Health | Sugar addict? 3 surprising ways to interrupt the habit without end

If you go searching the web, you'll find that almost all advice on how you can do away with sugar cravings focuses on avoiding sugar altogether. Not only is that this impractical, however it's also ineffective at reducing sugar cravings. If you're hooked on sugar, listed here are 3 ways it’s possible you’ll be unintentionally giving yourself sugar cravings, and how you can avoid them.

What causes cravings for sweets?

Here are the three primary reasons in your sweet cravings – and how you can stop them.

1. Not getting enough sleep

Several studies, including one published within the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics have linked sleep deprivation to cravings and weight gain. The reasoning behind this lies within the mechanisms involved in regulating metabolism and appetite.

When we sleep, our body produces hormones that control appetite and regulate blood sugar. When we lack sleep, our body produces more of the stress hormone cortisol and insulin, which regulates glucose processing and promotes fat storage.

“Lack of sleep can fuel sugar cravings by disrupting the body's systems for regulating blood sugar levels,” says Rachael Hartley, an authorized intuitive eating consultant and writer of Gentle Nutrition. “Less than about seven hours of sleep has been shown to increase insulin resistance and cortisol levels, and can also disrupt hunger and satiety signals, all of which can lead to pretty unrestrained sugar cravings.”

Have you ever noticed that you just are particularly hungry on days if you don’t get enough sleep? Many studies, including one published within the Journal of Sleep Research show that sleep deprivation is related to lower levels of leptin – a hormone that signals to the brain that it has consumed enough food – and better levels of ghrelin, which stimulates appetite.

This appetite stimulation causes your brain to crave quick energy, resembling sugar. Simply ensuring you get enough sleep regularly can significantly reduce sugar cravings.

“We all have bad nights occasionally, and it's no big deal if we eat more sweets the next day as a result,” explains Hartley, “but chronic sleep deprivation can have more serious health consequences.”

2. Eating while distracted

Taking time to enjoy your meals without technological distractions will enable you avoid mindlessly gobbling up your food and in addition prevent you from overeating. study In a study published within the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers found that distracted eaters felt significantly less full after lunch than those that ate without distractions. They also ate about twice as many cookies half-hour later as those that ate lunch without distractions.

As well study A study published within the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that those that worked and ate at the identical time not only ate faster and had no memory of what they’d eaten, but in addition reported less satiety than those that ate without distractions.

3. Eating too little or waiting too long to eat

If you eat too little at breakfast or lunch—either too few calories or too few macronutrients—you'll experience strong cravings for sweets within the afternoon and evening. Make sure that each breakfast and lunch contain a mixture of carbohydrates, proteins and fat. Carbohydrates are grains, fruits and starchy vegetables like potatoes. Proteins are meat, fish, beans and legumes. And as for fat, you need to eat mostly plant-based fats like nuts, seeds and avocado.

For example, when you're going for a breakfast that's all carbohydrates – like oatmeal with water or cereal with low-protein almond milk – you’ll want to add some protein, like an egg or yogurt, and a few nuts or seeds for fat. Or try High protein oat flakes Variant with milk and eggs.

For example, when you normally eat a salad for lunch, consider adding some carbohydrates to it to avoid cravings later within the day. Grain salad bowls Whole grains made out of whole grains like barley or farro are great on salads, or add your carbs in the shape of crackers or bread as a side dish. And don't forget protein and a few fat like avocado or slivered almonds.

Waiting too long to eat may also increase your cravings for sweets, explains Kara Lydon, nutritionist, intuitive eating consultant and owner of Kara Lydon Nutrition.

“When you haven't eaten for too long, it's biologically logical to crave something sweet. When your blood sugar is low, your brain looks for quick energy sources – like simple carbohydrates and higher-sugar foods – to bring blood sugar back up,” says Lydon. “Try eating every three to four hours to better control your blood sugar response and avoid those big spikes and drops.”

The conclusion

Get enough sleepMaking sure you're eating a balanced ratio of macronutrients throughout the day, not waiting until you're too hungry to eat, and minimizing distractions while eating are all easy ways to tame your sweet cravings—no unsustainable restrictions required.

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