The infamous sweet tooth: Just about everybody has one, and no one is immune! Instead of simply trying to willpower your way through your next sugar craving, try one of these five simple strategies for dealing with the discomfort.
Try Herbal Tea
Herbal teas, especially those made with naturally sweet ingredients like licorice root, mint, or rooibos, can help you deal with cravings in a completely natural way. They’re fantastic hot or iced, and some of them can even help you detox your body so your next set of cravings won’t be quite so intense.
Treat Yourself to A Quick Walk
While there isn’t a direct connection between the soles of your feet and the taste buds on your tongue, a quick, brisk walk treats you to something else your body craves: fresh air. If it’s sunny outside, you’ll also be treating yourself to a little dose of vitamin D. Cravings still intense after a few minutes of walking? Have a little bit of fruit. An apple, peach, or apricot might be just what the doctor ordered.
Read or Watch Something Uplifting or Insightful
Sugar cravings feel like they begin in your mouth, but the truth is that they start in your brain. Seeing commercials for your favorite junk food, passing a convenience store where you normally buy a giant cup of soda, or walking past the vending machine at work, where you typically purchase your mid-afternoon candy bar might all trigger cravings. Distracting your mind can help, particularly if you engage in reading or watching something that fully engages your mind and places your focus on higher, more intellectual things. If you usually snack on sweets while you watch TV, then opt for the printed material; your mind won’t associate it with a treat and you’ll find that it is easier to ride out the craving.
Detox Your Body
Physical sugar cravings are real! They are chemically induced, and they are a form of addiction. There is a reason why you feel so uncomfortable and perhaps even grumpy when you try to cut back on sugar favorites; your body and brain have come to depend on them and are protesting in the only way they know how.
Detoxing can be difficult at first, but when you treat yourself to a good detox that includes plenty of natural nutrients and no processed foods, you’ll emerge feeling clear-headed, confident, and perhaps better than you’ve felt in months or even years.
Meditation can play an important role in any healthy lifestyle, no matter what your belief system. While followers of some traditions use meditation to get in touch with their spiritual sides, you can use it to tune in to your body. While you’re focusing on being fully present with yourself, ask just one question at a time. What does my body really want? What does my body deserve? What is it that I am really craving, other than sugar? Oftentimes, it’s exercise, a break from a stressful situation, or even a hug from a loved one. Sometimes you’re simply craving rest. Follow your mind’s lead and address these deeper cravings, and you’ll gain control.
Next time sugar cravings strike, try one or more of these strategies. You’ll be surprised at how well your body and mind respond to such simple care.