This sort of fiber readily absorbs water and swells up to form a jelly-like substance in your gut, which may help keep you feeling fuller for longer and prevent sugar cravings Chia seeds are also versatile, so if you want a dessert to satisfy your sweet craving, you could try making a chia pudding like this one. Chewing gum can be a great way to control your sugar cravings.
Gum or mints that are made with artificial sweeteners taste sweet but contain a minimal number of calories and no sugar. Although results are mixed, some studies have also found that chewing gum could help control hunger, cravings and the intake of carb-heavy foods later in the day 14 , 15 , 16 , In addition to helping you fight the urge for sugar, chewing gum after your meals is good for your teeth Legumes like lentils, beans and chickpeas are great plant-based sources of fiber and protein.
The Science Behind Sugar Cravings
In fact, 1 cup grams of lentils provides you with around 18 grams of protein and 16 grams of fiber Both these nutrients are thought to increase feelings of fullness. Thus, in theory, including legumes in your diet could help you feel fuller and reduce hunger-driven sugar cravings. In line with this, a recent review found that eating lentils may aid weight loss This may be partly due to the short-term beneficial effects that legumes can have on your appetite 21 , Additionally, some studies have suggested that yogurt could be a good snack to help regulate your appetite and control your cravings 23 , 24 , 25 , In fact, one study found that healthy-weight women who had high-protein Greek yogurt for an afternoon snack were less hungry and ate less later in the day, compared to those who had a lower-protein snack or no snack at all Even though they have been dried, they are a great source of fiber, potassium, iron and beneficial plant compounds.
Having a few dates instead of a soda or some candy can give you a sweet fix and also provide you with healthy nutrients. You could even try pairing them with nuts like almonds for a sweet and crunchy treat. However, remember that dates are very sweet, so stick to one portion at a time, or about three dates.
Sweet potatoes are nutritious, sweet and very filling. They contain mostly carbs but also fiber and a number of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, vitamin C and potassium. For a delicious treat, try them roasted with cinnamon and paprika like in this recipe.
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Including a source of protein like meat, poultry or fish in your meals may help prevent sugar cravings 28 , In fact, if you are trying to lose weight , eating adequate amounts of protein may be very important for managing your food intake, cravings and weight 30 , 31 , 32 , The sweetness of the fruit combined with the filling effects of yogurt can satisfy your need for something sweet, all while providing lots of beneficial nutrients. Soda is extremely sweet, and drinking high amounts of sugar-sweetened beverages has been linked to a number of diseases, including heart disease and diabetes 36 , 37 , Switching to a sugar-free version can help you get a sweet fix without the added sugar and calories.
This means you can reach for them as a healthy alternative to candy when you just have to have some sugar. Their high fiber content and naturally occurring sorbitol also mean they may help relieve constipation. Sorbitol is a naturally occurring sugar alcohol that tastes sweet but is absorbed slowly in your gut Eggs are another high-protein food that may help keep your appetite and cravings in check. In fact, research has shown that having a high-protein breakfast like eggs may reduce hunger and help people eat less throughout the day 41 , 42 , This may be partly because a high-protein breakfast suppresses the hunger hormone ghrelin and increases some of the hormones that make you feel full, including peptide YY PYY and glucagon-like peptide-1 GLP-1 44 , 45 , This suggests that an egg breakfast could keep you feeling fuller for longer and keep the cravings at bay 43 , Trail mix is the name often given to a snack containing dried fruit and nuts.
The exact combination of ingredients can vary, but trail mix can make a great choice if you're craving something sweet. Nuts contain healthy fats, proteins, fiber and plant compounds. While some diet experts caution against overeating fruit, you're not likely to gain weight or increase sugar cravings from fruit consumption. Use a calorie calculator to make sure you are getting the right number of calories each day. If you're trying to lose weight, a calorie deficit is necessary, but going too low can backfire.
Once you have a healthy calorie goal, try to schedule your meals and snacks throughout the day so that you never get overly hungry. So if you consume 1, calories per day, you would eat — carbohydrate calories or — grams of carbohydrate each day to meet that guideline. Try to get carbohydrates in the form of whole unprocessed foods, like fruits and vegetables. Sweeter veggies and grains like oatmeal, corn, or sweet potatoes can provide a boost of sweetness to curb cravings for less healthy carbs like baked goods or sweetened cereal.
If you are constantly surrounded by sugary foods, it's going to be hard to reduce your cravings. It is important that you speak up if someone in your office, your home, or your school is pushing food on you. Suggest that treat days at work include fruit instead of baked goods, encourage the family to go for a walk instead of indulging in dessert after meals, or ask your friends at school to keep sweet treats tucked away and out of sight. Food cravings can feel overwhelming at times. In fact, they may feel like an addiction—completely out of your control. But many times you can stop sugar cravings on your own by simply changing some of your daily routines and habits.
First, try to get enough sleep, balance your diet with healthy protein and filling fiber, and reduce your use of artificial sweeteners. If those adjustments don't work over the course of a few weeks, reach out to a registered dietitian to get help.
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Trick #2: Eat Huge Salads
Thank you, , for signing up. Benton D. The plausibility of sugar addiction and its role in obesity and eating disorders.
Clin Nutr. DOI: Greer, S. The impact of sleep deprivation on food desire in the human brain. Nature Communications, 4 1.
Food craving as a mediator between addictive-like eating and problematic eating outcomes. Eat Behav. Thomas, L. Are You Addicted to Sugar? Bdj Team March 27, Yang Q. The Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine. Yanovski S. Sugar and fat: cravings and aversions. J Nutr. More in Healthy Eating. Why Do I Crave Sugar? Cravings vs. How Much Is Too Much? How to Stop Cravings. View All. But there are other reasons that you may be experiencing a preoccupation with sweet treats:. Emotional stress: If you are experiencing stress at home, on the job, or in your relationships, it makes sense that you would seek comfort from food.
Given sugar's effect on your feel-good hormones, sweet foods would be a natural choice for someone feeling down. Macronutrient imbalance: If you eat a diet that is lower in filling foods, such as protein, healthy fats, and fiber, you may experience blood sugar swings that impact your cravings. For example, if you eat a high-starch, sugary breakfast such as a donut or a pastry , you are likely to feel hungry again shortly after eating.
When your body craves quick energy, it craves sugar. Lack of sleep: Scientific studies have determined that a lack of sleep is often followed by an increase in cravings for sweet, salty, and starchy foods. And researchers have found that we make poor food choices when we are tired. It may seem hard to cut back on your sugar when baking but you can use spices instead to add natural sweetness. This kicks sugar cravings by satisfying your sweet tooth. Cinnamon is a sweet spice that can stop sugar cravings when nothing else can.
Add some in your tea or coffee or take it in supplement form for an extra boost! Grapes are naturally sweet so freezing them makes them refreshing and make you feel like you are having a frozen treat. Making a plant-based smoothie, packed full of fruits, vegetables, and a healthy nut butter can help not only boost your intake of fresh foods daily but also help curb sugar cravings. Its unique mix of super nutrients will flatten your gut, boost your metabolism, heal your digestive system, and turn off your fat genes for good.
A Simple 3-Step Plan to Stop Sugar Cravings
Buy Zero Belly Smoothies today! Look, feel and live great while getting on the path to better health with the Eat This, Not That! When it comes to added sugars, you know the obvious offenders, like sodas and candies. But you may be shocked to discover where else these sweet sabotagers lurk—and what the cost to your body may be. Despite its nasty side effects, Americans still have a sweet spot.