Hive Health Media

5 Simple Tips To Control Sugar Cravings

Are you constantly craving sugary foods between meals, late at night, or even throughout the day? Do you want to know how to stop sugar cravings and transform your body into a healthy and more well-balanced one?

Here are 5 tips to help you break free of your sugar cravings…

1. Get your beauty sleep

There’s nothing like a good night’s sleep to boost your energy, help your body fight illness and leave you feeling fresh and ready to take on the world. But did you know a good night’s sleep can also help you nix those sugar cravings?

Lack of sleep reduces serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a hormone that regulates mood, appetite and sleep. Lower serotonin levels are associated with increased food or sugar cravings. Getting 7-8 hours of quality sleep is one of the simplest ways to curb cravings.

Tip #2 – Hydrate with water

It’s a shame how many people reach for sugary carbonated drinks these days to quench their thirst. While these drinks might taste good, they only increase your cravings for sugar. You are trapped in a vicious cycle whereby the more sugar you consume, the more you crave for it.

Dehydration can often be mistaken for sugar cravings. Drink plenty of plain water or water with lemon. Water has no calorie and is great for rehydrating your body naturally.

Tip # 3 – Opt for healthy substitutes

By choosing fresh fruits over sugary processed foods, you can satisfy your sweet tooth without sabotaging your diet. They are high in vitamins and antioxidants, and the fiber fills you up. Choose low glycemic fruits such as berries, apples, plums and grapefruit which have less effects on your blood sugar levels.

Tip #4 – Cut out processed foods

Ever wonder why your body seems to crave certain types of foods so strongly? The same thing that makes a drug addict crave more of the drug is what gives you a hankering for sweets.  That’s right, sugar stimulates your brain to produce dopamine.

Dopamine, often called the ‘pleasure transmitter’, results in feel-good feeling. Eating processed foods that are high in carbohydrates and sugar can increase dopamine levels in the short-term. However, you end up craving for more of them once dopamine levels recede. Break this vicious cycle by avoiding processed foods as much as possible.

Tip # 5 – Avoid caffeine

For some of us, it’s almost impossible to start the day without our morning coffee. You might even depend on regular doses of caffeine to get you through the day.

Caffeine stimulates the adrenal glands to produce adrenaline, giving you that instant pick-me-up. It increases mental alertness and energy levels temporarily. The problem is that once these effects wear off, you experience a crash that can lead to sugar cravings, hunger, fatigue and agitation. If you want to curb sugar cravings, it is best to cut back on caffeine or avoid it completely.

If you take artificial sweeteners with your tea, coffee or other beverages, do you know that they can increase appetite and sugar cravings? Learn more about it here: Artificial Sweeteners and Weight Gain

Rena Wong is a fitness enthusiast and freelance group exercise instructor. She shares her passion on health/fitness and writes on various related topics on her website: www.shedthefat.com

5 Comments

  1. Jasmine

    November 6, 2012 at 9:07 pm

    Thanks for the blog. I am a huge advocate for sugar free living and as a holistic health practitioner myself, I often run workshops about the harmful effects of sugar (the enemy, not fat!!). I don’t work for any large corporations.

    Cristina, I completely respect your qualifications but there’s no convincing me that sports drinks are better hydration than good old fashioned water for the average active person i.e. not elite athletes. If they are not full of sugar (or carbohydrates as you politely refer) then they often contain fake sweeteners – my personal worst nightmare!

    Also, I don’t believe that all beverages hydrate. For example, coffee dehydrates. It’s a confusing message to the public to make this statement.

    As Rena mentioned, the aim of the game is to get everyone off the vicious sweet addiction rollercoaster and their taste buds reaccustomed to what nature intended – good, hydrating, refreshing and pure water…just what our bodies want most.

    Best wishes,
    Jasmine
    Sydney, Australia

  2. Jarret Morrow M.D.

    October 27, 2011 at 6:26 pm

    Here’s a comment I received via email:

    “To The Editor:

    While I enjoyed reading “5 Simple Tips To Control Sugar Cravings” (10/14) and agree with the advice to sleep more and choose whole foods such as fresh fruit, I was disappointed that you urged readers to hydrate solely with water.

    I’m a dietitian, and when counseling my clients on the importance of hydration, I emphasize that all beverages can hydrate. This is especially important for those who do not drink adequate fluids because they simply do not like the taste of water.

    Similarly, as a Sports Nutritionist working with elite athletes on a daily basis, I encourage them to choose a sports drink during training. Research shows that beverages with a 6-8 percent carbohydrate concentration hydrate better than water alone. I believe that as long as someone is eating a balanced diet and participating in physical activity, there is always room for their favorite drinks or foods in moderation.

    Cristina Rivera MS, RD, CSSD, CDN
    Registered Dietitian & Consultant to the Food and Beverage Industry, including Coca-Cola
    President, Nutrition In Motion PC
    361 Broadway
    Bethpage NY 11714”

  3. Virginia Keefer

    October 15, 2011 at 7:32 pm

    Greens help me too!

  4. Evelyn Parham

    October 15, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    Good tips! I've found that cutting out processed foods and eating my share of green leafy vegetables has helped in this area.

  5. Dean Nason

    October 15, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    Love the Megan Fox photoshop!

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