6 Tips to Curb Sugar Cravings for the New Year
It a brand spanking new year and statistics show that the number one resolution is to lose weight or eat healthier. Unfortunately, less than 10% of Americans will actually go through with their commitments. The true enemy that often derails us from reaching our healthier lifestyles is the temptation to devour sugar-and lots of it. It is truly found in almost everything:
- breakfast cereals
- baked goods
- fruit juices
- dried fruits
- canned fruit
- sauces and other condiments
- ice cream and other frozen delights
It is true that sugar can get you addicted! It produces the same effects on the brain such as drugs like cocaine or heroine. Scary, right? White sugar is chemically formulated to make us love the taste and then keep us coming back for more. This is why we do not think twice about saying no to a birthday party or stopping by that bakery on the way to work that smells oh so good!
Think about it. When you taste the cake, donuts, ice cream, whatever sweets you may choose- it sends these signals to your brain that makes you feel so happy and energetic inside (endorphins)! Let’s say you drink one soda. After an hour or so, you tend to feel worse than you did before drinking the soda. So, what do you do? You reach for another soda for that energy and happiness again. Crash. Repeat.
It is time to break that sugar tooth habit for good and although it won’t be easy, I have a few tips to help you get there, slowly, but surely.
Here are 6 tips to get you headed in the right direction of breaking the sugar cycle:
1. Wrap your mind around the idea.
Quitting an addiction is a very mental process because you must be mentally strong enough to stop giving in. Basically, you must teach yourself to break a bad habit, here. Find whatever motivates you or inspires you to quit sugar and stick with it. Educate yourself on why you want sugar out of your life and write those reasons down so you will not forget why you are doing this. I have often found that keeping a journal or blog to write down your feelings, thoughts, challenges, and successes often helps me to stay motivated to stay away from sugar and other refined foods.
2. Get more rest
Sleep is the divine healer of all things. No, really. When you are fatigued, you will do anything to feel better and to get your energy levels back. Before reaching for an energy drink or Frappuccino, try taking a nap and see how you feel afterwards. Sleep deprivation can cause your stress levels to rise which in turn, makes you crave sweet crap even more-not to mention it also causes weight gain. A lack of sleep can also throw off your hormones and make you feel hungrier and crankier than usual. So get your zzzz’s!
3. Drink water
Water fills your tummy and makes you full. We all know that. However, so many of us tend to enjoy something with a little more taste or fun to it. I am guilty! I hate the boring taste of water. Instead, I love to add a few slices of fresh lemon to my waters or even infuse fresh fruits as well. This helps to give the water a more natural, fun flavor and spice things up. If you crave the carbonation or fizziness to soda, try a carbonated water such as La Croix-this will help trick your taste buds into thinking you’re drinking soda!
4. Brush Your Teeth With Minty Paste or Chew Mint Gum
Other than keeping your mouth busy, studies have shown that brushing your teeth and chewing mint gum helps bust a craving. Nothing tastes worse than eating something sweet (or any food in general) after brushing your teeth or eating something with a minty flavor to it. I even hate eating food after sucking on peppermints- it gives the same effect. The stronger the mint, the more you are unlikely to reach for sweets. Another bonus? You will reduce your risk for cavities by brushing regularly and avoiding sugar.
5. Read Your Labels
Know your nutrition! This is very important because if you are truly trying to bust your sugar habit because you do not want any sugar lurking around or hiding in your favorite foods. Always read your labels and sugar/carbohydrate contents on your food when grocery shopping.
6. Eat Protein At Every Meal
Though last on the list, this is perhaps the most important tip of all! One of the first signs you’re low on protein: You start craving sweets! Protein is great for satiety and may help with cravings as well.
The Institute of Medicine recommends that adults get a minimum of 0.8 grams of protein for every kilogram of body weight per day (or 8 grams of protein for every 20 pounds of body weight). Therefore regardless of what we believe, we truly do need more protein in our diets for a variety of health reasons! If you are a highly active woman, you might even need more protein in your diet to keep up with your workouts and to feed your muscles after putting them to work.
Two of my favorite protein snacks are protein bars and protein powders, especially from Pure Protein®. They are a brand I have known and used for a long time and that I trust!
Each yummy Pure Protein® bar contains 19 to 21 grams of protein with 6 grams or less of sugar to fuel your workouts or midday slumps and to keep you on track with the rest of your day. I have been obsessed with the Dark Chocolate Coconut flavor lately, but all of the flavors are equally as delicious. To name a few, they include: Chocolate Salted Caramel, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Chewy Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Deluxe and Chocolate Peanut Caramel. I will throw one in the diaper bag or take a few with me on long flights or road trips so I won’t go crazy by buying a ton of snacks at every convenience store stop.
Another form of protein that I love to add into my daily routine for snacking smart is Pure Protein® 100% Whey Powder in Rich Chocolate and Vanilla Cream. Protein powders are amazing for attacking your sugar tooth because they are yummy and super fast acting. Whenever I am craving chocolate or a cookie, I will mix a scoop or two with almond milk in my shaker cup and drink it within a minute. Within a few minutes afterwards, my sugar cravings are GONE. The powders are easy to mix, low-fat, and gluten-free while providing 25 grams of protein and only containing 2 grams of sugar per serving. I will drink a shake right after a workout or before bedtime if I am still hungry after dinner.
Something else that’s cool? To help keep on track with your New Year’s Resolutions, Pure Protein is launching an online sweepstakes from January 3 – February 27. Throughout the sweepstakes, Pure Protein will give away 100 prizes including Pure Protein product, year-long gym memberships, FitBit Blaze Smart Fitness Watch, and, the grand prize (five total), a trip for you and a friend to New York City to work out with fitness/nutrition coach and celebrity trainer, Adam Rosante!
The sweepstakes, which will run through February 27, is designed to help keep on track with your fitness goals throughout 2017, while offering a chance to win some great fitness-themed prizes in the process! Please visit www.keepontracksweepstakes.com to enter and learn more about it!
Want to learn more about Pure Protein and their products? Check out their website!
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Pure Protein. All opinions are my own.