As Mary Poppins once sang, a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down. Unfortunately these days we are getting far more than just a spoonful of the sweet stuff in our diet and as a result obesity and diabetes are on the up and up. The food and drinks we buy are laced with copious amounts of sugar by companies who know that sweet sells, so it is of no surprise that sugar addiction and sweet cravings are such a common affliction. Here are ten things you can try in order to stop cravings and lead a healthier, more prolonged life.
1. Purge Your Presses
When faced with temptation, it is easy to cave. The easiest way to avoid the foods that are bad for you is it to simply not buy them anymore, if they are not in the house you can’t eat them (and no midnight runs to the shop for junk food!).
2. Distract Yourself
Often times our boredom converts into eating for the sake of it, a really bad but easy to adopt habit. When we have nothing to occupy our minds we look for things to do, and food offers an easy solution to this problem while delivering a swift reward to the brain. Look for ways to overcome this by filling your time with activities and keeping busy. You won’t think about food as much and your sugar cravings will be temporarily forgotten.
3. Drink Water
Our bodies can confuse dehydration for hunger so if you are experiencing sweet cravings then drink some water and wait a few minutes to see if the craving dissipates.
Work on strengthening your mind and you will find overcoming food addiction a much easier task. Cravings come from our brain telling us that we need something even if we don’t. If you can tap into your mind and control the part of yourself that seeks comfort in food you may be able to stop cravings altogether. Alleviating anxiety and emotional stress will mean that you no longer seek the sugar high that we crave when feeling low or depressed.
5. Brush Your Teeth
Brush your teeth earlier than usual in the evening time. This will help get you into the mindset that your food consumption for the day is over and the minty fresh taste of toothpaste will help to suppress your desire to eat.
6. Don’t Shop When Hungry
The golden rule of going food shopping; thou shalt not shop an empty stomach. When your stomach is rumbling and you are in the aisles of a supermarket surrounded by tempting food, it is extremely difficult to resist and you will start throwing carby, fatty and sugary foods into your trolley. Make sure to grocery shop when you’re full up, you will make far more sensible ideas!
7. Prepare Healthy Snacks
Watching television or movies in the evening is prime time for sitting down with a big bag of sweets and going through them without noticing how much you are eating. Replace your chocolate for some healthier snack options such as hummus and carrot sticks or rice cakes with peanut butter, you will be consuming a lot less fat and sugar and feel much better for it.
8. Quit Cold Turkey
It won’t be easy, but if you really want to stop your sugar addiction, cutting it out altogether is the best option. This doesn’t include natural sugars that are found in certain foods such as fruit, but cutting out all excessive sugar such as cakes, sweets and chocolate is vital for your health and to curb cravings.
9. Cravings vs. Hunger
Recognise a craving for what it is and tell yourself you do not actually need it. A craving will pass, so try to take your mind off it and after 10-20 minutes you will no longer be thinking about it.