Cravings are one of the biggest reasons why people have problems losing weight and keeping it off.
If you can indulge in only one bite and drawing the line when you get a craving is absolutely fine.
But if you tend to binge and overeat as soon as you get a taste of sugary foods, then giving in to the cravings is the worst thing you can do.
Here’s how to tame those sugar cravings.
Keep sweets out of sight
When you feel a craving, try to distance yourself from it.
Move the sweets farther away. You will be less likely to mindlessly reach for the candy as you run out the door, or eat the entire bag on the way to school pick up or work.
If there are sweets and a cookie jar on your kitchen counter, that might be the only thing in your way.
Instead, keep a bowl of fruit in the kitchen, such as apples, oranges or grapes. Your environment determines your success.
Find healthy alternatives
If you’re not a fan of carrot sticks and celery, here are some healthier alternatives to some unhealthy foods.
- Chocolate > Dark Chocolate
- Chips > Sweet Potato Wedges or popcorn
- Beer > spirits or wine
- Burgers >Chicken burger
- Butter > Margarine
- Sweets > dried fruit
- Cake > Banana Bread
- Ice cream > frozen yogurt
Swapping one for the other can enable you to carry on eating the same kinds of things, while doing your health a favour.
Bring healthy snacks to work
If you know that you always reach for candy/chocolate/sweets around 3:00, have small snacks on hand.
This might include fruit, small pieces of dark chocolate, trail mix packs, etc.
As a midmorning or midday snack, have grapes with a cheese stick or a handful of mixed nuts.
Eat more fruit
Craving something sweet doesn’t always have to mean a sugary dessert.
Fruits are a great option for an after dinner dessert or an anytime of the day treat, because they are packed with fiber to help keep you full.
Stock up on some of your favorites like strawberries, apples and Oranges etc. to enjoy when the craving hits.
Add a bit of honey, stevia, or whipped cream on top if you want to give it a satisfying dessert feel.
Take a hot shower
Some people found that taking a hot shower or bath, can relief the experience of sugar cravings.
The water must be hot , hot enough that it’s on the verge of feeling uncomfortable.
Let the water run over your back and shoulders so that it heats you up. Stay there at least 5–10 minutes.
By the time you step out of the shower, you are likely to have a “dazed” feeling, as if you’ve been sitting in a sauna for a long time.
A hot shower not only feels good, it’s good for your body and at that point, your craving will most likely be gone.
Plan your meals
Try to plan your meals for the day or upcoming week.
If you don’t have to think about what to eat at the following meal, you will be less tempted and less likely to experience cravings.
Avoid getting extremely hungry
One of the biggest reasons why we experience craving, is because of hunger.
To avoid getting extremely hungry, it may be a good idea to eat regularly and have healthy snacks close at hand.
By being prepared, and avoiding long periods of hunger, you may be able to prevent the craving from showing up at all.
Not all snack bars are healthy, and some are very high in fat and sugar.
However, if you’re craving a sweet treat, there are some good, healthier options out there.
Try looking for a snack bar made with whole oats and sweetened with fresh or dried fruit, rather than table sugar.
The best bars have been made with whole foods. They are likely to be higher in fiber and contain more beneficial nutrients, even if they are still quite sweet.
Take spinach extract
Spinach extract is a fairly new supplement on the market, made from spinach leaves.
Studies show that taking 3.7–5 grams of spinach extract with a meal may reduce appetite and cravings for several hours(Source).
One of the greatest benefits of this supplement may be hunger management.
Don’t go to the supermarket hungry
Grocery stores are probably the worst places to be when you have cravings.
Supermarkets usually place the unhealthiest foods at eye level.
The best way to prevent cravings from happening at the store is to shop only when you’ve recently eaten. Don’t go to the supermarket hungry.
Find a distraction
Boredom and stress might also lead you to crave those sweets.
When this happens, get up and go for a walk. If you can’t go outside, do a few exhausting sets of burpees, push-ups, body weight squats or any other body-weight exercise.
Small things that shift your focus away from sugary thoughts can help you to be more mindful of when you might just be in the mood to snack.
Having junk food every now and then is fine for most people, so you shouldn’t feel guilty if you occasionally indulge in moderation.
But if you just cannot control yourself at all around such foods, try to avoid them as much as possible.
Following the tips on this list, such as keeping sweets out of sights, planning your meals, and practicing mindfulness, may allow you to take charge next time cravings try to take over.