As we mentioned in part two of our series entitled How to Kick Your Sugary Diet, it can be difficult to cut the bad habit of sugar consumption and form a better habit of healthy dieting. That fact remains true because sugar is so addictive. Fortunately, there are ways to overcome a sugar addiction. Here are a few ideas that you can employ — as provided by your dentist at Love to Smile (where we know how bad a sweet tooth can be!).
Ways to Curb Cravings
Balance With Good Foods
If you can’t cut every ounce of bad sugar out of your diet, don’t fret. It’s normal to keep a few sweets in the house. That said, you should also offset any sugar intake with nutrient-rich, healthy foods. Be sure to keep plenty of fruits in the house, in case you get a craving for something sweet. And focus on consuming a balanced diet when you are hungry. Don’t just reach for junk food. If you struggle to control what you eat when you’re hungry, try to have a few, easy and healthy meals prepared. You can prepare a crockpot full of chicken curry, for instance, and you can heat it up when you get hungry throughout the day — instead of reaching for a candy bar or a tub of ice cream.
Do Something Different
If your sweet tooth is tingling, you can take your mind off of sugary sweets by changing up what you’re doing. It can be easy to loaf around on the couch and succumb to a bout of hunger. But instead of shuffling over to the fridge, you can make a habit of getting an exercise to take your mind off of your cravings. Instead of reaching for the cookie jar, do a set of push ups or sit ups. Craving some hard candies? Go outside to clear your head. You can even go for a walk or a run. Make a good habit of doing something healthy and enjoyable when you get some aches to eat something sweet.
Eat When You’re Hungry
While you can certainly adjust your habits and do something different other than grabbing a sweet treat (as we just mentioned), you should still eat when you’re hungry. Fasting can make your cravings even stronger, especially if you’ve just begun to cut sugar from your diet. So, instead of fasting you can ensure that you have good food around the house. Eat when you’re hungry to satiate those cravings. Also, seek out filling foods with high fiber content (like oatmeal), since these foods will keep you feeling fuller for longer.
Empty Your Cabinets
Limit temptation by getting rid of items around the house that have high sugar content. While you don’t have to be wasteful and toss everything out, you certainly don’t have to restock your pantry with the sugary stuff once you run out of those more sugary items. It may work best to simply stop buying the sugary foods that you normally stock in your home. That way you can consume whatever’s left on the shelf, while slowly reducing the amount of sugary foods that are left in the pantry.
A Stick of Gum
Do you have a craving that you just can’t kick? Chew on a stick of gum! Sugar-free gums are often sweetened with xylitol, a naturally derived sweetener that won’t damage your teeth. Plus, if you’re trying to cut calories, you don’t actually consume the gum, and you’ll only get a calorie or two out of its contents. Keep a pack of gum in the car, in your purse, or in your briefcase, in case you get sugar cravings throughout the day.
Continue to Part IV
Once you can control your cravings, it’s time to set some goals and to reward yourself! Click to start reading the final part of our article How to Kick Your Sugary Diet, to learn about how to incentivize your habit changes to further overcome your cravings.