then hit pause and WAIT 5 minutes.
Do you really want that sweet treat knowing it’s bad for your health? You know it’s going to make you feel terrible later and doesn’t love you back, do you really want it?
Is it really worth it?
9. Drink water. We hear this all the time and say ‘Oh, I drink water all day long!’ but really, are you drinking water or are you drinking iced tea or soda? And if you are in fact drinking water, are you drinking half your weight in ounces? Some will say, that’s too much, others will say too little. All I know is that I eat less, crave less and feel better when I drink more water. How about you?
*Half your weight means if you weigh 100 pounds you would drink 50 ounces of water.
Tip: Fill your water bottles up in the morning (or refrigerate the night before to keep them cool) so you know how much you need to drink but also so you can see how much you’re really drinking.
10. Sugar does not have power over you.
Let that sink in for a minute.
Sugar DOES NOT have power over you.
We are not meant to have idols or strongholds. If you put sugar up on a pedestal you are idolizing it. If you say you can’t win against sugar, it’s a stronghold for you. NOTHING has power over you unless you THINK it does. So change your thinking.
Say this aloud:
Sugar DOES NOT have power over me!
If you constantly think you can’t win against sugar you won’t win. Get your game face on and be prepared. Follow all of these steps so you’re not caught with your guard down. YOU are in control, not the cupcake or bag of M&Ms.
Image Helga Weber