Many of us feel it. The morning craving for a pastry, pancake, or sweetened coffee. Sugar cravings, when uncontrolled, can lead to sugar addiction and food controlling your mood and behavior- rather than you feeling in control of your day. Many cravings can be managed with some simple changes, others are deeper and require more support. Implementing these strategies can bring you greater energy, focus, and better sleep.
1. Limit your caffeine intake.
Your morning cup of coffee can be an important ritual to get you moving early, but the crash that follows later in the day can have you reaching for sweets and sugar to get your energy back. Try reducing your caffeine intake by limiting yourself to one cup of coffee before 10 am or transitioning to antioxidant-rich tea.
2. Avoid sugar substitutes.
“Sugar-free” and “diet” are misnomers because your body interprets the sweetness in sugar substitutes like sugar making you want more (even “natural” stevia- most stevia is highly processed and far removed from its natural form). When the body realizes it’s not consuming real sugar, it struggles to process real sugar when its eaten. Sugar substitutes cause the body to want increasing quantities of sweets.
3. Give yourself a break.
Many of us with sweet-tooths like to finish off a meal with something sweet. Waiting 20 minutes after your meal before reaching for a cookie or cake may dissolve your need for a post-dinner treat.
4. Give in. The healthy way.
Choose naturally sweet fruits and vegetables that are low in sugar to satisfy your cravings. I like sweet potatoes, carrots, beets, berries, and other low-sugar fruit. This helps you to get your sugar-fix without spiking blood sugar and leaving you wanting more.
The more sugar you eat, the more your body craves. An increase in sugar leads to insulin resistance and higher sugar tolerance. The more sugar you have, the more you need to satisfy your cravings.
6. Dissect your cravings.
Cravings come from our bodies telling us we need something. This could be a physical need- like a missing nutrient, or an emotional need- a void to fill. Understand what you’re actually craving will help you to choose the best method to satisfy.
Learn more about my program to get support for understanding and managing your cravings.