10 Ways To Control Your Sweet Tooth.

1. Get rid of sugary snacks in your house. Anything more than 16g of sugar should be out of your house. Any cookies, candies, and cakes should be tossed out or donated. Also make sure to check the yogurt in your fridge because most brand name yogurts have over 25 grams of sugar!!! Getting rid of all the junk food in your house will help you fight your temptations.

2. Stock up on fruit and veggies. Fruit and veggies will give you natural fiber to help you feel full. A piece of fruit could help with your sugar cravings. If I am craving something really sweet a little trick I use is to freeze grapes and have a handful of them. It tastes like a natural Popsicle. Some other low sugar/carb fruits are cranberries, blueberries, raspberries, and apples.

3. Drink water. Most of the time if you intake too much sugar, you are not getting enough water. Dehydration sometimes gives off the wrong signals for hunger. When your blood sugar drops people tend to go to sugary snacks. Try to drink plenty of regular filtered water. If you want to add taste add cucumbers and/or lemons for a refreshing flavor.

4. Buy sugar free products. Sugar free products can help with cravings if you need a little treat here and there, but don’t go overboard. Everything is okay in moderations but studies show people that digest too many fake sugars can have digestive problems. Be aware of the symptoms, but if you need a little sugar in your coffee try to substitute stevia or Splenda with your normal daily routine.

5. Always have healthy snack options available. Always carry a low-sugar protein bar or some almonds on hand so you don’t get overly hungry. Studies show our blood sugar drops after 2-3 hours of not eating. When that happens our bodies initially want to go towards sugar in any form. Try to keep your stomach occupied with healthy, filling snacks so you don’t cave and eat something that will spoil your dinner.

6. Chew a piece of sugar free gum. Studies show chewing a piece of gum helps fight sugar cravings. If I am at a party or bbq where I know a lot of sugary snacks are around I will chew a piece of gum. Most likely you will not spit out the piece of gum you are chewing to try the food on the table.

7. Exercise. Exercising for at least 30 minutes a day will make you stronger and healthier. The healthier you feel, the less you will feel the urge to splurge on bad foods.

8. Stay busy. Lying around or sitting too long will cause boredom and most likely will guide you to the pantry. Get up and go for a walk to get your mind off of your junk food craving.

9. Don’t kill yourself. If you are passing your favorite bakery or needing something to help you through a bad day, it is okay to allow yourself the treat. Just make sure you work out hard and eat clean the next few days. One treat won’t hurt you. It is the consecutive bad choices that fall in to bad habits and cause weight gain.

10. Read labels. There are so many hidden sugars in food. Anything that says fructose (a sugar found in honey), glucose (found in most carbohydrate foods), and sucrose (common table sugar) means it contains sugar. Beware of foods that are labeled “fat free.” Sugar is sometimes used to replace the flavor that is lost when the fat is removed. Conversely “sugar free” on the label means there may be added fat.

-Shannon Flanagan