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It’s all too easy to let sugar cravings get the best of you, especially around the holidays. But a diet high in sugar is not connected to longevity, feeling great, or looking great! That’s why we’re sharing some preventative tips for beating sugar cravings. 

Sleep More

Research has shown that increasing duration and quality of sleep helps individuals make healthier food choices and decreases their appetite for sugar. A big part of this has to do with how the human body produces the hormones leptin and ghrelin. Ghrelin increases appetite for carbohydrates, and leptin suppresses hunger. When you are sleep-deprived ghrelin increases and leptin decreases, impairing your ability to resist those cookies sitting in the office kitchen. A lack of sleep also disrupts blood sugar, leading to more cravings. 

Eat More Real Food 

Eating a diet high in fiber, protein, and healthy fats is your best bet for curbing sugar cravings. These foods keep you feeling full and your blood sugar stable, preventing large crashes that signal “eat sugar!” to your body. Fat and protein combined every meal is your best bet for satiation and managing energy. A wide variety of fruits and vegetables will help you avoid any micronutrient deficiencies that can be responsible for cravings. 

Drink More Water 

Avoid sugary drinks like soda, juice and sweetened coffee. The more you have it the more you want it!

The part of your brain that controls the thirst sensation is called the hypothalamus. Guess what else the hypothalamus controls? Hunger! When you’re dehydrated, the hypothalamus kicks in and triggers thirst. This can also trigger food cravings, as you’ve probably experienced.

Drinking enough water is one of the easiest ways to keep cravings in check. Doing so also cuts down on your desire for other, less-healthy beverages. Downing a cold glass of water is one of the first things you should do when a sugar craving strikes.

Control Stress Levels

Sugar consumption is often tied to stressful events and used as a coping mechanism for chronic stress. Ingesting sugar may feel good in the moment, but often leads to a slump and negative mood after. Managing stress and noticing when you use food as stress-relief is step one to breaking this cycle. 

Don’t Skip Meals

For those wanting to lose weight or compensate for a sugary binge, skipping meals can be a tempting idea. However, this can have the opposite effect.

Don’t starve yourself unnecessarily — going for long periods of time without food may cause your bloods sugar levels to drop. This will promote hunger, and more likely for carbohydrate or sugary foods.

Do Things That Make You Smile

Making time for activities and people you love is a really important part of managing stress and preventing cravings. When your life is full of things that bring you purpose you’re less likely to go for candy to bring short-lived happiness. Whether it’s meditating, hanging with friends, reading, biking, or making music, find daily joy and you’ll stop trying to fill the void with sugar!

Just as habits take time to build, they also require consistency to break. While tricks like “drink a glass of water” or “brush your teeth” when you feel a sugar craving may help, more often than not the solution is crafting a lifestyle that prevents cravings in the first place.

If you’re trying to reduce the amount of sugar you consume then find a Wrought Iron Gym coach to talk to. They can help you set an action plan that encompasses your exercise, nutrition, and behaviors, and put an end to band-aiding a lifestyle that is fueling cravings.