Sugar has become a major ingredient of our modern-day diet, and everyone, not only people with diabetes, can benefit from limiting their sugar intake.
Easier said than done, right? Not only do we have hidden sugars to worry about, but it’s also hard to rewire our mindsets. Particularly because we often view sugary foods as a form of reward or an expression of love and gratitude. Not to scare you, but the next time you find yourself clutching a chocolate bar, think about this:
Consumption of sugar stimulates the release of dopamine or “happy hormone” in our brain, which makes sugar addictive. When we consume too much of it, our tolerance to sugar increases, and we may start losing control of our cravings. Over time, it may cause psychological and physical effects like weight gain and dependence.
So, over time, one chocolate bar might be not enough for you. Fortunately, taking a moment to analyze when and how we start indulging in sugary foods might help with managing this craving
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Manage The Cravings
If you’re driven by stomach hunger, it simply means that your body needs to be fed. You may feel a lack of energy, an empty feeling in your stomach, dizziness, or headache. In this case, you’re eating for the well-being of your body and should try not to skip your meals, go for more nutritious food options if possible.
If your stomach hunger has been satisfied and some sweets still sound too good to resist, you might actually be experiencing mouth hunger. It’s when one of your senses is triggered by the look, smell, or taste of some particular food. Remember that strict self-limitation is not the best strategy to control mouth hunger. Instead, try to enjoy your favorite foods in moderation and invest time to research some healthier yet similarly satisfying food options.
Another type of hunger you might find yourself experiencing is heart hunger, which is triggered by feelings and emotions. Although it may sometimes lead to shame or guilt, it’s important to remember that heart hunger is perfectly normal, and everyone eats for emotional reasons sometimes. However, if you find it hard to stop and often end up overeating, consider confiding in people close to you or seeking the advice of a professional psychologist.
It’s important to be conscious of your eating habits and understand what your body is trying to tell you whenever you find yourself craving something sweet. A few simple steps might help you get a better handle on your cravings. Let’s explore some of them.
Simple Steps To Start With
Reduce the amount of sugar you add to your meals and drinks.
Although this may seem obvious, we sometimes don’t think too much of it when we pour syrup onto our Sunday pancakes or sweeten our tea with honey until it becomes the norm. Consciously limiting such sugar use may go a long way in controlling your cravings in the long run.
Swap out the soda.
One glass of soda usually contains 7–10 teaspoons of sugar. That’s way too much sugar in one sitting, and you might frequently go for refills. Try opting for water or some dietary drinks.
Eat fresh or dried fruits.
A good option when you need to find something to snack on. A common misconception is that people with diabetes should not eat fruits because of the sugar they contain. In fact, most fruits have a low to medium glycaemic index, so they do not lead to a sharp rise in your blood glucose levels compared to other carbohydrate-containing foods. They also contain essential fiber, minerals, and vitamins that are important for a well-rounded diet.
Seek out healthier options for your favorite sweet foods or research ways to prepare them with healthier ingredients. Check out the Klinio Recipe Book for some fresh ideas.
Balance your meals.
Make sure that all of your meals include healthy sources of protein, carbohydrates, and fats. Such meals will keep you full for longer, helping you not to reach out for sugary snacks later in the day.
Learn to say “no” to sugar.
While most people around you will support you in your quest to control your cravings, some friends may start rolling their eyes when you decline a sugary cocktail or choose to skip dessert. Try to communicate and explain your goals clearly, and take the extra step of asking for others’ support. They may surprise you.
Habit Is What Keeps You Going
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