Tips For Diabetics to Beat Sugar Cravings
We’ve all been there - the 2:30 p.m. battle between our conscious and the vending machine taunting you and the quarters in your pocket. What’s one more Moon Pie, after all? Sugar cravings can hit even the healthiest of us. Equipping yourself with a tool kit to fight the sugar cravings is essential if you’re looking to kick the habit.
Many people can feel like they have a sugar ‘addiction’ and it’s completely normal to crave sugar. Feeling guilty about your cravings is a sure fire way to sabotage yourself. Learning why you’re having a sugar craving is the first step to learning how to control them. Never forget to be kind to yourself as you work through your sweet tooth!
Why Are You Craving Sugar?
Generally, people can crave sugar for a variety of reasons whether it’s due to hunger, emotional distress, or from seeing or smelling something delicious. Learning how to identify why you’re headed for the cookie jar is key to stopping yourself.
Craving sugar due to hunger has an easier fix than the rest, but it still involves being prepared and kind to yourself. If you find yourself instinctively reaching for the sweets whenever your stomach starts to rumble, learn to leave yourself healthy alternatives within easy reach. Stock your favorite snack station with fruits, healthy granola bars, nuts, and small prepackaged portions of your favorite snacks.
Sugar cravings caused by emotional distress or regular old stress are a different beast and require more practice to deal with in general. Whether it’s a coworker that makes you want to reach for a candy bar or poor grades causing you to head for the ice cream shop, it’s extraordinarily common for modern people to soothe their emotions with sugar.
It’s difficult to learn what your emotional triggers for stress eating sugar are. It starts by asking yourself why you’re reaching for that sugary snack. You won’t always remember to ask, and you won’t always be able to stop yourself, but that’s okay! Learning how to deal with your sweet tooth is a journey and not a step-by-step process.
Sugar cravings caused by sight or smell are, for most people, the easiest to ignore. It’s helpful to avoid commercials and walking by bakeries when you’re trying to cut down on your sugar intake. If you’re particularly prone to giving in to this sort of sugar craving, keep the remote handy whenever you watch TV; you’ll thank yourself when the commercials have you headed toward the cookie jar.
Tips for Managing Sugar Cravings
- A great way to combat sugar cravings is by drinking a refreshing glass of water. Though it may not seem like a glass of water is a good replacement for a candy bar, sometimes that’s all it takes to snap yourself out of a sugar craving!
- If you ask yourself ‘why am I craving sugar’ and the answer is because you’re actually hungry, don’t hesitate to eat something! Whether you go for a full healthy meal like a salad or homemade sandwich or a small snack of nuts, you shouldn’t let yourself stay hungry.
- If you can’t manage to kick your sugar craving easily, sometimes a brisk walk or other form of exercise can do the trick. It’s much harder to convince yourself you need a cookie if you’re actively walking (or dancing) away from it!
- Chewing gum can be a great way to keep your jaw too busy to even think about eating. Experiment to see if sweet flavors or more traditional mint flavors work best for curbing your cravings.
- If your hands are busy, you’re much less likely to give in to your sugar cravings. Find something to keep you busy whenever the cravings hit, such as knitting, doing puzzles, playing with your pets, or cleaning. It doesn’t matter what you do as long as it keeps you busy and doesn’t make your sugar cravings worse.
- If you’re dealing with sugar cravings due to emotional distress or other stress related reasons, find someone to talk to. Working through your emotions may be difficult, but it’s much better for all aspects of your health than using sugar as a way to soothe them.
You Can Beat Your Sugar Cravings
While sometimes sugar cravings can feel unbeatable, you can conquer them! It takes a lot of patience and kindness with yourself to say no to sugar. Arming yourself with a toolkit of what to do when a sugar craving hits is essential. Next time you find yourself reaching for a sweet treat, ask yourself ‘why am I craving this?’