When we eat a chocolate bar or piece of candy, we all know that we’re consuming high amounts of refined, and not particularly healthy, sugar. Hence, we restrict these treats to avoid feeling their detriments. But, many of us don’t realize that surprisingly high levels of sugar can also be found in everything from our loaves of bread through to our pasta sauces, and even the salad dressings that we buy when we’re trying to be healthy.
It’s often this hidden sugar content that causes as many as 75% of Americans to experience sugar addiction, and the cravings that can create. After all, our bodies come to crave the effects of sugar as much as they do any other substance, making it highly addictive, and also difficult to eliminate from our diets altogether. In fact, individuals who attempt to do so can experience withdrawal symptoms including headaches, low mood, fatigue, and dizziness.
Still, it is possible to stop sugar cravings in their tracks, and we’ve put together a 5-step plan to help make that a reality.
Step 1: Eat healthy and filling meals
If you let yourself get too hungry between meals, your blood sugar is guaranteed to drop to such a degree that you feel shaky and desperate for a fix. This drastically increases the risk that you’ll reach for a quick-release chocolate bar, thus creating a self-perpetuating, sugar-dependent cycle.
This is why the first and most important thing you can do to overcome sugar addiction is to simply take time out to eat healthy, filling meals that prevent hunger levels from ever reaching this rock bottom. Slow-release options like oatmeal are especially beneficial in this sense, not only satisfying you in the moment but ensuring that slow-release fibers keep you full at least until your next planned meal. While this might not necessarily altogether abate your desire for a sweet fix straight away, the ability to cut out sugar without being left hungry is a great and gentle way to start weaning yourself away from those less positive dietary choices.
Step 2: Fill the gap
Even good meals aren’t necessarily going to fill the gap that sugar leaves in your life, meaning that cravings could continue leaving you feeling like you’re lacking something. This is just your body’s dependency on sugar talking and is something that you can help to negate by simply thinking about ways to fill that specific gap in your life alongside those healthier meals.
Fruits high in natural sugars, especially sweet strawberries, bananas, and blueberries, are a great and healthy way to provide that sweet kick that you need with none of the negative repercussions. Admittedly, you may prefer to opt for more sugary dried fruits to start with and then slowly wean yourself over to even healthier fresh fruits. Or, if you want to get away from sweetness altogether, try meeting those sugar cravings head-on with alternatives including crackers and cheese, breadsticks, or something else that helps to get you by.
Step 3: Don’t be afraid to supplement
Whether you’re going down the sugar route or simply intend to go cold turkey, it’s also worth noting that there’s a strong argument for seeking various kinds of supplements when you’re looking to cut out sugar. Making sure that you’re getting all the multivitamins you need is especially beneficial in this sense, as it makes it less likely that your body’s going to reach a stage where cravings can take over. Plus, it’s generally just good for helping your body to recover!
If you’re seeking to cut out sugar for weight loss, in particular, it’s also worth noting that weight supplements like those offered by Dao Drops can not only be the best fat burner for belly fat overall but can also actively work to reduce unhealthy cravings during the time you’re taking them. Then, when you’ve lost the weight and already feel good, you’re far less likely to experience cravings to the extent that you give into them.
Step 4: Try distraction
Sometimes, you’ll find that a full stomach and piece of fruit is enough to keep sugar cravings at bay but, particularly in those first weeks, you may also find that distraction helps to keep your hands and mind busy when cravings reach their peak. This is a great way to overcome any addiction and is a technique that even experts use, but it’s especially useful for sugar withdrawal because we often reach for chocolate, etc. without even thinking about it when we’re sitting on the sofa or just chilling out.
With that in mind, you’re going to want to keep busy enough that these learned behaviors never have time to take over. Doing things with your hands, such as knitting or cross-stitch, can prove especially beneficial for this, as they’re both engaging enough to help you forget cravings, and physical enough that you would actively have to put them down to pick up anything sweet. Further into your journey, you may also find that simple options like taking a quick walk around the block or going for a shower every time sugar crosses your mind can intentionally remove you from temptation.
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Step 5: Avoid your triggers
Along the same lines, it’s also worth avoiding triggers that commonly get you craving sweet stuff, at least to begin with until you’re in a better position to master cravings. It may be, for example, that you stop watching movies when you would traditionally crack out the snacks. Or, perhaps you avoid eating out so that you aren’t tempted to order dessert. You may even prefer to drive a different route home for a while so that you’re not tempted to swing into that shake place you always pass. This is all going to make the journey much easier for you and is a far better way to make sure that your efforts here actually stick.
Sugar addiction is surprisingly rife and incredibly difficult to overcome. Take these steps to turn your diet around at long last.