5 Ways to Overcome Sugar Cravings
About 4 years ago, I took Jacqueline Smith’s Go Sugar Free Course. I get a lot of questions about it still and I wanted to share a little bit about how it has changed the way my family eats. Spoiler alert: it changed everything for the better.
When I took GSF, I honestly thought I didn’t have a terrible relationship with sugar. I mean, it was always there when I needed it. It never let me down (or so I thought) and it was easy to find. What I didn’t see was how it had created an unhealthy cycle. Sugar was sneaky. It crept into foods I thought were healthy for my body (whole wheat sandwich bread, unflavored almond milk), causing me to have extra weight around my mid section and more stress than I realized in my life. Just like any unhealthy relationship, it took some reflection and tough love to realize just how much sugar controlled my life. And it took some effort to gain control of that relationship and mold it to work for me instead of against me.
Am I 100% sugar free 4 years later? No. But I ALWAYS read my labels and make sure to purchase products without added sugar or make them from scratch. I’ve landed on some go-to brands that I turn to so I have last minute family meals at the ready. But sometimes the most difficult part of controlling the amount of control sugar has over my day to day life is managing the occasional cravings. If you’re thinking about taking Go Sugar Free, Whole 30, or are simply trying to fight those mid-afternoon or late-night cravings, this list is a great place to start. Those moments, when you are tired, hungry, and low on energy, can be the hardest to get through. Having a list of strategies to help you through will do wonders!
If you have other strategies to add to the list, please leave them in the comments on this post. I’d love to hear your ideas!
- Tea: When I start to feel like I need something sweet, I turn to herbal tea. Peppermint is a great choice when you are really struggling. The mint flavor helps me get through my very worst moments. Chamomile is another great choice. I like to add a little lemon and about 1/2 a teaspoon of raw honey. Note: if honey makes your sugar cravings worse, just omit it.
- Brush your teeth: This has the same effect as peppermint tea, but works well when you would normally grab a piece of candy or a sugar laden coffee drink in the middle of the day. Bonus: extra clean teeth!
- Lemon water: I have this on hand at all times. Sometimes, I’ll fill up a pitcher with ice, water, and lots of lemon slices. I leave it in the fridge or on the counter so I can easily fill up my water glass throughout the day and it is a lifesaver! The lemon flavor helps me combat the desire for something less boring than regular water. Plus, staying hydrated helps with all sorts of food-related cravings. Most of the time, when I think I’m hungry, I’m actually thirsty. Or bored. Or both.
- Move your body: Speaking of being bored... Moving your body can help take your mind off of things like snacking and getting that sugar fix, which seem to be common side effects of boredom. Go for a brisk walk, do a few yoga moves, or simply get started on a project that requires some effort (organizing cabinets and closets, doing laundry, or anything else that distracts you). I also like to turn on a podcast and have my lemon water close at hand while I work on projects.
- Have emergency backup snacks handy: One thing I learned after doing Whole 30 is that I always need to be prepared for emergency situations. I got in the habit of stashing healthy, Whole 30 compliant snacks in my purse, in the car, and in easy to grab places in the kitchen. Because some days, you just don’t know what will come your way. Maybe you will be stuck in an area where the only choices are gas stations and fast food restaurants. Enter things like RX Bars and DNX bars. Trader Joe’s also has snack-sized pouches of green olives that have saved me on several occasions. Nuts are another excellent choice. Find things that satisfy your taste for food and also fill you up. Something with healthy fat is ideal.
Now that you have a list of ways to combat your sweet tooth, start making those small changes! They will make a BIG difference in the end.
*Full disclosure: This post contains affiliate links for GSF. All opinions are mine and mine alone!