Sugar Cravings During The Holidays? 4 Ways To Reduce Them24 Mar 2023
Holidays are all about pampering yourself with goodies! If you have a sweet tooth, your cravings for chocolates and ice creams never ends, right? That’s because cravings for delicious food and sugar are often associated with relaxation, love, and fun.
The holidays are when you feel relaxed and celebrate – and your sugar cravings are justified. If you have a bite of your favourite chocolate or a pastry when you have irresistible sugar cravings, it is fine. The problem surfaces if your binge eating is triggered and you load yourself with sweets. It can lead to weight gain and other associated health issues.
Being aware of how to reduce sugar cravings comes in handy at such times. A few ways of refraining from getting tempted by sugar cravings are discussed in this article.
Reasons For Sugar Cravings
There are both psychological and physiological reasons for sugar cravings. If you are too conditioned about what you eat and when you eat, you may end up having food cravings because they feel like a compulsion. Other reasons for having sugar cravings are:
- Synthetic sugar additives: Studies have shown that people who are very habitual in using products with sugar additives ended up with sugar cravings. It was also seen that when these people gave up on foods with artificial sweeteners they had considerably reduced or no sugar cravings at all.
- Stress: The stress hormone cortisol is associated with sugar cravings. You will be susceptible to feeding on sweet foods or foods with sugar and fat additives which may result in serious health issues.
- High-carb diet: When you consume a lot of carbs, your sugar levels spike and crash, triggering cravings.
- Sleep disorders: People with sleep disorders end up craving foods that are starchy, salty or sweet.
- Hormones: Studies have shown that women often crave chocolate and sweets, depending on where they are in their period cycle. Chocolate releases endorphins, the chemical known to regulate mood and happiness.
Simple Ways To Control Sugar Cravings
For some of you, just a bite of a sweet of your choice is enough to satisfy your sugar cravings. But some end up bingeing on sweets when they have sugar cravings which is not a welcome idea. Sugar cravings can drain some of them mentally. They cannot deviate their mind from the craving and the desire for a particular sweet can be overwhelming. There are a few strategies that will help you to reduce sugar cravings.
The first step is to not keep yourself hungry. When hungry any food of your choice will do. If you have a sweet tooth, then shopping when you are hungry is what you should avoid because you will be tempted to fill your cart with sweets and unhealthy snacks.
Keep Away From Comfort Foods
Eating when you are hungry is not a thumb rule that everyone follows. You tend to eat even when you are not hungry. This is much different from craving your favourite sweet food. Sugar cravings can be associated with irregular sugar levels. Consuming processed carbohydrates in excess, sugar additives, or sugar can trigger sugar cravings.
Keeping comfort foods like ice cream out of reach is one way of curbing sugar cravings. But it is easier said than done. The best way to curb your cravings is to sip a hot cup of soup or peppermint tea. Also including cooked food with a lot of vegetables is a good option to reduce sugar cravings.
Avoid Too Many Food Restrictions In Your Diet
If you restrict yourself from foods that are your favourite like sweet foods just because it does not fit into your balanced or healthy diet, then you will tend to get sugar cravings very often. If you resort to your willpower to keep you away from sweet foods then you are prone to binge eating sugary stuff when you have an opportunity.
The ideal diet plan will be to include your favourite food, even if it is unhealthy, at least in one meal a week. Allowing a small amount of dessert in a meal along with a healthy salad will not harm and you can enjoy the treat without the guilt of cheating. If you are deprived of your favourite foods for your entire life you will tend to binge eat these foods and feel guilty about it too.
Another strategy you can implement is to keep sweets farther away from your reach. If you will have to put in a lot of effort to get your hand on your favourite sweet food, then it is less likely you will do it, and this is one way of curbing your sugar cravings. If you are unable to control your sugar cravings then having a small bite of sweet food of your choice once in a while will reduce your sugar cravings.
But never store sweet foods with a justification that it is better to buy a wholesome portion instead of a few pieces. Even before you know it, you will have finished the entire portion. For instance, if you feel like a pastry, then buy only one of them, to satisfy your immediate sugar cravings without feeling guilty about it.
Try To Control Cravings Mentally
Indulge in some work that can distract your attention whenever you have sugar cravings. This technique can be used to reduce sugar cravings as long as you do not see or smell sweet foods that are tempting.
A technique called neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) wherein you imagine things that are not related to food. It could be the scenic beauty of the mountains, the smell of mud after rain, etc. This can diminish sugar cravings without actually feeding on sweet foods.
Pressure points like the one found between the wrist and the little finger, on the temples, above the lip, the top of your head and in the centre of your chest are very beneficial to reduce sugar or any food cravings. You will have to just tap these pressure points and you will feel magical results. This technique is Emotional Freedom Tapping (EFT). Food cravings can also cause anxiety at times. Take deep breaths to reduce your heart rate and your cravings will automatically reduce.
Sugar cravings are not a symptom of any health condition but a very common syndrome that each one of us would experience at some time or other. Educate yourself about the health hazards associated with sugar cravings and follow the tips given in this article to reduce sugar cravings to lead a happy and healthy life.
What triggers sugar cravings?
An imbalance in blood sugar levels is one of the most common triggers for sugar cravings.
What are the simple ways to reduce sugar cravings?
Avoid stress, sleep well, and reduce foods with artificial sweeteners and you notice the difference.
Name some foods that help reduce sugar cravings.
Chia seeds, dark chocolate, berries, fruits, yoghurt, etc., are some of the foods that control sugar cravings.
Is it possible to flush out excess blood sugar?
Sugar detox is possible by adding more protein and healthy fat to your diet.
Why is drinking water immediately after you binge on sweet foods recommended?
Water not only hydrates your system but also flushes out excess sugar through urine and so is recommended after binge eating sugary foods.
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