At Hideout Fitness, helping people start the new year right is why we get out of bed in the morning. While forging a new fitness path and setting realistic fitness goals is what we specialize in, living a healthy life includes many moving parts. Namely, examining your diet. A constant issue we come across with clients is sugar cravings. Knowing some tips on how to curb sweet cravings can be a massively helpful tool this year.
Let's explore sugar cravings, why they pop up, and how to squash them using helpful dietary tips.
Why Am I Craving Sweets?
Several factors may lead you to have severe sugar cravings.
- Lack of nutrients. If you aren't getting enough nutrients, your body may crave sugary foods in an attempt to get a quick energy boost.
- Hormonal imbalances. Certain hormones, like cortisol and insulin, can affect your sugar cravings.
- Dehydration. Staying hydrated is vital. Dehydration can sometimes cause cravings for sweet foods.
- Stress. High stress and anxiety can lead to cravings for sugary foods to cope with more negative emotions.
- Medications. Some medications, like antidepressants, can cause cravings for sweet foods.
- Genetics. Some evidence suggests that genetics can partially influence the frequency and intensity of sugar cravings.
- Poor sleep. Lack of sleep or poor sleep quality can lead to cravings for sugary foods. Getting enough sleep is so crucial not only for curbing sweet cravings but to an overall healthier lifestyle.
- Boredom. Are you a boredom eater? If you are not eating for hunger but rather out of boredom, you may find yourself craving sweet foods.
Maybe it's one of these reasons or a mixture of a few. Either way, sugar cravings can be overwhelming, especially if you've been knocking it out of the park with your dieting after the holidays.
Is There A Way To Get Rid Of Sugar Cravings?
Yes, there are several things you can try to reduce or eliminate sugar cravings.
All of these are great ideas for living a healthier life. But try to focus on what's affecting your diet and lifestyle and work out a plan to help curb sweet cravings.
Eat regular meals
Skipping meals or waiting too long to eat can lead to low blood sugar, which can trigger sugar cravings. Instead, try eating regular, balanced meals. A consistent meal plan can help stabilize blood sugar levels and reduce cravings.
Choose high-fiber foods
Foods high in fiber, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, can help keep you full and satisfied, reducing cravings for sugary snacks. Getting satisfying, filling foods is crucial when staying committed to your healthier lifestyle choices and realistic fitness goals.
Drink plenty of water
Again, hydration is key, and thirst can sometimes be mistaken for hunger. So stay hydrated! Remaining consistently hydrated can help reduce cravings. And overall, it's essential for your body to function—no need to drink 8 gallons daily, but drink enough to help you feel healthy.
Hideout Fitness private trainers in Orange County can help you figure out your own personal diet and water intake with private training sessions in Irvine.
Get enough sleep
Lack of sleep can increase the hormone ghrelin, which stimulates appetite and can increase cravings for sugary foods.
Like proper hydration, a good night's sleep is key to a healthy, comfortable life.
We recommend getting at least 6 hours a night. Six hours is the bare bones for muscle strain recovery and healing your body, and it should be the bare minimum.
Find healthy ways to manage stress
Stress raises cortisol, which can lead to increased cravings for sugary, high-fat foods.
Instead of letting cortisol control your cravings, find some healthy ways to manage stress. Try some muscle-building exercises, meditation, or talking to a therapist, which can help reduce cravings.
Try using natural sweeteners
Natural sweeteners like honey, maple syrup, and coconut sugar can be used instead of white sugar and help reduce cravings for sweets.
However, like anything, it's essential to use these sweeteners in moderation. These helpful aids can still contribute to weight gain and other health issues if consumed in large amounts.
Practice mindful eating
Be mindful of what you’re eating, when you’re eating, and why you’re eating. Paying attention to your food and eating experience can help you become more aware of your cravings and make it easier to resist them.
Find activities to occupy your time
Sometimes cravings can result from boredom or a need to do something with your hands. Bored eating can be a key culprit in destroying your realistic diet goals for the year.
Instead, find activities for occupying your time. Reading, going for a walk, or even doing a puzzle, can help distract you from cravings.
What To Eat When Craving Sugar
A way to hack your body and help alleviate sugar cravings is to eat certain foods that satisfy your body.
For example, are you craving chocolate? Try drinking some coffee to scratch that particular itch. However, if you're not averse to getting some caffeine, opt for that to help alleviate the hunger that goes along with sugar cravings.
Let's examine some great foods to help get rid of sugar cravings.
Fruits such as berries, apples, and mangoes are naturally sweet and can help satisfy sugar cravings. Fresh fruit is a fantastic alternative, as it's refreshing and much healthier than junk food.
Dried fruits such as apricots, dates, and figs can also be a good option for satisfying sugar cravings. Just be sure to watch your portion sizes, as dried fruit is more concentrated in sugar and calories than fresh fruit.
At first, it may seem counterintuitive, but chocolate can be a good option for satisfying a sugar craving, as it contains natural sugars. Choose dark chocolate, which is lower in sugar and higher in cocoa solids, and be mindful of portion sizes.
There are even some promising scientific findings that dark chocolate can benefit heart health.
Chia seeds are low in calories and have a low glycemic index, which means they can help regulate blood sugar levels and may benefit people with diabetes.
In addition, chia seeds are hydrophilic, which can absorb large amounts of water and may help with hydration.
Some studies have also suggested that chia seeds have other health benefits, such as improving heart health and aiding in weight loss.
However, more research is needed to confirm these effects.
Nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds such as almonds, walnuts, and sunflower seeds are high in healthy fats and protein, which can help keep you full and satisfied. They can also be a good source of natural sweetness.
Healthy smoothies or shakes
You can make a healthy smoothie or shake by blending fruit, vegetables, protein powder, and plant-based milk.
Even a basic smoothie can be an excellent way to get a dose of natural sweetness and nutrients in one go.
Veggies and hummus
Veggies like carrots, bell peppers, and cucumbers are naturally sweet and can be a great snack when paired with a protein-rich dip such as hummus.
Greek yogurt with honey
Greek yogurt is high in protein and can be a satisfying snack when topped with a drizzle of honey.
Just be sure to choose plain yogurt and use honey in moderation, as it is still a type of sugar.
These various alternatives, combined with healthier lifestyle habits, can make cravings go away more quickly. Another fantastic resource is teaming up with a Hideout Fitness coach in Irvine that will help you nail your fitness goals for the year.
How To Curb Sweet Cravings With Hideout Fitness In Irvine
Need help modifying your diet? Need to curb sweet cravings? We offer comprehensive meal prep services and private training sessions with our certified personal trainers in Irvine.
With Hideout Fuel and the dietary experts at Hideout Fitness, clients can more easily tailor their diets to their ideal workout.
Whether it's increasing protein intake with one of our fantastic meals (try the teriyaki tofu with white rice and green beans!) or working with our fitness coaches, we've got you covered.
Want to get things started? Ready to start a program to see how to curb sweet cravings? Get in touch with us today for a free consultation with our Irvine fitness coaches and get the ball rolling!