Everyone loves something sweet, whether it’s a juicy orange or a sweet treat. The problem with satisfying that craving for sugar with chocolate or other food with added sugar makes it even more difficult to stop overeating sugary delights once you start. That’s because sugar stimulates brain neuroreceptors which opioids also stimulate. It releases the feel-good neurotransmitter dopamine. That reward increases your desire to eat more. It’s similar to using recreational drugs. The more you eat, the more you want.
Is it better to cut back and wean yourself from sugar or give it up completely?
The response for each person will vary, but one thing doesn’t. If you’re going cold turkey and eliminating sweet treats, carefully choose your food. Everything that isn’t whole food seems to have added sugar, whether it’s ketchup, bread, or the more obvious, soft drinks. Giving up sugar can help prevent the desire to eat more, but it’s hard to do. It takes several days to weeks to work through the sugar cravings. If you wean yourself from sugar, it causes cravings to continue just as strong and can make it harder to quit.
Postpone eating sugar when you have a craving.
Everyone has their “sweet spot,” the desire for sugar sparking a marathon of candy bars, pastries, and ice cream If you’re weaning off sugar, try the procrastination approach. Instead of going to the cupboard or stopping at the store, do something else. Go for a walk, clean out the junk drawer, or, even better, exercise! Do whatever it takes to postpone eating the sugary treat. If you’re hungry and it’s time for a snack, have nuts, cottage cheese, or fresh fruit or vegetables ready to fill the hunger hole.
Cut out sweet treats one at a time and work up to all food with added sugar.
If your goal is a healthier lifestyle, cutting out all types of food with added sugar gives you a jump start. Start by limiting treats to once or twice a day. Then expand by cutting back to one treat a day and then none. You’ll slowly reduce the sugar you eat. Eventually, your diet will be free of added sugar and you won’t crave it.
- People often fail to realize that soft drinks and fruit juice count as a sugary treat. Drinks are super high in sugar and just as addictive. Even zero-calorie drinks with artificial sweeteners can keep the sugar addiction strong.
- Once you give up the obvious sugary treats, you might find you crave crackers, pasta, and white bread. They’re loaded with sugar, too. All you’re looking for is a big rush of glucose. Limit those foods if you’re weaning off sugar.
- Find ways to get the sweet flavor without the rush of glucose. Create snacks with fruit. Make a parfait with plain Greek yogurt, berries, a half banana chopped, and nuts. It can help fill your craving for sugar without throwing gasoline on the fire.
- It takes a while to get your tastebuds to adapt. When you eat sugar, it requires more sugar each time to get the same sweet flavor. It takes as long to get your taste buds back to enjoying natural sweetness.
For more information, contact us today at LIV Fitness