The types of foods people crave are highly variable, but these are often PROCESSED JUNK FOODS high in sugar because it’s addicting. CRAVINGS are one of the biggest reasons why people have problems losing weight and keeping it off.
THE MORE SUGAR YOU EAT, THE MORE YOU CRAVE. It can take a few days to weeks to get over an addiction to refined sugar once you start, BUT it’s possible and learning how to resist sugar will help with weight loss!
Here are a few strategies to make sure you are incorporating into your daily routine to help resist sugar and reduce your daily sugar intake!
STAY HYDRATED. Thirst is often confused with hunger or food cravings. If you feel a sudden urge for a specific food, try drinking a large glass of water and wait a few minutes. You may find that the craving fades away and saying no to sugar becomes easier because your body was actually just thirsty. Reminder: women need at least 64 ounces of fluid daily and men require at least 96 ounces daily.
EAT ADEQUATE PROTEIN DAILY. Eating more protein will reduce your appetite and keep you from overeating. It also reduces cravings and helps you feel full and satisfied for longer. Try to aim for 25-30% of daily calories through lean protein sources- poultry, fish, turkey, low fat dairy products, nuts and nut butters.
MEAL PREPARATION. Focus on weekly or daily meal preparation to limit temptations. Make meal planning a priority so you don’t have to think about food constantly and worrying about what to eat next. If you have healthy foods available that you actually look forward to eating, this can help prevent against choosing unhealthy items that might also be around.
DISTRIBUTE CALORIES THROUGHOUT THE DAY. Hunger is one of the biggest reasons why we experience cravings. To avoid getting extremely hungry, it may be a good idea to eat regularly every 3-4 hours and have healthy snacks close at hand, including protein based snacks. This will prevent slumps in your blood sugar level (hypoglycemia) and reverse effects of consuming empty calories with refined carbohydrates and simple sugar.
GET ADEQUATE SLEEP. Are you catching your nightly ZZZ’s? Most people require 7-9 hours of sleep daily. Skimping on sleep sets your brain up to make bad decisions. Plus, when you’re overtired, your brains’ reward centers rev up, looking for something that feels good. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition- found that when people were starved of sleep, late-night snacking increased, and they were more likely to choose high-carb snacks.
There you have it. Simple solutions to help you resist those sugar cravings and reach your goals, whether they be weight loss or just to simply clean up your diet overall so you feel better!