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Sugar. It's sweet, addictive and – in large quantities – very bad for our health. It’s no wonder that we're plagued by daily sugar cravings when so much of what we eat is secretly hiding sucrose. Like any other addiction, sugar can be hard to quit; it'll take a bit more than a bounce on your trampoline.
Food doesn't have to taste taste sweet for it to contain sugar. Savoury foods are just as likely to contain an overabundance of sugar, and it's likely more dangerous. If we can't taste it, then we're more likely to consume too much. You'll find sugar in most processed foods, bread, pasta and sauces.
How can we beat those ravenous 3 pm chocolate cravings once and for all? Take a look at our top tips to tackling the sweet stuff.
The first step to getting on top of your sugar habit is to understand exactly how much sugar you’re consuming. Read the labels on everything that you regularly eat; we guarantee that you’ll be shocked once you realise how many foods that seem ‘healthy’ contain piles of sugar.
This awareness of your food – what’s in it and where it comes from – is a valuable tool in moving forward and getting on top of your sugar consumption. Remember: knowledge is power!
Breaking a habit by going cold turkey is extremely challenging, especially if you don't have any swaps ready to take the place of the culprit substance. In the case of sugar, make sure that you have alternative snacks within reach.
Fruit will give you the same sweet taste with much less sugar, along wit added nutrients and fibre. Stevia is a fantastic, natural sugar alternative to use in anything from tea to baking. Lemon can also help to eradicate those pesky sweet cravings!
If you have a cupboard filled with naughty foods, no matter how hard you try, it’s likely that you'll eventually cave in and succumb to the sweet temptation. Clean out your kitchen, removing any processed or sugar-heavy foods. Fill your cookbook with yummy, sugar-free meal ideas.
Keep sparkling water in the fridge, with some yummy natural flavourings ready (we love lime and mint) and some chewing gum in the cupboard. Preparation is key.
At the end of the day, we're all human, and mistakes happen. If you do fall off the wagon, don’t beat yourself up about it and don't have a full-on sugar binge. Avoid the mindset of "I’ve blown it; I may as well keep eating the bad stuff".
Down the track, you can try to have smaller portions of your favourite treat, but at the beginning, get your mind off sugar by going for a quick walk. Alternatively, combine a little bit of sweet food with a healthy snack, such as melted dark chocolate with banana. Just remind yourself: the less sugar that you consume, the easier fighting off those cravings will become, so stick at it!
Do you find your days plagued with sugar cravings? We’d love to know any tips or tricks that work for you.
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