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5 Ways to Cut Sugar Cravings and Eliminate It From Your Diet for Good

There are few things more delicious than a pastry for breakfast on the weekends, and when that time of the month comes around, we all want to reach for a candy bar. Our love of sweet things can be hard to eliminate from our diets for good, especially since it’s “the first taste humans prefer from birth," according to dietitian Christine Gerbstadt, MD, RD. Plus, it releases endorphins, WebMD reports.

But sugar is also bad for our health and can result in conditions like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and tooth decay. High sugar intake is often linked to an increase in appetite and weight. The danger of sugar is that it’s often packed into the processed foods we eat, including yogurts and bread, and the average American eats around 22 teaspoons of sugar per day — much higher than the daily recommended amount of 6 teaspoons for women and 9 for men.

It’s not easy to cut back on sugar, but it can be done by removing certain foods from our diets and according to Healthline, these foods include sugar-filled drinks like sodas and energy drinks, sauces with added sugars, sugar in tinned foods, and breakfast cereals. Instead, the publication notes that we should focus on eating whole foods, which do not have additives and have not been processed or refined. It’s also important to forget the myth that low-fat foods are good for our health because these often contain more sugar (and calories) than full-fat foods. The same can be said for foods that are often marketed as “healthy,” but are often packed with sugar — always read the label.

We should also be eating more proteins and healthy fats, like meat, avocado, eggs, and nuts. Healthline notes that protein has been proven to reduce appetite and when an individual feels full, they are less likely to crave sugary foods. Studies have also revealed that eating more protein can actually reduce food cravings. While fat provides energy and can also reduce appetite.

It may seem like an obvious point, but it’s also best to remove all the sugar from your home, so you are less tempted to reach for it when you want a snack, or simply craving sugar.

Mind Body Green gives a step-by-step guide of how to eliminate sugar cravings, which sets goals in phases.

The publication notes that within the first two weeks individuals should cut out sugary drinks, they should then move on to phase 2, which would be to cut out junk food over a period of 2 to 3 weeks, the following phase would be to reduce their simple carbohydrate intake over a period of 3 to 4 weeks. And then it is on to phase 4, which involves certain steps over a 1 to 2 week period that involve cutting out hidden sugars.

The final phase is phase 5, which is meant to last for the rest of your life and is a new way of eating. As these phases show, there is no quick way of cutting out sugar for life, instead, it is a gradual process. Dietitian Christine Gerbstadt, MD, RD told WebMD "the initial 48 to 72 hours are tough" (especially if you go cold turkey) but it gets easier.

[Image via Shutterstock]

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