Fitness

Know when to stop

How To Curb Sugar Cravings

Sugar

People often lose control when it comes to sweet foods and consider it as a reward. If you are addicted to sugar or other sweeteners and eat more than you initially planned to, you are putting your health at risk. Everyone loves sugar, but they should know when to stop. Eating too much can lead you to major health problems.

Chocolates, candies and sodas all are sugar-based products. The carbohydrates present in the same are quickly turned into glucose in your bloodstream and increase the blood sugar level. Such carbohydrates are also found in fruit, vegetables, and other dairy products, but these products also carry fibre that slow down the process of sugar.

If you also regularly consume food items which have a high content of refined starch such as white bread, white rice, white flour, pasta, crackers and juices, you are also consuming sugar indirectly.

If you want to control you sugar intake, cut one sugary product from your diet each week. If you daily consume ice cream or desserts after your meal, try consuming them every alternate day. This will help you gradually take a control over your sugar cravings.

Sugar is linked to diabetes, obesity, hypertension, high blood pressure, headaches, and fatigue. Tweaking your diet by replacing your regular food items with vegetables that contain natural sugar – such as yams, beets, sweet potatoes, carrots, etc. – will help curb your cravings yet keep you healthy.

A healthy diet reduces calories by adding protein, vegetables, grains, and replacing bad snacks with good ones, such as Milk Lite, which has lots of protein but no sugar.

When a craving hits, walk away. Take a walk around the block or do something to change the scenery, to take your mind off the food you’re craving.

If you are a sweet snack lover, then buy them in small quantities. For instance, buy a single small pack of cookies rather than a big one, to reduce the chance of overeating. If you crave to have something, then drink a glass or two of plain water and a handful of nuts like walnuts, almonds, and peanuts. Within 15 minutes it will make your feel fuller and control your craving.

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Drinking water is one of the easiest ways to decrease your sugar cravings. Sometimes people eat sugary foods when their bodies are actually craving liquid. Drinking water will help you avoid sugary beverages as well as keep you hydrated and healthier. Avoid drinks with high sugar such as sports drinks, soft drinks, and some fruit drinks. Drink up to 8 glasses of water daily, as it will help boost metabolism.

Higher consumption of fibre helps you to maintain healthy sugar levels in the body, which will reduce the sugar drop that leads to your cravings which will also help your stomach feel full for longer amounts of time. So, look for foods with larger amounts of fibre, which help fill you up, such as whole grains, broccoli, whole wheat pasta, raspberries, and various beans.

Another strategy to avoid sweets is to limit access to temptation. This could be by either removing it completely or putting it out of sight. This decreases consumption as it provides more time to think about if you really, really need or want the sweet. You can try throwing away all sweets and sugar in your house, hide sweet items on the top shelf making it harder to reach or place healthier items in sight, such a bowl of fruit on the counter instead of a cookie jar.

So free yourself from sugar cravings and adopt a way of eating that is naturally energising, anti-aging and rejuvenating.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr. Sonia Narang is a Nutritionist and Dietitian, holding a degree from AIIMS. She has done her Bachelor’s degree in Home Science and completed her Post Graduate Education in Food Science and Nutrition from Lady Irwin College, Delhi. She has completed a hospital¬ based internship with All India Institute of Medical Sciences along with a complete certificate course from Reebok University. She is one of the best dietitians with expertise in the field of hospital, foods service, media, corporate.

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