Even though eating a bag of potato chips or a candy bar momentarily runs off the hunger games, it doesn’t take long before the games are back and you’re craving food. A diet that consists of excess amounts of sugar can lead to an addiction to simple carbohydrates and sugar cravings. The fact that sugar can block leptin, a hormone that creates a full sensation in the body according to Dr. Oz on Good Morning America is a huge problem. A few simple changes to your lifestyle can get you back on track when you are craving sugar.
Cut Out All Sugar and Starch
The best way to beat the cravings is to stop eating sugar and starch altogether or to go “cold turkey” like someone who is quitting smoking eliminates cigarettes altogether. To eliminate excess sugar and starch from your diet, you need to make some plans. Prepare yourself by:
- Get rid of all sugars and starches in your home and where you work. It’s harder to eat sugars when they aren’t readily available. Donate or discard the packages of chips, pretzels, and candy you have in the cupboard or in your desk drawer. Examples of sugars to get rid of include white bread, candy, baked goods, and salty potato snacks.
- Stock up on gum. Chewing a stick of sugar-free gum when a sugar craving hits can help you get the craving under control. Another option is to brush your teeth when a craving strikes.
- Bring in the fruit and healthy snacks. Even though fruits do contain sugars, they also contain fiber and vitamins which means you won’t suffer that “sugar crash” you get from a candy bar. Other healthy snacks to keep on hand include nuts, seeds, and raw vegetables.
Boost Vitamins and Minerals
Having a vitamin or mineral deficiency can cause you to have sugar cravings as well. B vitamins and the minerals chromium and magnesium are particularly useful for beating cravings for sugar and starch. Eating foods with the L-Glutamine amino acid helps battle cravings as well.
Re-Assess Your Eating Habits and Lifestyle
Some people eat when they are stressed, sad or happy. Look at your eating triggers. When you are about to eat a candy bar or an entire bag of chips, ask yourself if you are eating it due to hunger or in response to a feeling.
Another way to overcome cravings is to put yourself on a set eating schedule. Enjoy a breakfast that contains protein, fat, and complex carbohydrates, such as fruits and vegetables. Eat lunch at a set time, then dinner. When you schedule your meals, you will be able to keep your blood sugar level in balance so you don’t have sugar cravings to deal with.