Americans consume, on average, about 350 calories per day from added sugar. This amounts to 22 teaspoons or around five packets of sugar. Reducing calorie intake can help you lose weight, especially if you have stubborn belly fat.
Sugar is linked to chronic inflammation, which can affect how we fight off infection and other diseases. Consuming 100 grams of sugar (about 32 ounces of soda) reduced white blood cells’ ability to fight bacteria by up to 50%.
It is difficult to give up sugar, and that morning coffee with an extra-large caramel macchiato does not make the addiction any easier.
If you’re like me and want to break the sugar cravings cycle, here are five tips to help.
#1 - Eat Regularly
A balanced diet throughout the day is essential to ensure your blood sugar levels stay stable.
If you’re looking to avoid caving into the temptation of quick sugar fixes, make sure to include plenty of protein and fiber in your meals. These nutrients help keep you feeling satisfied, while healthy fats can also prolong your sense of hunger.
Staying well-hydrated will help you avoid cravings for sugary foods.
#2 - Eat Natural Foods
Avoid foods that are high in sugar to avoid inflammation. This includes things like candy, cake, and ice cream. Instead, stick to naturally sweet foods such as fruit and honey.
Some fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of sugar, such as berries, apples, carrots, pears, sweet potatoes, and even beets. These foods can help satisfy your sweet tooth.
Many of these foods are naturally sweet and contain a lot of fiber which slows the absorption of sugar into your bloodstream.
To avoid a sugar crash later, have a cold piece of fruit as your snack. This will give you the necessary nutrients and fiber while avoiding the sugar rush.
#3 - Sleep Enough
According to research, getting less than the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep each night can negatively affect your mental and physical performance. Additionally, hunger hormones are often disrupted when you don’t get enough sleep.
When you are sleep deprived, your body produces more ghrelin, which is why you always seem hungry. When we are sleep-deprived, we tend to eat more calories than those who got a good night’s sleep. Most of these extra calories came from sweet snacks.
Caffeine and sleep are often considered opposites, but recent studies suggest that getting too little sleep might be a factor in why people drink more caffeinated sugary sodas. Recent studies have shown that people who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to drink caffeinated sugary sodas. This is due in part to the fact that caffeine can help you stay awake longer and keep you from feeling tired.
It is no surprise that getting enough sleep is essential, but an extra hour can make a big difference in keeping your diet in check.
#4 - Keep Your Gut in Check
Research has shown that gut bacteria can influence what a person wants to eat. There is growing evidence that altering the composition of gut bacteria can improve diet compliance and reduce cravings for unhealthy foods.
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that can help to improve gut health and allow more good bacteria to grow. Fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, kombucha, tempeh, sauerkraut, and kimchi contain probiotics that help maintain a healthy gut microbiome.
I’d like to thank Papa G’s vegan restaurant for introducing me to a TLT (Tempeh, Lettuce, Tomato) sandwich rivaling an actual BLT.
Don’t be afraid to try new things; you’ll surprise yourself.
#5 - Eat Bitter Foods
Eating bitter foods can help control your sweet tooth. Some bitter foods have a strong taste that can be unpleasant. These include grapefruit, leafy greens, Brussels sprouts, and radishes.
Eating something sweet will taste sweeter because the bitterness offsets the sweetness of the food.
Wrapping It Up
When you cut back on sugar, it is easier to eliminate it from your diet. However, not all sugars are created equal, and some may be more difficult to remove than others.
Sugar from fruits is not as sweet as sugar from processed foods. You can find a fruit you enjoy and replace your sugary snacks with them. It can be challenging to start a new exercise routine, but it becomes more accessible and more comfortable over time. Getting started with a new exercise routine can be challenging, but it gets easier as you become more comfortable with the process.
Your taste buds cycle through different flavors about every two and a half weeks, just like other cells in your body. If you’re eating a balanced diet that includes plenty of nutritious foods, the fewer sweet-craving taste buds you will have left. It is generally agreed that consuming too much sugar can harm your health.
Eating sugar can be problematic if your diet consists mainly of highly processed foods and has no nutritional value. Start slowly incorporating healthier foods into your diet, and cut out as much sugar as possible.