Virtually everyone was born with a sweet tooth [even before growing teeth]!
According to Christine Gerbstadt [dietician and spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association (ADA),] “Sweet is the first taste humans prefer from birth.” So, you could say we’re hardwired to crave the sweet stuff, huh? Yeah, right!
Thing is sugar is a carbohydrate, and carbohydrates induce the release of serotonin [aka the feel-good brain chemical.] So, technically, the more sugar you consume, the happier you feel. Plus, the taste of sugar releases endorphins that help you feel calm, relaxed and…yes, high [great! who wouldn’t binge on a thing like that]?
But…excess sugar [Americans consume 22 teaspoons of added sugar per day on average,] can lead to heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity and mental health problems -- enough to counter all the good stuff sugar has to offer.
Now that you’ve gone through a quick refresher on why sugar is bad news for your health, let’s get straight to 5 natural ways to kick your sugar addiction…
1: Drink lots of water
Yes, sugar cravings could be a sign that you’re dehydrated. What to do? Drink plenty of water during the day whether you feel like it or not. And just in case regular water is not your thing, you can substitute with herbal tea or go for soda water [with a squeeze of lemon] every time you feel the urge to grab a can of soda. Studies have shown that staying hydrated can help curb cravings.
2: Keep a fruit handy
Fruit comes with its own sweetness and that’s good news for those with a sweet tooth. Fruits like; apples, bananas, and oranges are good substitutes for processed fruit juice which experts have found contains an unbelievable amount of sugar.
3: Eat more protein
Protein helps maintain consistent blood sugar and makes you feel full, longer. In fact, one study showed that people who ate protein-rich food for breakfast reported fewer cravings for savory and sweet foods than those who didn’t. Plus, those who ate more protein had higher levels of dopamine, meaning they reaped the feel-good rewards usually associated with sugary foods.
4: Take a hot shower
Going for a hot shower instead of giving in to your cravings have been shown to provide some relief from sugar cravings. Make sure the hot water is near uncomfortable and let the water run down your back and shoulders for about 5 – 10 minutes. By the time you step out of the shower, your craving is most likely gone down the drain.
5: Substitute sweet with savory
Well, sometimes, despite your best efforts, you may catch yourself indulging in sugar-rich foods and feel helpless in the situation. What to do? Replace sweet with savory. So, every time you’re overcome by sugar cravings, reach for savory snacks like Pretzels, nuts and seeds, popcorn or potato snack.
There you have it!
Going cold turkey or trying to overcome your sugar cravings overnight might not be such a good idea. So, go easy on yourself and remember -- Rome wasn’t built in a day!
Want more ideas on how to handle your sugar cravings, naturally? Awesome! Hook up with Lee via this wellness video, right here and don’t forget to hit the subscribe button. Did you find this piece particularly helpful? Tag us @nestednaturals and use hashtag #SleepWakeThrive -- we’d love to hear from you!