Does that morning Danish leave you craving another treat two hours later? Do you grab a candy bar to cope with your afternoon slump – and then reach for a cola to get out of your post-slump slump? How can you stop sugar cravings once and for all? Here’s expert advice.
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Give in a little
Eat a bit of what you’re craving, maybe a small cookie or a fun-size candy bar. Enjoying a little of what you love can help you steer clear of feeling denied. Try to stick to a 150-calorie threshold.
If the idea of stopping at a cookie or a baby candy bar seems impossible, you can still fill yourself up and satisfy a sugar craving, too. Combine the craving food with a healthful one. If you love chocolate, for example, sometimes dip a banana in chocolate sauce and that gives me what you’re craving, or mix some almonds with chocolate chips. As a beneficial bonus, you’ll satisfy a craving and get healthy nutrients from those good-for-you foods.
Go cold turkey
Cutting out all simple sugars works for some people, although the initial 48 to 72 hours are tough. Some people find that going cold turkey helps their cravings diminish after a few days; others find they may still crave sugar but over time are able to train their taste buds to be satisfied with less.
Reach for fruit
Keep fruit handy for when sugar cravings hit. You’ll get fiber and nutrients along with some sweetness. And stock up on foods like nuts, seeds, and dried fruits. Have them handy so you reach for them instead of reaching for the old [sugary] something.
Get up and go
When a sugar craving hits, walk away. Take a walk around the block or [do] something to change the scenery, to take your mind off the food you’re craving.
Choose quality over quantity
If you need a sugar splurge, pick a wonderful, decadent sugary food, but keep it small. For example, choose a perfect dark chocolate truffle instead of a king-sized candy bar, then savor every bite — slowly. Don’t swear off favorites — you’ll only come back for greater portions. Learn to incorporate small amounts in the diet but concentrate on filling your stomach with less sugary and [healthier] options.
Waiting too long between meals may set you up to choose sugary, fatty foods that cut your hunger. Instead, eating every three to five hours can help keep blood sugar stable and help you “avoid irrational eating behavior”. Your best bets? Choose protein, fiber-rich foods like whole grains and produce,
But won’t eating more often mean overeating? Not if you follow our advice to break up your meals. For instance, have part of your breakfast — a slice of toast with peanut butter, perhaps — and save some yogurt for a mid-morning snack. Break up lunch the same way to help avoid a mid-afternoon slump.