How to Cut Your Sugar Cravings

It’s National Donut Day, and although we like to promote a healthy lifestyle at TruVision Health, it’s definitely ok to enjoy a treat on occasion. That’s what a balanced diet is all about!

National donut day seems like a good reason to indulge in a little snack that doesn’t exactly coincide with our healthy diets. But as always, moderation is key here. Donuts are very high in fat and sugar; both of which are highly addictive. And it’s no new news that sugar is something we should try to limit in our diets.

Sugar is so addictive that its effects on the brain are often compared to drug use. Sweet treats light up reward centers in the brain and release those feel-good neurotransmitters like dopamine. The brain’s pleasure centers for sugar also build up a tolerance causing you to need/want to consume more for that same rush. The average American consumes about 22 teaspoons of sugar per day more than recommended. Try physically measuring that out, because it’s shocking!

The American Heart Association recommends limiting the consumption of added sugars to about 6 teaspoons per day for women and 9 for men.

We all know sugar is bad for us, but despite knowing how bad it is for us it is so delicious and so addictive we have a really difficult time keeping our sugar consumption in check. So what can we do to help save our bodies?

TAKE SLOW MEASURABLE STEPS 

Most of us can’t quit bad habits cold turkey and sustain that change. Enjoy your soda today, but tomorrow opt for a juice than a tea or other unsweetened beverage. If you normally drink multiple sodas a day cut back and opt for smaller servings day after day. The same steps would apply for kicking daily candy or dessert habit.

BE PATIENT 

It takes about a week to adjust the sensitivity levels. After a week of cutting sugar, it will begin to taste even sweeter than before and your cravings will diminish.

DON’T SKIP MEAL

When we go too long without eating our blood sugar levels drop causing us to crave things with simple carbohydrates such as sugars and treats because our bodies are looking for a quick blood sugar fix. Eat protein and complex carbohydrates at regular intervals (roughly every 2-4 hours) to sustain energy and suppress your appetite.

DON’T KEEP TEMPTATIONS WITHIN ARMS REACH

Try to avoid keeping temptation within easy sight. If you keep treats around the house keep them off the countertops or try to avoid having them around the house at all. If you have to go all the way to the store to get a sweet treat rather than reaching into your pantry, you will be less likely to go through all the effort of obtaining it. Out of sight, out of mind!

MOVE AROUND

Being sedentary increases sugar cravings by making you feel lethargic and tired, so get up and walk when you feel a sugar craving coming on. Researchers found a 15-minute walk can curb cravings for a sugary chocolate bar by 12%.

DRINKS

If you’re used to drinking sodas or sweet teas, try infusing your water with fruits and citrus such as strawberries, lemon, lime, orange, or cucumber. HEART + HYDRATION is an excellent way to add flavor to your water without extra sugar.

SNACKS

Try snacking on fruit when you feel a sweet craving, or eat some nonfat Greek yogurt.

TREATS

If you’re feeling like a more indulgent treat for dessert, try doing things like dark chocolate dipped strawberries or froyo dipped fruit. Try making a smoothie with rePLACE.

Sugar wreaks havoc on our waistlines, brains, and internal organs. That being said, it is ok to indulge on occasion, but moderation and mindfulness are key! Happy Donut Day!