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How to curb your sugar cravings

Are you the sort of person who can’t walk by a candy store without going inside and purchasing some sweets? Or do you find it hard to fight against cravings for sugar all the time? As humans, we prefer anything that is sweet as opposed to salty right from our birth and that preference for sugar tends to continue even as we grow into adults. But as you may have read, too much of sugar just isn’t good for the body. So how can you control sudden cravings?

All forms of carbohydrates such as potato, lettuce etc are broken down into sugars by the body which is then used whenever the body needs energy. That’s why a healthy portion of carbohydrates in a daily meal is very important. On the other hand, the sugar that most of us love is refined sugar which doesn’t have any nutrients but plenty of calories which are absorbed quickly by the body. This causes what’s known as a ‘sugar rush’ which is a sudden peak in energy levels which is then followed by a lull. In order to get out of the lull, the body craves more sugar, which then becomes a pattern. Just like carbohydrates stimulate the release of serotonin, sugar too releases endorphins which give us a feeling of calm and happiness.

We may stay away from candy bars, ice-creams and chocolates but refined sugar creeps up in our diet in many other ways. For example, sugar is an important ingredient in many kinds of processed food, bread, sweet yoghurt, fruit juices, burgers, condiments and even in your favourite ketchup. Here are a few ways you can control your sugar cravings-

– Instead of buying a full sized treat, go for a smaller version. Many chocolates come in new bite-sizes which are ideal when you want a quick sweet treat.

– A craving for sugar could also mean that you are hungry. You will feel better after a proper meal.

– Get help in analysing your daily diet with a nutritionist. Eating too much of junk food on a daily basis also increases your cravings for sugar.

– Put on your shoes and go for a walk or a jog if you find that you are having repetitive sugar urges.

– Chewing sugar free gum has been found to be very helpful as well. Just keep a wad in your pocket or bag and get chewing when a sugar urge strikes. It’s a good workout for your facial muscles as well.

– Grab some fresh fruit when you crave sugar.

– Don’t forget to include complex carbs like sweet potatoes, beans and whole grains in your diet. They help to keep the sugar levels steady in your blood.

– Choose dark chocolate over other varieties. You’ve heard it being said before, that dark chocolate is healthier because it contains many compounds that are great for your heart.

– Try smelling some a vanilla pod- it can trick your brain into feeling that you have had something sweet.