How to Conquer Sugar Cravings
How to Conquer Sugar Cravings
We don’t believe that sugar is evil. It just gets a bad rap.
As Julia Child once said, “The key is moderation, moderation, moderation.”
The problem is, sugar is everywhere now and has been for decades. It shows up in places it shouldn’t be in one form or another. So it’s no wonder that a lot of us have become addicted to it.
Now, if you came here hoping to find an easy 3-step plan to stop sugar cravings once and for all, sorry, this isn’t it. It’s still going to require willpower on your part.
According to nutritionists, figuring out how to truly conquer sugar cravings, really comes down to your day to day habits.
It’s time to gear up that willpower and get started.
1. Get Enough Sleep
Fun fact: not getting enough sleep makes you much more susceptible to food cravings. When the body is exhausted, it’s in a state of stress, and what do we tend to do when we are stressed? Slip into default behavior and seek comfort, usually in food.
But by getting the right amount of sleep, you can avoid that and curb your sugar and carb cravings.
Wait, what do carbs have to do with sugar cravings? Well, curbing carb cravings is an important factor because of what is known as simple carbs, examples being pastries and your typical short stack of pancakes. Simple carbs are processed by the body as sugar. It’s basically sugar on top of sugar.
So make sleep a priority, aiming for 7-8 hours every night. Not only will it help curb cravings, but you’ll also just feel a lot better throughout the day.
And if that is not enough to convince you, then remember that lack of sleep is also not great for muscle growth and weight loss. If you’re killing it in the gym but not getting enough sleep, you’re not going to see progress as fast as you could.
2. Eat Healthy Carbs
Speaking of carbs, did you know that eating healthy carbs can help you curb sugar cravings?
As we mentioned before, eating simple carbs (aka white bread, pastries, etc.) will only spike your insulin levels (which will eventually crash and then lead to more cravings) because the body processes simple carbs as sugar.
The opposite happens when you eat healthy carbs, also known as complex carbs. Complex carbs make you feel fuller for longer and don’t cause insulin spikes.
Aim to get most of your carbs from whole grains (oatmeal, brown rice, quinoa), fruit, and vegetables. Basically, if it was a carb source good enough for your great-grandparents, it is good enough for you.
The upside is this; if you eat fruits and certain vegetables such as sweet potatoes, they come with healthy levels of natural sugar, when consumed in moderation. So not only can eating whole foods help supply you with complex carbs while satisfying cravings, but it can also give you a healthy dose of natural sugar.
3. Get Your Protein
Like complex carbohydrates, protein helps curb cravings because it takes longer for the body to break it down, meaning you stay feeling fuller for longer.
If you’re someone who has a hard time getting protein in your diet, then consider a protein meal replacement supplement. When you drink a high-quality protein meal replacement shake, you are not only getting the benefits of the protein itself, but also a full profile of essential vitamins and minerals. When the body is properly fueled, cravings are less likely to occur.
Why is that important? Because more often than not, cravings are your body’s way of simply saying it is hungry (or even thirsty for that matter, so also make sure you’re drinking enough water). Therefore, if your body is eating healthy, high-quality foods (and getting enough water), it will feel satisfied for longer, and your sugar cravings will decrease.
It Comes Down To You
When it comes to finding ways to curb sugar cravings, let’s take it back to the beginning: it will still require willpower on your part.
Are you someone who only gets 4-5 hours of sleep at night? Then you need to figure out how you can get closer to 7-8. The same goes for adding more whole foods into your diet and making sure you’re getting enough quality protein.
You’ve got the willpower to overcome sugar cravings, now go prove it to yourself.