Here are 5 effective ways to fight sugar cravings
Sugar isn't probably that "sweet" on our bodies. Although a feel-good flavor, many health professionals believe that sugar does more harm than good by being a leading constituent of obesity, diabetes, etc. So what to do when you crave sugar? We got in touch with Aakash Bansal, certified dietician, founder, and fitness expert at FormFit, who revealed five ways to manage sugar cravings.
Why it's important to keep sugar consumption at bare minimum?
"While it's perfectly healthy to enjoy foods that contain a small amount of added sugar on an occasion, keeping your total sugar intake to a minimum level may help reduce your risk of several conditions and improve your health in many ways," says Bansal.
Eat a fruit to get that sugary dose
Fruits are a rich source of nutrition, and most of them are incredibly sweet and juicy. "Having a full piece of fruit may help satisfy sugar cravings for some people," says Bansal. So when you get that itch of savoring sugar, pick up your favorite fruit and chase the cravings away. "Bananas, apples, oranges, berries work great," adds Bansal.
Optimize your environment and make necessary changes
Believe it or not, but your environment plays a major role in inducing cravings. "If you're surrounded by sugar, you will eat sugar. If you aren't, you won't," explains Bansal. So if you often crave something sugary, it's likely that it's stemming from your surroundings. "Keep sugary foods out of the house or keep them sealed and out of your sight," he says.
Get good sleep and manage stress
Stress, tension, negative thought process, and a bad mood can encourage sugar consumption. Sleep deprivation can cause some to eat sugar-based offerings beyond moderation. "For many people, stress and sleep deprivation can trigger sugar cravings. When we eat sweets, our brain releases a hormone called dopamine which is associated with feelings of enjoyment and pleasure," states Bansal.
Savor balanced meals, add more of proteins and healthy fats
Hunger and improper nutrition are the major reasons that lead to cravings. So in order to chase your cravings away, it's important to savor a wholesome and well-balanced meal. "Balance out your snacks and meals with the addition of healthy fats and protein. Healthy fats and protein are digested slower by the body, keeping you satisfied longer and reducing chances of cravings," says Bansal.
Consume better alternatives to satiate your cravings
"If you want to cut your intake of refined white sugar, there are many alternatives to choose from," reveals Bansal. Naming a few, he says, "jaggery powder, honey, thread mishri, etc.," are some offerings you that can easily switch to. For those looking for a more healthy alternative, "You can opt for a zero-calorie natural sweetener like stevia," he concludes.