A New Weapon in the Battle Against Sugar
How many times have you grabbed cookies or chips as soon as you return from work? When stress and fatigue strike, it’s easy to turn to snacks, sweets, sugary drinks, and alcohol for a reward, making the battle against sugar seem impossible.
It’s a tough fight because sugar hijacks the brain’s reward pathway the same way that cocaine does. That’s why the average American consumes 82 grams of added sugar per day — that’s 66 pounds of sugar a year! Given that the American Heart Association recommends only 25 grams (6 to 9 teaspoons) of added sugar per day, how can you cut back on sugar and win the battle?
Cravings typically last less than 15 minutes, so take your mind off of sugar with my craving-fighting arsenal:
- Take a bath to relax. Light some candles and enjoy a few quiet moments to yourself.
- Phone a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while.
- Write thank you notes to friends and family for gifts or just because.
- Clean out that drawer or closet you’ve been meaning to get to. It’s cathartic and having a clean, organized home can help you to make healthier choices.
- Indulge in a collagen face mask. You’ll feel calm while nourishing your skin.
- Listen to a podcast. This cuts down on screen time and is a relaxing way to learn something new. Some of my personal favorites are Happier with Gretchen Rubin, How I Built This with Guy Raz, and Run to the Top (I’m an avid runner).
- Stock up on turkey. Keep a ¼-pound bag of turkey in the fridge for when sugar cravings strike. Roasted turkey is low in calories and sodium, and the tryptophans have a calming effect.
- Grab some frozen low-sugar Greek yogurt. Store a few cups of plain or low-sugar flavors in the freezer as a treat. I call this a “working food,” because it takes a while to enjoy and dairy calms the brain.
- Have your entire meal at the restaurant. Instead of dessert, enjoy peppermint tea or fresh berries to cleanse your palate. Don’t save dessert for when you get home, because you might overindulge if you do.
- Leave the kitchen after dinner. Pack your children’s lunches in the morning so you don’t feel tempted to snack.
- Take care of your teeth. Not only does sugar damage your teeth, but more than 30% of people never floss. Make time for dental hygiene by brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash. Applying teeth whitening strips also works, because you can’t eat right after removing them.
- Try Sweet Defeat, the newest weapon in the battle against sugar. It dissolves on your tongue to block sugar receptors for up to an hour. It’s made of only natural ingredients including gymnema, an herbal leaf, that’s known as the “destroyer of sugar.” Dissolving one lozenge can stop cravings for hours.
The best way to fortify your defenses against sugar is by having these tools at the ready. Refocusing your energy toward activities or healthy foods will give you a way to distance yourself from your craving and, before you know it, it will be gone!