Having a sweet tooth can be one of your biggest obstacles to losing weight, but thankfully there are several ways that you can control your cravings or reduce them. Snacks that are high in sugar content just end up making you crave more food without really satisfying your appetite, and of course they can cause all kinds of health problems including (but not limited to) weight gain when you eat them regularly. Although sugar can provide you with a quick boost of energy, you are better off eating other foods that are digested slowly and won't cause a spike in your insulin levels which can lead to insulin resistance and diabetes as you get older. If you've found that you've struggled with your cravings for sweet foods, try some of these tips to see if they can help stop your cravings for sweets.
Tip #1 - Use Stevia as much as possible
Stevia is one of the best sugar substitutes because it is natural and it can help to rewire your brain to not crave sweet foods. Using stevia in your coffee, drinks, and other recipes adds sweetness without adding calories. Stevia satisfies part of your sugar craving but it doesn't lead to problems like insulin resistance, weight gain, inflammation and other health issues that occur with regular sugar consumption. There are several pre-packaged foods that are made with stevia that you can purchase now, but you do have to be careful about other ingredients that can cause weight gain like grains. The best option is to make your own drinks and recipes using stevia and substitute them for some of your favorite sugary snacks.
Tip #2 - Drink more water
Dehydration is one of the biggest causes for both food and sugar cravings, and you can do a lot to limit them by ensuring that you are drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Try to drink an 8 ounce glass of water whenever you're craving sugar and see if your cravings subside even a little. If you're still craving sugar, then satisfy your cravings with something natural or a stevia sweetened food instead of a dessert. But in a lot of cases you might find that your cravings subside with nothing other than a tall glass of cold water, and the main benefit of course is the fact that you won't have to worry about calories.
Tip #3 - Don't eat processed foods
You might not actually be addicted to sugar, because processed foods that are high in sugar will often have other ingredients that can make them more appealing and addictive. They are designed to be this way so that you keep buying them. The best thing to do is to just avoid processed foods entirely and their addictive ingredients. You might have a few favorite processed snack foods that are also high in sugar, but if you can get rid of them and keep them out of your diet, along with other processed foods, you'll find that your food cravings are a lot easier to control. Of course this is easier said than done, but if you're careful with your shopping choices you can keep most processed foods out of your kitchen.
Tip #4 - Stabilize your blood sugar
One of the main reasons why you might crave sugar all of a sudden during the day is due to a blood sugar drop. You can easily avoid this just by making sure that you eat a balanced breakfast, lunch and dinner and snack on healthy foods in between meals. Be sure that you're eating a healthy breakfast so that you aren't starved before eating lunch, and ideally your breakfast should have protein along with carbohydrates. Eating just a donut or another high sugar breakfast will cause an energy crash and leave you feeling fatigued just a few hours later.
Tip #5 - Grab a piece of gum
Chewing non-sugar gum can help curb some of your cravings, but you don't want to become overly reliant on it. The best option is gum flavored with stevia and not other types of gum that are flavored with artificial sweeteners that can make your sugar cravings worse. It can be difficult to find stevia sweetened gum all of the time, so you should limit your intake of artificial sweeteners.
Tip #6 - Eat more fruit
Eating more fruit is a great way to reduce your cravings for sweet foods, as fruit is naturally sweet. If it's not sweet enough for you try adding a little bit of stevia to make it sweeter, and even using a bit of natural sweetener like honey or maple syrup with fruit or your smoothies is still a lot better than eating high sugar snacks. Keep a few of your favorite fruits with you as a quick snack whenever you're hungry and you'll be a lot less likely to snack on high sugar foods.
Tip #7 - Drink coffee and tea
Both coffee and tea are appetite suppressants and can help you control your sugar cravings much in the same way as water. Coffee and tea with natural caffeine like black or green tea can significantly reduce your appetite, and the effect occurs pretty quickly. It can also help to reduce your overall calorie intake. Be careful of course to avoid adding any sugar to your coffee other than stevia, and use cream or milk with your coffee to add a bit of extra calories without adding carbohydrates. The appetite suppressant effect of coffee works differently from one person to another but it's worth a try.
Tip #8 - Go cold turkey
Cutting sugar completely out of your diet is obviously effective but it's not all that easy for everyone. The HCG diet can help you reduce your sugar cravings as it's required for both Phase 2 and Phase 3 of the diet to avoid any sugar intake, and by limiting your sugar consumption for multiple days in a row your appetites can "reset" and you'll find that you very likely won't crave it as much after the diet is finished. Another option is to get rid of all of the desserts and other high sugar foods in your house, but if you can't get rid of all of it at once just try to reduce your consumption little by little.