Sunday, April 17, 2011

How to Stop Sugar Craving Naturally

Most of us have experiences sugar cravings from time to time and a little sugar now and then is fine. The problem is when frequent sugar cravings cause you to eat too much sugar, which means extra calories that can result in unwanted weight gain. If you’ve found that munching sugary snacks just makes you crave more sugary snacks, you’re not alone. Eating lots of simple carbohydrates -- without the backup of proteins or fats -- can quickly satisfy hunger and give your body a short-term energy boost, but they almost as quickly leave you famished again and craving more. Follow the steps below:

1. Stock your shelves and fridge. If you live with a family, (like me) who loves junk food, you have to have alternatives at the ready when hunger strikes.

2. Make a conscious choice never to pick up a sugar-filled, empty calorie junk food, and of course, to never let it near your mouth. Plan ahead for times when you will be surrounded by sweets, (such as a party) and decide ahead of time what you will eat and what you will not.

3. Try to drink water or a diet soda first, and then, if you still want something, pick up ONE of the items on the list below, and eat it slowly.

4. Give in a little. Eat a bit of what you’re craving, maybe a small cookie or a fun-size candy bar. (Suggested by a registered dietitian and ADA spokeswoman) Enjoying a little of what you love can help you steer clear of feeling denied. Try to stick to a 150-calorie threshold.

 5. Combine foods. If the idea of stopping at a cookie or a baby candy bar seems impossible, you can still fill yourself up and satisfy a sugar craving, too. I like combining the craving food with a healthful one. I love chocolate, for example, so sometimes  I’ll dip a banana in chocolate sauce and that gives me what I’m craving, or I mix some almonds with chocolate chips.As a beneficial bonus, you'll satisfy a craving and get healthy nutrients from those good-for-you foods.

6. Go cold turkey. Cutting out all simple sugars works for some people, although "the initial 48 to 72 hours are tough. Some people find that going cold turkey helps their cravings diminish after a few days; others find they may still crave sugar but over time are able to train their taste buds to be satisfied with less.

7.  Grab some gum. If you want to avoid giving in to a sugar craving completely, try chewing a stick of gum. Research has shown that chewing gum can reduce food cravings.
8. Reach for fruit. Keep fruit handy for when sugar cravings hit. You'll get fiber and nutrients along with some sweetness. And stock up on foods like nuts, seeds, and dried fruits, says certified addiction specialist. Have them handy so you reach for them instead of reaching for the old sugarysomething.

9.  Get up and go. When a sugar 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.
10. Choose quality over quantity. If you need a sugar splurge, pick a wonderful, decadent sugary food. But keep it small. For example, choose a perfect dark chocolate truffle instead of a king-sized candy bar, then savor every bite -- slowly, Don’t swear off favorites -- you’ll only come back for greater portions. Learn to incorporate small amounts in the diet but concentrate on filling your stomach with less sugary and healthier options.
11. Eat regularly. Waiting too long between meals may set you up to choose sugary, fatty foods that cut your hunger. Instead, eating every three to five hours can help keep blood sugar stable and help you avoid irrational eating behavior,Your best bets? Choose protein, fiber-rich foods like whole grains and produce.How to Stop Sugar Craving Naturally