How To Fight Sugar Cravings (and all cravings!)


I recently came across an NPR article that helps to identify ways of resisting sugar cravings...specifically REFINED sugar cravings. You know the ones... the article sites them as specific cravings that ruin your 'New Year, New You' diet in less than a week and leave you helplessly waiting 360 more days for another futile resolution. The article is very interesting and actually equates those cravings to addiction, which may not be so far off.
A great take home message from this piece is a list of ways to FIGHT CRAVINGS... a compelation of advice from the author's of Why Diet's Fail and two notable food psychologists/food addiction specialists. See below for the full list: 
  • "If you think you are highly sensitive to sugar, then trying to have just a little may be worse than having none at all, because it could keep the sensitivity alive, says Prager. Instead, try to eliminate it entirely for at least three weeks to see if the cravings fade.
  • When embarking on a sugar-free mission, try to keep the long-term goals at the forefront of your mind. Keep reminding yourself of how much you'll enjoy feeling stronger and healthier, or how you'll enjoy better-fitting clothes.
  • Take a week or two to monitor exactly when the cravings hit. Then figure out what the cues are — like stress, boredom, emotional downers or the need for a distraction.
  • In these moments when the cravings hit, pause and think about what you need or do not need to eat at the moment. Are you actually hungry? Can you fulfill the need another way, like taking a quick walk?
  • Find new foods that are rewarding, like new kinds of nuts and fruits, and keep them around. "Our environment always shoves in our face hyper-rewarding foods, and we can't control that," says Gearhardt. "We can keep foods we do like around, so that if we find ourselves in a bad mood, with cravings, we're not setting ourselves up to fail."
  • Exercise. A recent brain imaging study found that cardiovascular activity may repair the part of the brain affected by food addiction. It also found that people who exercise regularly had a lower "reward response" to images of palatable food."


In short:
Detox (eliminate all sugar for a few weeks)
Record (when and why cravings hit)
Replace (with fruit and healthy, unrefined sugars)
Exercise (see THIS study to learn more about cardio and addiction repair)
Full article HERE.

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