Sugar cravings are a vicious cycle. The more you eat, the more you want. It never ends! Don’t believe us? Just do a quick hunger check a couple hours after a breakfast of donuts and coffee. Chances are you’re left unsatisfied and craving more carbs.
Satisfying that sweet tooth can give you a quick rush and a feeling of fullness, but it quickly wears off leaving you in a slump, especially when you haven’t added protein to the meal.
With summer quickly approaching, you’re probably thinking not only about how you’ll look in your swimsuit but also about how sluggish you’re going to feel in the sweaty summer heat. A diet full of carbs is certain to leave you disappointed.
So what can you do to fight off the urge to indulge in Fourth of July cherry pie, or homemade ice cream at the neighbor’s barbecue?
Here are a few surefire ways to help you keep your hand out of the cookie jar:
1. Prepare and Store Healthy Deserts
There are lots of healthy deserts you can make ahead and store in the freezer or fridge that aren’t full of sugar and calories. Keeping some on hand will give you something to reach for when your sweet tooth gets the best of you.
A couple to try:
Sugar free chocolate pudding with fresh berries
Greek yogurt with honey
Luna protein bar
2. Boost Your Fitness Routine
Even if you’re already working out, adding just a few more minutes of cardio can help you sweat off some of those toxins that keep your body craving junk. Not to mention, boosting your fitness level will burn off some of those extra calories you’ve stored up. So, swim an extra lap around the pool with the kids, or add another block to your morning walk.
3. Eat More Often
The longer your body has been without food to digest, the more it will crave the unhealthy stuff, so try eating 5 small meals a day to keep hunger at bay. Also, eating every few hours helps keep blood sugar and hormones stable, which is another craving-deterrent.
4. Choose Natural Sweeteners
Peanut butter and honey are a great healthy alternative to processed sugars and can help keep you satisfied when you need something sweet. Also, keep lots of fruit on hand to snack on between meals.
5. Cut Sugar Cold Turkey
The idea here is to completely rid your body of the stuff that makes you crave more of it. Just like an alcohol or drug addiction, completely ridding the body of it helps some people give it up for good. But we didn’t say it would be easy!
6. Just Give In
So, what do you do if you just can’t seem to kick the habit? Give in — but just a little. For some people, depriving themselves of what they crave actually has a reverse psychological effect that makes them prone to binging. Rather than gorging yourself on Twinkies and ice cream, allow yourself one treat per week, or a small piece of chocolate after your workout.
7. Drink Plenty of Water
When your body is dehydrated even slightly, your brain can mistake it for hunger. And guess what it craves? That’s right — a quick carb fix! Before you reach for the candy drink a glass of water instead.
8. Add a Chromium Supplement
Chromium is a great supplement to help stabilize blood sugar and keep cravings down. You can pick up a bottle of 200 mg capsules almost anywhere and take one a day with a meal.
9. Eat Your Veggies
Mom didn’t make you clean your plate just for fun! If your body is full of the proper nutrients, it won’t feel like it needs to load up on fuel. If you have trouble getting in all the vitamins you need, add a daily multivitamin to your morning routine.
10. Take a Nap
When all else fails, sleep. Getting the proper amount of sleep boosts serotonin levels in the brain, leaving your body satisfied without unhealthy cravings.
A consistent diet and exercise regime are really the key to any healthy lifestyle, and it’s crucial for anyone looking to kick sweets to the curb. Try some of these methods to curb your cravings, but don’t be afraid to try something else. What works for one person certainly doesn’t always work for another.
Most importantly — don’t beat yourself up! Giving in to a craving once in a while won’t thwart your efforts unless you let it affect what you eat the rest of the day. When you mess up (and we all do), just move on from it and do better for the next meal. You’re only human!