Oh, sugar. Ah, honey honey – these famous lyrics ring a little too true, don’t they? Well, candy girl, it’s time to talk about how to kick your sweet tooth to the curb!
If you’re hoping to snack on less sugary items and lose weight in the process, read our list of top sugar habit breakers.
Yikes! – may seem a little hasty, but we’re not saying you should never have another piece of fruit or bread again. After all, sugar is in many of the foods we eat. ANYTHING that’s made of carbs or contains carbs is comprised of some sugar, after all. But the sugars in your healthier varieties of breads and fruits and veggies are different than those in syrups and candy bars.
Hear us out!
Your brain loves sugar, even more than you do. The brain needs a simple sugar called glucose just to function. When you eat table sugar, syrup, popsicles, candy – all of that delicious stuff that makes us itch for more – your brain gets a surge of glucose, and really approves. As a result, you’ll often want more, and quickly.
However, the sugars in your fruits, dairy, veggies and whole wheat breads are accompanied by vitamins, protein and fiber. As a result, your brain doesn’t get a “hit” of sugar, like it does when you lick the jelly jar, and you don’t find yourself searching for a fix.
It can be fun and relaxing to kick back, watch your TV shows, and enjoy some chocolate (guilty as charged…), but kicking back may be what’s making it so difficult to curb cravings! Often, habits are born from repeated actions which offer comfort, sometimes leading to a vicious cycle.
If you make it a habit to eat in front of the TV just to munch along with your favorite characters, your body can come to expect food every time you watch, whether you’re hungry or not.
Try to settle down with a cup of tea next time, instead.
The pathway to managing habits – even addictions - involves recognizing what’s triggering cravings and learning to manage or eliminate those triggers appropriately.
Alcoholics Anonymous uses the acronym HALT to help their members understand how to confront their urges. Ask yourself:
If you’re feeling any of these emotions, you’re much more likely to grab that bag of cookies – I know I am especially prone to eating sugary snacks when bored.
The key is to manage the triggers by refocusing your energy appropriately; address the reasons behind your triggers in healthy ways rather than indulging in sweets.
I don’t know about you but I have made the excuse that I DESERVE some chocolate just because I’m PMSing about one hundred times. Sure, your body’s hormonal highs and lows can result in a change of cravings, but no one really ever needs a candy bar to solve their pains and problems.
Here are a few more of mine:
Start confronting your personal excuses, then shut them down. When it comes to sugar, they’re irrelevant!
Eating that brain-enslaving, syrupy sugar in the morning is an absolute killer. When you get that kick early on, your body’s insulin levels shift, your blood sugar drops, and you’re left with that shaky, need-to-eat feeling.
We’ve all used it as an excuse to eat more, because that’s what it really feels like we need to do. However, many of us have used it as an excuse to grab a donut. Guess what? Now you’re off the wagon.
Stick with fiber in the morning. Fill your belly, make your brain happy, and avoid that shaky, need-more feeling once and for all.
Eating those pesky, habit-forming sugar consumables like soda and candy already gives your brain a quick hit of HELLO Nurse! No need to make it worse by chowing down so fast that your body needs more right now, and quickly.
You’ll know you’re full when your stomach sends a message to the brain that it’s had enough. Unfortunately, that message isn’t always conveyed immediately. In fact, it can take a few minutes for your brain to translate the signal that tells you to stop eating. If you eat too fast, you’ll have overdone it by the time your brain finally gets the message. In order to avoid overeating and avoid cravings, slow down and enjoy each bite!
For many, fighting cravings goes beyond mental willpower and choosing the right kinds of snacks. If you’ve tried everything and you’re still a slave to unhealthy cravings, consider a natural appetite suppressant. You can find them online and in stores like GNC or your local Walmart. Additionally, your family doctor may prescribe you an anorectic if you go to them with your concerns and challenges.
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