Eat more real food
One you start making these swaps, the next part in the 4-step plan to stop sugar cravings for good is to realize a very important thing: real food is really incredible. It’s delicious, can be naturally sweet, and doesn’t send you into a sugar crash, but actually sustains you all day long.
As you become more accustomed to whole foods, start making more and more swaps. Avoid processed dressings, sauces, and condiments (sugar alert!), and utilize the creaminess of avocado and hummus, the zest of fresh citrus, and the sweetness of raw foods like strawberries in your salad and tomatoes on your sandwich.
If you’re feeling hungry, and sugar is on the brain, eat smart. Grab a quick apple as a sweet and healthy snack, and stock up on slower digesting fuel sources such as proteins to fill up so you won’t find your tummy grumbling and subsequently searching for quick burning sweets.
These Baked Apple Chips are a great healthy sweet snack choice.
Replace food rewards with other pleasures
When a sugar craving hits, realize it’s not about nourishing yourself, because it’s not the same as hunger. In fact, it’s actually your brain craving a release of dopamine in the reward system.
Don’t reward this empty pleasure. Instead, pick healthier, more fulfilling pleasures to make you feel good. What else feels indulgent? Is it a massage? A much needed trip to the nail salon? Perhaps curling up with a good book feels really, really rewarding.
If you need some sort of oral fixation, grab a cup of tea, or sip on some fruit-infused water.
If you feel like your hard workout deserves a reward, think before you eat. Are you hungry, or are you just trying to make yourself feel balanced? Before you reach for the cookie, do something else. Grab a friend to see a movie, plop down in a sun chair on the beach, treat yourself to that sale you’ve been wanting to check out.
You can’t replace one addiction with another, however, so be sure that whatever you are choosing to reward yourself with isn’t going against your overall desire to lead a healthy lifestyle.
As you can see, this 4-step plan to stop sugar cravings for good is equal parts about food just as much as it is about mind games. Take things slow, don’t be too hard on yourself, and perhaps keep a food diary to see where your biggest triggers are so that you can make the healthy swaps you need.
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