You love sugar.
And, if you’re anything like I used to be, this holiday season was probably a total sugar-fest.
You kept grabbing cookies every time you went into the kitchen– eating way more than you care to admit.
It’s as if in some irrational part of your brain, you’re thinking if you just get rid of the sweets (by eating them!), you’ll get back to eating healthy more quickly.
You kept telling yourself it’s just for a few more days. It’s only once a year. You’ll get back on track soon.
But, when you’re really honest with yourself, you know that sugar is kind of a problem. It’s a problem that flares up during the holidays, but even when it’s not sweets season, you find yourself craving it. All the time.
So, how do you control it?
Or, even better– how do you stop the craving?
Let me tell you a secret– it’s NOT willpower.
And, that mean-girl self-talk to try to get yourself back in line won’t work for long, either (plus, it doesn’t feel very good).
You want to be in control around cookies. To have one (or two) and feel happy and satisfied. Use these three strategies to get to the heart of your cravings so you can be in control, reduce your desire for sugar, and stick to your goals for a healthier new year.
Emphasize veggies, protein and fat
Eating too many simple carbohydrates (think white rice, sugar, bread or white potatoes) can raise blood sugar quickly, then drop it fast. And when it plummets, you might feel shaky, depressed, and hungry. You’ll not only grab whatever is closest to bring that blood sugar back up, but you’ll also find yourself craving more sugar and starchy foods.
Being on this blood sugar roller coaster makes it really difficult to tame sugar cravings.
Instead, get serious about incorporating protein and fat at each meal, along with vegetables or low-glycemic fruit. You won’t get those spikes and crashes in blood sugar and you’ll likely have more energy, better focus and fewer cravings.
Get more sleep and more down time
It is completely normal to turn to sugar and simple carbs when you need a pick-me-up. Those foods temporarily give you energy and boost your mood.
Feeling tired? Gimme some caffeine and sugar. Are you sad? Bummed? Grab a sweet treat on the way home from work or dive into a pile of mac and cheese. Having a crazy-busy and stressful week? Simple carbs and sweets for the win– pizza, wine, fries, ice cream.
Keeping yourself in a tired and stressed-out state is completely working against your ability to control cravings for sugar.
Try getting to bed earlier, even if it’s just 15 minutes a night. Create a bedtime ritual to help you unwind without the wine. And, play around with different activities to get that stressful energy out.
When you’re reaching for sweets, slow down and pay attention
If you’re someone who finds herself grabbing candy at work everyday without even thinking about it, this is a technique to try. Rather than immediately satisfy a craving, sit with it. Feel it. Notice what it feels like in your body. Is it uncomfortable? A tight feeling in your chest? Butterflies in your stomach?
Then, consider how you’re going to use that sweet to change how you’re feeling. Ask yourself, “how am I using this to change my mood?” or “what is this doing for me?” or “is this a habit-craving or do I actually want this?”
Doing this is like giving yourself a pause button so you can understand why you continue to reach for sweets. Try it. Maybe it sounds crazy, but I bet you’ll uncover some things you didn’t even realize.
Ending sugar cravings can be tough, but I also know it’s 100% doable. The same strategies don’t work for everyone and the same strategies won’t work for you everytime. You really need several tools to break free from the sugar cravings cycle.
If you’re ready to get a handle on your sweet tooth, join the (completely free) 7 Day No Sugar Challenge. Challenge yourself to a week without added sugar and put healthy habits in place now, so you can totally rock 2018.
- A 7-day, done for you meal plan so you know exactly what to eat (no guessing!)
- Delicious recipes to help you stay on track
- Support and accountability so you can stick with it and get control of your cravings.
- And so much more!