Sugar is addictive, there’s no doubt about it. I don’t have a huge sweet tooth (I’m more of a savoury girl), but anytime I eat something high in sugar, I usually crave more. The thing is, the processed sugar we get from manufactured foods like cookies, milk chocolate and candy is extremely bad for us. It can lead to issues like weight gain, heart disease, diabetes and cancer, to name a few. That’s why knowing how to quit sugar is so important these days.
But it’s not so simple to stop craving sugar. When we eat sugar, opioids and dopamine are released, which make us feel really good and crave it even more. It triggers the pleasure center of our brain, as well as the reward center, which makes breaking sugar addiction hard to crack. But if you’re serious about getting healthier and losing weight, quitting sugar is one of the best ways to help you reach those goals. And if you’re wondering what to eat, check out cookbooks like Dee’s Mighty Cookbook: Tasty Cuisine for Flourless and Sugarless Living.
Quitting processed sugar can have so many positive benefits on your life, from weight loss to mood stabilisation, to clearing your skin and balancing your blood sugar and cholesterol. When you steer away from sugar, your mental and physical health can skyrocket like never before.
There’s no quick and easy secret to quitting sugar. It’s going to take time and effort on your part, but the good news is, it’s totally possible! Here are 8 tips to quit sugar and curb sugar cravings once and for all!
Take it one day at a time
Change isn’t always easy and it’s not so simple to grasp how to stop craving sweets, especially if you’ve had a sweet tooth all your life. To make it easier, make the process a transition. You don’t have to cut out sugar cold turkey. Sometimes when you go all out, you end up cheating or thinking you can’t do it because it’s way too hard. Comparably, if you take it one day at a time and cut things out as you go, it will be easier to get used to the changes.
Don’t keep sweets in the house
This is one of the simplest and quickest changes you can make to cut down on your sugar intake. If it’s not around, you won’t eat it. Sure, you could drive out to buy the cookies you’re craving, but it’s less likely you’ll do that than if you had cookies right in front of your face. Sometimes at night, I’ll snack on a chocolate bar just because it’s there. But if there’s no chocolate bar in the house, I’ll be forced to snack on something healthier, like an apple. Having sweets in the house basically permits you to feed your sugar addiction, so work on getting rid of as much processed sugar as you can.
Identify your biggest sugar enemy
You know that one thing that you can’t say no to? It could be chocolate chips, a candy bar to beat the afternoon slump, or your daily sweet coffee. This main culprit is one of the biggest reasons you’re craving and dependant on processed sugar, so it’s important you eliminate it. Once you cut your biggest sugar enemy out, it will become easier to quit other sugars, too. Like I said before, it’s a process, so take it a step at a time.
Make it a habit to check nutrition labels
If you’re not checking nutrition labels, start making a habit of it. We often don’t realize how much processed sugar is hiding in the foods we eat. Beware of ingredients like sucrose, fructose, and pretty much any other words with ‘–ose’ at the end. They likely contain sugar. The more you’re aware of the foods that contain processed sugar, the more you’ll realize how prominent it is and what you need to stay away from when you’re grocery shopping. It’s all about educating yourself rather than turning a blind eye.
Focus on better sleep habits
A big reason people reach for sweets and sugar is because they want a boost of energy. A sugar high is a quick fix, but results in an even worse crash and leaves you more sluggish than you were before. Many people crave sugar midday because they don’t get a proper sleep the night before. Try getting to bed earlier and executing a relaxing nighttime routine away from screens and work.
Don’t fall for artificial sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners are a trap, and they’re actually worse for you than sugar. They claim to give you the sweetness you crave without the calories, but they can also lead to consequences such as over-eating and diabetes, plus they’re filled with dangerous ingredients like aspartame and sucralose. Some people also overcompensate in other areas when they use artificial sugars. They think, “well, I put low-calorie sweetener in my coffee so I can have a muffin for breakfast.” It’s dangerous, in more ways than one!
Drink more water
When I was younger I remember drinking orange juice every morning, but now I only drink water with breakfast. We often think fruit juices are healthy because of the fruit, but most juices are packed with sugar, and not the natural kind. Transitioning your sweet juices to water can cut down your sugar intake drastically. And of course that goes for soda pops and sweetened coffee as well. Drinking more water is so much better for you – it releases toxins, flushes your system and helps boost your energy levels.
Make more home-cooked meals
When you cook for yourself, you’re aware of what’s going into your meals. And if you’re using whole foods and cognisant of nutrition labels, you’ll be able to create meals that are healthy and sugar-free. When it comes to figuring out how to stop craving sugar, you’re going to have to start from inside your own home.
Are you trying to quit sugar? Try these 8 steps to kick your cravings and drop some pounds!
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