Many people regularly experience sugar cravings, and health professionals believe that this is one of the main reasons it can be so hard to stick to a healthy diet. Cravings are driven by your brain’s need for a “reward” and not your body’s need for food. If you can have only one bite and stop there, indulging a little when you get a craving is absolutely fine. But if you tend to binge and overeat as soon as you get a taste of sugary foods, then giving in to the cravings is the worst thing you can do.
Here are 3 simple things to stop sugar cravings:
1. If You Are Hungry, Eat a Healthy and Filling Meal
It’s important to realize that a craving is not the same as hunger. It’s not your body calling for energy, it’s your brain calling for something that releases a lot of dopamine in the reward system. When you get a craving when you’re hungry, the feeling is difficult to resist, and most people have a hard time overcoming.
If you get a craving while hungry, one of the best tricks is to eat a healthy meal immediately. Stock your kitchen with healthy snack foods or pre-made meals. Protein-rich foods, such as meat, fish and eggs are especially good for curbing hunger. Eating real food may not feel very appetizing when you have a craving for sugary junk food. But if you truly need to lose weight, resilience is worth it in the long run.
2. Take a Hot Shower
Some people who experience sugar cravings have found that hot showers or baths provide relief. Let the water run over your back and shoulders so that it heats you up. Stay there at least 5–10 minutes. When you step out of the shower, you are likely to have a “dazed” feeling, as if you’ve been sitting in a sauna for a long time. At that point, your craving will most likely be gone.
3. Go for a Brisk Walk Outside
Another thing that can work is to go outside for a brisk walk, or a run. This serves a two purposes. First, you are distancing yourself from the food that you are craving. Second, the exercise will release endorphins which can help turn the craving off.
If you can’t go outside, do a few exhausting sets of burpees, push-ups, body weight squats or any other body-weight exercise.
Other Things That May Work
– Drink a glass of water. Some people say that dehydration can cause cravings.
– Eat a fruit. Having a piece of fruit may help satisfy sugar cravings. Bananas, apples, and oranges work great.
– Avoid artificial sweeteners.
– Talk to a friend. Call or meet someone who understands what you’re going through. Explain that you’re going through a craving and ask for a few words of encouragement.
– Sleep well. Getting proper, refreshing sleep is important for overall health and may help prevent cravings.
– Avoid excess stress. Same as with sleep, avoiding stress can help prevent cravings.
– Avoid certain triggers.
– Take a multivitamin. This will help prevent any deficiencies.
– Don’t starve yourself. Try to prevent yourself from becoming too hungry between meals.