- Avoid sugary drinks.
Sometimes when we’re drinking, we forget that liquids have calories just like solid foods. For example, I love Naked Smoothies. I used to have one every day for breakfast. They were easy to grab and go on my way to class or work and they were filling.
Then I learned one serving has over 50 grams of sugar.
This “hidden sugar” is everywhere. Soda, juice, sports drinks, smoothies, even some “sparkling water”. I mean, I thought that San Pellegrino Orange drink was basically just water, but it has over 30 grams of sugar!
Don’t get me started on alcoholic beverages. We all wonder were that “freshman fifteen” comes from. It comes straight from the keg. I used to tell myself red wine was good for me, and ignored the fact that it was the amount of sugar nauseating me, not the alcohol.
The best thing to do is to stick to water. Plain and simple. Mix it up with tea. I love peppermint and green tea, but there are so many flavors one will never get bored. Check out my favorite teas for weight loss. Add lemon to your water if you hate the taste or are craving sugar. I tentatively suggest black coffee here, although some sources suggest that after the caffeine crash people crave more sugar. Coffee may also lead to trouble sleeping, which brings me to my next point.
2. Get more sleep and less stress.
By get more sleep I mean two things: actually get more rest, and go to bed earlier.
Studies show that sleep deprivation makes us crave sugar. It’s no wonder I’m such a sugar addict. I also tend to be an insomniac. But besides that, it’s so easy to stay up late binge watching Netflix, playing a video game, or cramming for an exam or work deadline. Sometimes we just get too caught up in a mindless or stressful activity and forget how late it is. These are usually activities where we’re snacking on sugary foods as well.
I found starting school projects and studying much earlier so I didn’t have to pull all nighters and limiting my tv after dark helped me cut out sugar. Not only was I getting more sleep so I wasn’t a sleep deprived, sugar craving monster, but I also was no longer binging on Swedish fish at 2 am.
It seems that stress, sleep, and sugar are all intertwined. Stressed? Don’t sleep well and crave sugar. Don’t sleep well? More stressed and crave more sugar. Eat more sugar? Have mood swings that stress you out and prevent you from sleeping well. It’s a downward spiral that gets worse and worse until we put a stop to it.
I wrote another post on stress eating. So if you struggle with that problem like me check out this article.
3. Eat satiating foods and make substitutions.
Sugar may curb that craving for a little while, but like the Terminator it will be back. And probably stronger than before.
Instead, fill up on protein packed foods, fiber, whole grains, and healthy fats. Eat a variety so you are getting all your vitamins and minerals.
When that sugar craving is back in full force and you can’t fight it, make healthier food substitutions. I am a chocolate lover. I don’t think life would be worth living without dark chocolate. But I usually eat chocolate until I want to vomit and the lining of my mouth feels like it is disintegrating. When I really need my chocolate fix, I opt for Skinny Dipped Chocolate Covered Almonds (which come in a ton of amazing flavors and don’t have that thick layer of chocolate, but the most perfect, fine layer), or homemade dark chocolate covered blueberries. With chocolate covered almonds I am getting my chocolate in, but the almonds have more fat and protein (which leads to higher satiety) than chocolate alone. Chocolate covered blueberries are a favorite treat, and I know I’m getting some fiber (also more filling) along with antioxidants and vitamins.
Hopefully these tips help you like they have me. Let me know what tricks have worked for you!