How do you break a sugar addiction?

According to research, sugar cravings are driven by your brain's need for a reward as opposed to your body's need for food. Here are some tips to help break a sugar addiction:

  • Eat a healthy and filling meal. A sugar craving results from your brain's need for something that releases dopamine in the reward system. Although the craving is not the same as hunger, it can be difficult to resist sugar cravings when you are hungry. If you get sugar cravings when hungry, just eat a healthy meal as soon as possible. Ideal meals to break the cravings can be protein-rich foods and healthy snack foods.

  • Take a hot shower. Hot showers and baths can provide relief from sugar cravings. Ensure the water is hot enough to be on the verge of giving you an uncomfortable feeling. Allow the water to run over your neck and shoulders to heat you adequately. For effective results, stay in the hot shower for 5 to 10 minutes.

  • Go for a brisk walk. A brisk walk will also help provide much-needed relief when battling with sugar cravings. Typically, exercise releases endorphins and the feel-good chemicals in your brain, which helps turn off sugar cravings. You can also run or do indoor exercises like body weight and push-ups to achieve the same effect.

  • Have some healthy alternatives available. One of the first things you can do to successfully break sugar addiction is to trade sugary foods for wholesome alternatives like vegetables. The natural sugars in vegetables like beets and sweet potatoes contain a great deal less than the amount you’ll find in desserts like cupcakes, candy bars, etc. Plus, eating sweet vegetables will help to calm cravings.

  • Remove all temptations. In order to break your sugar addiction, it is vital to remove temptations at home. If you have a box of donuts in your pantry, you easily give in to a craving. So, to set yourself up for success, remove all sugary snacks from your pantry.

  • Avoid alcohol. Many alcoholic drinks, specifically mixed drinks, have high amounts of sugar as a way to improve the flavor. Plus, alcohol diminishes a person's ability to make good decisions, so it's more likely that you could be more tempted to eat a sugary treat.

  • Consider seeing a therapist. While it might sound crazy, if you are having trouble breaking your addiction to sugar on your own, it might be time to see a therapist. Having support is an important part of breaking a habit or addiction. A therapist can provide strategies to cope with stress and essentially make it easier to break your addiction. Plus, seeing a therapist will prevent you from replacing one addiction with another. By involving a mental health professional, you will be more likely to successfully break your addiction.

Need to find a therapist near you? Check out the Monarch Directory by SimplePractice tofind licensed mental health therapistswith availability and online booking.

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