According to experts, sweet is the first taste that humans prefer from birth. But it’s also extremely addictive. In fact, one study found that sugar is more addictive than cocaine.
Unfortunately, eating too much sugar can result in weight gain, metabolic disorders (a precursor to diabetes) and even some forms of cancer. In other words, it’s not good – and most of us are getting way more sugar than the recommended daily limit.
Breaking a sugar habit isn’t easy. But it’s possible. And these tips will help:
- Eat a little, not a lot. When wanting to indulge in something sweat or sugary, just have a few bites. A Cornell study found that eating a few bites satisfies cravings as much as larger portions. When it comes to sugary foods, think portions of 100 calories or less.
- Wait it out. Cravings come and go; most last only a few minutes. Distract yourself for 10 minutes by reading a book, calling a friend or watching Davey Wavey Fitness YouTube videos.
- Work it out. Better than waiting out cravings, engage in exercise – even if it’s just a short walk. In fact, one study found that chocolate cravings dropped significantly after physical exercise.
- Satisfy your sweet tooth with fruit. Unlike eating candy or chocolates, fruits are packed with essential nutrients; in addition to satisfying your sweet tooth, you’ll load up on vitamins, minerals and fiber. I keep frozen, unsweetened cherries in my freezer for this very purpose. One or two cherries totally does the trick. Try bananas, apples, berries or anything else!
- Eat regular meals. Skipping breakfast, lunch or dinner can result in unstable blood sugar levels and irrational cravings. Keep your blood sugar in check by eating regular meals and by favoring complex carbohydrates over simple carbohydrates (think brown rice and wheat bread over white rice and white bread).
- Don’t replace sugar with artificial sweeteners. While artificial sweeteners may cut out the calories, they still feed your sugar addiction and they elevate your risk for obesity. Artificial sweeteners are not the answer!
- Find a substitute. If you have a habit of eating dessert after dinner, replace your sugary dessert with something healthier. Instead, you may decide to opt for a soothing cup of tea.
If you have any tips for kicking your sugar habit, please share them in the comments below!