Hands up if you’ve got a sweet tooth?
So we get it: saying no to your favourite treats can be super difficult. Especially when they’re right in front of you!
But don’t worry, indulging in moderation is totally fine. And a few sweets here and there certainly won’t take away from your healthy, active lifestyle. That being said, if you find yourself really struggling to say no — or you feel you need sugar on a daily basis — then it could be time for an intervention!
Luckily, there’s lots of ways to stop craving sugar. And most can be added to your regular routine with ease, so you don’t have to make huge changes to boost willpower or avoid the sight of cake altogether!
In this article, we’ll explore 6 simple life hacks to help you leave your sugar-dependent ways in the past!
How to stop sugar cravings: stay busy
Think back to the last time you felt serious sugar cravings. Were you at home on your own, with a bit of free time to kill? Or out and about with friends having a great time?
Truth is, boredom is a massive contributor to sugar cravings. In fact, research has shown that, for some reason, we’re just hardwired to fancy carbs, fats, and sugars when we’ve got nothing to do.
The simple answer? Try to stay busy!
We don’t mean all the time, of course, because then you’d reach burn out. But even when you are at home resting, just try to be aware of how the mind may start playing tricks on you. Do you really want another cookie? Or is one enough? Get up, walk around, read a book, watch a film — just do something busy for a moment, and then see if you still want another cookie after all.
Before you know it, your daily sugar cravings could become a thing of the past.
How to stop sugar cravings: eat a filling breakfast
We’re all familiar with the mid-morning slump. You know, the feeling in between breakfast and lunch where the hunger creeps in, and you need a little pick-me-up to keep going?
It happens to us all, but it’s still dangerous territory. After all, if you let your sugar craving take over, you’re a lot more likely to reach for a sweet treat rather than something healthy.
The best way to combat this is to eat a super nutritious and filling breakfast, guaranteed to keep you feeling fuller for longer. Think eggs with avocado on wholegrain toast, or a peanut butter and oat protein smoothie. This gives you a great combination of carbs, protein, and fibre all in one.
When you’re feeling full for longer, the mid-morning sugar cravings should be a lot easier to resist — you simply won’t be as hungry.
How to stop sugar cravings: don’t go cold turkey!
Whilst completely cutting out all sugar straight away works for some, it’s not the most effective method for everyone.
Avoiding sugar altogether can cause you to overindulge during times where you do give in, like birthdays and other special occasions. It’s called the ‘what-the-hell effect’ — controlling your eating too much, then breaking, then being mad at yourself, and starting the whole process again. Essentially, this brings you right back to square one with what causes your sugar cravings in the first place.
So rather than cutting sugar out for good, simply view this step as a shift in your behaviour. Like we said, a little sugar won’t do any harm.
‘Everything in moderation’ is key, and it’s important not to completely deprive yourself. If you need something sweet and nothing else will do, opt for low-calorie options or even sugar substitutions.
Snacks containing Stevia still provide that sweet hit without the mass of calories. Or opting for something as simple as fruit can be more than enough to satisfy your sugar cravings without going overboard.
Taking supplements for sugar cravings could also be a good idea if you’re really struggling. For example, Glutamine and Chromium have been found to help stabilize sugar levels and may boost your ability to resist sugar cravings when taken sensibly.
How to stop sugar cravings: eat more regularly
Whilst we’re conditioned to think 3 meals a day is the best (or only!) way to eat, this isn’t strictly true. So if you find yourself experiencing serious sugar cravings a mere couple of hours after eating a meal, it could be time to re-think your eating routine.
Eating ‘little and often’ can help avoid the temptation to indulge in sugar if you feel those pesky hunger pangs creeping in. It’s also a great way to keep your blood sugar levels stable, too.
So how does it work?
Instead of 3 big meals a day, try switching to a small meal every 3-5 hours. These mini meals should be filling and rich in fibre, to help keep sugar cravings at bay. A light protein bowl, or cottage cheese with celery or carrots would work.
How to stop sugar cravings: chew gum
This may surprise you, but chewing gum has been found to seriously help in reducing cravings!
As simple as it sounds, the very act of chewing can trick your brain into thinking you’re eating a sugary snack. This helps curb the sugar cravings and keeps you going until your next meal.
So, next time you’re walking home from the gym or sitting in your office and experience a sudden desire for sugar, open a packet of gum instead. You’ll probably be surprised at the positive effect it could have on your desire to indulge!
How to stop sugar cravings: combine foods
Looking for ways to enjoy sugar without the serious calorie hit?
Then our final diet hack may be for you.
All you need to do is think a little more strategically about how and where you get your sweet tastes. Rather than eating a whole chocolate bar, why not melt down a few squares to drizzle on strawberries?
This way, you’re still getting your sugar fix while consuming a bunch of healthy nutrients at the same time! And, as strawberries are high in fibre and pretty low in sugar themselves, they make the perfect healthy addition to any super sugary snack.
Always the one with major sugar cravings? Now you know how to stop!
So there you have it, 6 simple yet effective methods to finally get control over your sweet tooth!
But please remember that the occasional sweet treat is totally fine, and you shouldn’t deprive yourself fully — because where’s the fun in that?!
And if you’d like to discover some other healthy alternatives, designed for on-the-go, check out our guide to ultimate snack box favourites. Enjoy!