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8 Tips to Overcome Your Sweet Tooth

8 Tips to Overcome Your Sweet Tooth

Overcome Your Sweet Tooth

Getting over your sugar addiction is easier said than done, but there are several strategies that you can implement that can make it easier for you. A very low calorie diet like the HCG diet can go a long way in helping you control your cravings for sugar. Many participants in the diet find that their cravings for sweet foods and drinks virtually go away after one round of the diet. This is because the diet can detox your body, reset your hypothalamus and change your appetites for food dramatically. However, if you can't try the diet at the moment for any reason, there are other ways that you can reset your appetites and try to overcome your cravings. If you've found that you are struggling with carb cravings, these tips may be helpful:

Tip #1 to Overcome Your Sweet Tooth - Eat breakfast

Experts suggest that over 90% of people who are addicted to sugar skip breakfast, and it makes perfect sense why. When you skip breakfast, you force your body into starvation mode during those first few hours of the day. A lot of sugar addicts will eat a sugar rich muffin or other small carbohydrate rich snack at around breakfast time or afterwards to get a spike of energy to get the day started. It can have a similar effect as drinking a cup of coffee for the caffeine rush. The sugar provides a boost of energy but then it drops off as the food is metabolized quickly. Eating a healthy breakfast with protein, healthy fats and natural carbs from fruit or vegetables will help you avoid cravings during the early morning and later on during the day for food, and it will stabilize your blood sugar so that you don't have an energy drop off before your next meal.

Tip #2 - Use natural sugars as a substitute

Natural sugars from fruits and vegetables work as the best substitute for cane sugar or artificial sweeteners. Satisfy your sweet tooth with ripe strawberries, blueberries, melons and other fruit and you won't have to worry about the harmful consequences. Natural fruit has sugar in the right proportions with most varieties, but you should also check the glycemic index which will indicate the sugar content. High glycemic index fruits and vegetables that you will probably want to avoid include dates, parsnips, watermelon, pumpkins, and canned fruits which are normally canned in syrup. You'll want to avoid canned fruits as a result of this, but most fruits in their natural form are a great substitute for sugar. Try to avoid adding extra sugar to your fruit and try to eat mostly organic.

Tip #3 - Use stevia as a sweetener

Stevia is an excellent alternative to artificial sweeteners and you should try to use it as much as possible to replace artificial sweeteners. Natural sweeteners should be avoided such as date sugar, agave nectar, maple syrup and honey. These sweeteners just end up being another source of calories and aren't that great of a replacement, but they are obviously better than drinks or foods sweetened with high fructose corn syrup or other artificial sweeteners. Stevia is the best sweetener out of all of them because it is natural and it is calorie free. Stevia can work as a great replacement in several recipes and there are also a wide variety of drinks sweetened with it. Stevia is made from a South American plant and it has been used as a sweetener for centuries, and it is perfectly safe to use even if you consume a lot of it. You might have to experiment with different stevia products to find the one that you like the most, but there are more choices than ever before.

Tip #4 - Try frozen grapes

Frozen grapes are one of the weight loss secrets and can satisfy your sweet tooth. They are a great alternative to sweets and they have a delicious unique texture when they are frozen. 1 cup of seedless grapes has just 110 calories, and you'll find that eating a lot less than one cup of frozen grapes will be satisfying. The freezing process seemingly makes them even sweeter, and when combined with other healthy foods like nuts they can keep you full and satisfied until your next meal. The next time you feel the urge to grab a sugary snack try frozen grapes, you just might get hooked and the best part is that they are so low in calories that you can enjoy them whenever you want.

Tip #5 - Try coffee sweetened with stevia

Coffee can suppress your appetite with the caffeine content, and by adding stevia it can satisfy your sweet tooth as well. It is a great way to hold yourself over between meals, and you won't be adding any extra calories to your diet. The caffeine in coffee can also boost your metabolism and help to break down abnormal fat. You won't want to rely on it too much because the caffeine can be a bit addictive, but it can be a great backup plan when you want to avoid snacking on carbs. Try to avoid drinking more than a few cups per day, particularly if you are sensitive. Don't add cream or sugar as well which will cancel out the appetite suppressant effects and is just as bad as eating a sugary snack.

Tip #6 - Try dark chocolate

Dark chocolate is usually sweetened with sugar, but even the sugar sweetened varieties aren't as unhealthy as milk chocolate. Try to find low sugar versions of dark chocolate, or you can even find several brands that are flavored with stevia. The stevia brands are completely guilt-free and a perfect alternative to regular chocolate and are ideal. There is also stevia with a dark chocolate flavoring that you can add to drinks or foods. Dark chocolate has the benefit of containing antioxidants and other beneficial compounds. Avoid the brands that are sweetened with maltitol which is actually a sugar alcohol and can have an effect on your blood sugar.

Tip #7 - Eat more protein

Eating more protein can help you fight sugar cravings because it stabilizes your blood sugar and help you avoid cravings that you can't control. Fiber rich foods accomplish the same thing and can help you feel fuller, but protein and healthy fats are essential to include in every meal. Carbohydrate rich meals will leave you feeling hungry a few hours later as they break down more quickly, and this spike and drop in blood sugar is one of the major causes of sugar addiction that can be easily avoided with better food choices.

Tip #8 - Get enough sleep

Not getting enough sleep can definitely drive you to want to eat more carbs and sugar rich foods because you simply won't have the energy that you should have normally. So, be sure that you are getting the recommended amount of sleep each evening, and track the number of hours that you are sleeping. If you find that you are getting less than 7 hours of sleep be sure to adjust your sleep schedule so that you can get more sleep regularly. Don't try to catch up on sleep on the weekends; make the time to sleep as much as you need to during the weekdays and stick to a strict sleep schedule to avoid overeating. You'll find that it will probably be much easier for you to control your sugar cravings if you do this.

About the author

Dr. Constance Odom, MD

7 min read