Perhaps calling you an addict is a bit harsh, since, medically speaking, there is no such thing as sugar addiction. Still, when the sugar craving kicks in, you bet it resembles an addiction. Or at least an obsession. Excessive intake of sugar can cause serious health problems, and weight gain or acne is the least of trouble. We’re talking diabetes, heart disease, fatty liver, etc. Switching to a healthier diet is a lot to take for someone with a sweet tooth, especially within the first few days. However, there are ways to hack your body and mind to make it more bearable. Here are a few useful tips on how to easily cut down on sugar.
Know your weakness
One of the main reasons why sugar is a soft spot for many of us lies in our biology. Our bodies need sugar as a prime source of energy, such as a healthy blood sugar level that maintains metabolism, or glucose that enables our brain to function properly. Also, sugar intake releases happy hormones, so not only does it tastes good, but it feels good. Moderate use of sugar is not something to stress about, but when it becomes a daily ritual (or comfort food), then it is time to reevaluate your eating habits as well as to understand why are you filling the void with sweets, instead of real soul food
Try to be moderate
Moderation is the key to a healthy life as it is for a healthy diet. There is no need to say goodbye to all sweet stuff you enjoy so much as long as you can control yourself. A balanced diet tolerates some quantities of sugar, but make sure to cut down on sweets and to include more healthy ingredients in your daily meals. Exercise your willpower and restrain from eating too many sweets by constantly reminding yourself of your goals. Eat less, but choose your favorite sweets, so you don’t get the feeling that you are sacrificing too much.
If moderation doesn’t work, go cold turkey
For some people, there is no such thing as just one cookie or one donut. Have one cookie, and the rest will follow. The only way to cut down on sugar for these people is to eliminate it completely. Treat it like a real addiction and get rid of all the sweets from your home. Know that the first few days will be tough since cravings will be intense, but in about ten days or so, you should feel fine again. During this period, your taste buds will adjust, and the cravings will subside.
Eat more frequently
Ideally, we should eat three to five meals a day. Know that skipping a meal won’t get you much thinner, while it will intensify sugar craving. To prevent this, make sure to eat something healthy every two or three hours. If you are afraid of eating too much, break meals into two portions. Make sure to always have a healthy snack at hand. If, at some point, you feel you have to eat something sweet, always go for fruit. For example, a date palm fruit has a strong sweet taste, and the combination of dates, nuts, and grains can be a perfectly healthy meal.
Include more protein in your diet
Eating more protein-rich food (eggs, tuna, almonds, broccoli, oats, milk, etc.) is a great way to reduce your appetite as well as to reduce cravings. Not only does protein helps you to boost your metabolism, burn fat and strengthen your muscles and bones, but it also triggers the release of dopamine that keeps you energized and active. Adding protein to your breakfast can have a long and powerful effect on keeping you craving-free, especially when it comes to late-night snacks.
Confuse your taste buds
Every time you feel the urge to grab a chocolate bar, try eating something savory instead. Instead of opening a box of cookies, chew on olive or a pickle. Sounds awful and absurd, but you will satisfy your hunger for a strong taste, and you will get to avoid sugar. It will speed up the process of adjusting your taste buds to low (or no) sugar intake, while it will get you to eat more healthy food you would probably ignore otherwise.
Embrace fermented food
Food like yogurt, kefir, miso, sauerkraut, and fermented tofu are your greatest allies in fighting sugar cravings. These food contain good bacteria that are beneficial to your digestive system. Good digestion and a proper balance of bacteria will help you lessen the intensity of cravings, while you will reap various health benefits.
Although kicking a bad habit is always hard, know that there is nothing you can’t do if you set your mind to it. The mere fact that you’ve read this article means that you are aware and motivated, which is a good start. Follow these tips, be persistent and keep your goals in mind. And your taste buds will follow.
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