When embarking on a journey to becoming healthier and fitter it can be difficult to give up certain things to reach your goal, especially when they have been apart of your life for so long. You may not know where to start or even how to go about minimising them in your diet. For instance, reducing foods that contain a lot of sugar can be quite a challenge when you get hungry and the cravings start to kick in!
To get you started, here are 5 tips to reduce the cravings and reduce your consumption of sugary foods:
1. Avoid shopping when you are hungry.
Shopping with a hungry stomach can make you buy all sorts of things that you never even knew existed! You may find yourself looking at sweets and ‘tasty’ treats just because you are feeling for something, anything to satisfy the hunger or the craving. So be sure to have a small meal before hand.
2. Don’t keep it at home.
If you know you binge on chocolates or biscuits, avoid buying and keeping those products at home. This way you have no choice but to eat what you have there and sidestep those unwanted foods.
3. Eat more filling, dense and nutritious foods.
Aim to include more vegetables and fruit as well as more dense foods like oats in your diet. These foods provide you with natural fibre, vitamins and minerals, which can help keep you fuller for longer and also aid in reducing cravings.
4. Opt for ‘healthier’ alternatives and replacements initially.
Nowadays there are so many alternatives to choose from, that you can replace certain foods with lower calorie versions of them. These can be used just to satisfy the cravings while trying to lose weight. The reason why initially is in the title is because some alternatives are not always good and can be packed with artificial sweeteners and preservatives (even though there is mixed evidence about health effects of these substances, it is best to stick to more natural sources).
So you can look at it like this. The more you are able to avoid sweet stuff, the less you crave it and want it. So when you start off reducing the sweet treats it can be tough and in times like these, the alternatives can be used. Then after some time you will find that the cravings slowly get less and less. Once you get here you can then toss out the alternative products and have a chocolate or whatever you like, once in a while.
On the flip side, there are some foods that are healthier versions than the actual thing. For example dark chocolate over milk chocolate. Proper dark chocolate contains less sugar than milk chocolate and thus is a much better choice.
Having a few small meals prepared in advance can help tremendously. If you have good food with you, you will avoid buying take aways and eating the wrong things. Also eating smaller meals more frequently can help to curb cravings as it will help keep your ‘hangry‘ emotion at bay :p
6. Drink more water!
A bonus tip that most people should know already, but by drinking more water you can help to reduce your cravings and it keeps you healthy, hydrated and refreshed!