Americans have a sugar problem. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that on average, people in some western countries consume over 500 calories of sugar per day. Many of us struggle with a sugar addiction because sugar is added to so many of our foods in The United States, even those that are marketed as “healthy.”
If you’re trying to lose weight while struggling with a sugar addiction, check out these tips:
- Choose naturally sweet foods
Fruits, berries, dates, raisins and other naturally sweet foods also contain nutrients and fiber, so you can satisfy a sweet tooth without reaching for a candy bar.
- Read labels
Sugar is hidden in so many foods that you’d never expect. Try to save your sugar intake for the things you really enjoy and remove the excess hidden sugars.
- Don’t eat sugar out of habit
Many of us have a snack at a certain time or always eat a dessert after dinner. If you avoid eating foods automatically out of habit, you can choose indulgences carefully and make them treats to savor.
- Be aware of emotional eating
So many of us eat sweet treats when we feel tired, sad or stressed, using the desserts as an excuse to feel better. If you’re feeling an urge for chocolate or cake to get energy or calmness, you probably need someone to talk to.
Always have healthy options around for when you’re hungry or stressed. Good examples are chopped vegetables, hard boiled eggs, berries or unsweetened tea. Find the healthier alternatives to all of your sweet temptations.
- Include fermented foods
Fermented foods have beneficial microflora that can diminish sugar cravings. Examples of fermented foods include tempeh, kimchi, kombucha, kefir, pickles and yogurt. Adding more fermentation to your diet will make the sugar you eat less damaging and reduce cravings over time.
- Eat foods with all flavors
There are six flavors to food: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent and astringent. If the body receives all of the flavors, it is more balanced, has improved digestion and diminished sugar cravings. There are many meals that can include all the flavors. Healthy fats are a great way to get more flavors into your diet. Try using olive oil, nuts and avocados to help you feel full and reduce sugar cravings.
- Eat a balanced diet
Avoid packaged and processed foods full of sugar and white flour and purchase fresh, organic produce and grass-fed meats. This will help restore your body’s natural balance and make sugar less enticing. Using a high quality multivitamin can also support balance and eliminate nutritional gaps.