I’ve always had a sweet tooth. While my idea of heaven is filled with chocolate and ice-cream, I also want to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle. Cutting back on sugar is one of the best ways to do this, as it has been linked to an increased risk of numerous health problems, such as type 2 diabetes, obesity and heart disease. If you’ve ever tried reducing sugar in your diet, you’ll know sugar cravings are the worst. So here’s a list of healthy ways to help satisfy your sugar cravings.
1. Eat a piece of fruit
This is the most obvious piece of advice to fight sugar cravings, but it’s also the most helpful. Fruit is naturally sweet, but it contains a lot of nutrients and fiber which make it a healthy choice. The fiber content in fruit is important as it will fill you up, effectively stopping the sugar craving in its tracks. So whenever you feel like reaching for a chocolate bar, pick up an apple or a banana instead.
2. Eat frozen fruit
If you want a more interesting way to consume fruit, consider freezing them. My favourite snacks on a hot summer’s day are frozen grapes and frozen blueberries. A few of them are enough to satisfy any sugar cravings I have.
3. Eat regularly
Whenever I skip meals, I’m not just hungry, I crave sugar as much as the Cookie Monster. I usually grab whatever’s quick and easy, which is usually something laden with sugar. In order to prevent these sugar cravings, I make sure to eat regular meals throughout the day. This ensures my hunger levels are always satiated so I’m not tempted by junk food.
4. Eat a diverse range of foods
Sugar addiction has been compared to having a drug addiction, which explains why it’s so hard to fight sugar cravings. It’s important to make sure your body has all the nutrients and energy it needs to fight these cravings. You can do this by having a diverse diet, full of a range of vegetables, legumes, whole grains and fruit. These foods fill you up and give you energy, making it less likely you’ll get sugar cravings in the first place.
5. Drink tea
Just like hunger, sugar cravings come in waves. Sometimes the only thing you can do is ride them out. One of the best ways to do this is with a warm cup of tea. Drinking tea takes time, distracting you from your cravings. If your sugar cravings are strong, try opting for of wild berry or peppermint tea, as they are naturally sweet.
6. Eat a handful of nuts
Nuts are nutritional powerhouses and are full of healthy fats which fill you up to keep you satisfied. They’re a healthy alternative to sugary snacks, though be careful how much you eat, as they are high in calories.
7. Make a smoothie
8. Make banana ice-cream
Banana ice-cream is a game-changer. All you need to do is blend frozen banana in a food processor, and it turns into the consistency of a soft-serve ice-cream. You can add extra bits if you want, like peanut butter or cacao nibs, but it’s delicious enough on it’s own.
9. Have a couple of dates
Dates are delicious, especially when dried. They are full of fiber and antioxidants, but like most dried fruits, you need to be careful. They are high in calories and natural sugars, so make sure you limit yourself to a few.
10. Spice up your diet
When you cut back on sugar, you may find yourself missing the flavours of your favourite sugary snacks. To fight this, you can pump up the flavour in your diet by adding spices and natural extracts. The more you enjoy the flavours of other foods, the less you’ll miss sugar.
11. Switch ice-cream for yogurt
Yogurt is full of healthy bacteria which make sure your gut is functioning as it should be. Plus, it’s just so darn tasty. Add some berries and nuts, and it’s almost like you’re having dessert! Just make sure you check the ingredients, as many yogurts are full of sweeteners and hidden sugars.
12. Stay hydrated
Drinking enough water is key to a successful diet and lifestyle. Sometimes your hunger cravings are just a sign you’re dehydrated. So before you reach for those sugary snacks, drink a glass of water!
13. Have a piece of dark chocolate
Dark chocolate is the slightly healthier version of milk chocolate. It contains less sugar and more antioxidants, so as long as you enjoy it in moderation, you’ll be sure to reap the benefits.
14. Chew gum
Do you ever daydream about food? When I crave sugar, I often imagine I’m in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, drinking from the river of chocolate. These daydreams often lead me to reach for a bar of chocolate, even when I’m not hungry. A great way to fight this is to chew some sugar-free gum. By keeping my taste-buds occupied, my daydreams are put to bed.
15. Make some popcorn
Did you know popcorn has the potential to be a healthy snack? This is because if you make it yourself at home, you have complete control over what goes into it. Instead of adding sugar, you can sprinkle cinnamon or even just eat it plain. It fills you up and can trick your brain into thinking you’re eating junk food.
What are your favourite ways to satisfy your sugar cravings? Let us know in the comments below!
Feature image source: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bu57_rpAvit/
I am a Writing and Publishing student at RMIT, Melbourne, keen to build my writing portfolio and pursue a career in publishing. I am currently working on a YA fantasy novel.