From benches and sheds to your front door: a guide to painting outdoor wood
From benches and sheds to your front door: a guide to painting outdoor wood

Megan Burns

Armchair voyager: 8 travel books perfect for a little escapism right now
Armchair voyager: 8 travel books perfect for a little escapism right now

Amanda Cassidy

Hairstyle tutorials to help you step away from the box dye
Hairstyle tutorials to help you step away from the box dye

Megan Burns

The trailer has arrived for the must-see true crime documentary on Sophie Toscan du Plantier
The trailer has arrived for the must-see true crime documentary on Sophie Toscan du Plantier

Jennifer McShane

What to eat this week: Beef with green chilli, soy, black sesame and soba
What to eat this week: Beef with green chilli, soy, black sesame and soba

Lauren Heskin

This modern Sligo farmhouse with a dreamy home office chalet and a treehouse is for sale for €245,000
This modern Sligo farmhouse with a dreamy home office chalet and a treehouse is for...

Lauren Heskin

Picnic season is here, so up your alfresco dining game with these chic accessories
Picnic season is here, so up your alfresco dining game with these chic accessories

Megan Burns

Image / Self / Health & Wellness

5 simple ways to help reduce your sugar cravings


by Jennifer McShane
01st Apr 2021
blank

I am a sugar addict. I know it, my family knows it, everyone knows it. I know I should have a proper Fear of Sugar; we know, as far as health is concerned, that we eat too much of it.

Some studies suggest sugar is eight times more addictive than cocaine — the brain undergoes a greater neurological reward after having something sweet than it does after cocaine and you get similar withdrawals when you cut it out — only this white substance is everywhere you look and (presumably like cocaine) near impossible to give up. Going completely cold turkey just will not work. You’re better taking it in stages to make the transition easier. Here are some simple tips to try to kick the sweet habit.

Timing is important

In order to successfully reduce your sugar intake, it’s so important to be realistic; don’t attempt to rid yourself of sugar just before a major celebration or just before you go away on holiday, get married or move house — it won’t work, there’s too much temptation at these events. Start afresh when your calendar goes back to normal where you can give yourself the best chance of succeeding.

Remember to keep eating

Eat within one hour of waking up — this will help to stabilise your blood sugar for the day ahead. Don’t make up for overeating the sweet stuff by not eating whatsoever — I guarantee you’ll only last the morning eating nothing and the late-day binge will soon follow. Always have a healthy snack on hand whether you’re at home or on the go; nuts are an ideal option for snacking — they are sugar-free, unlike fruit which can be loaded with it. Also, as we know, not all fats are bad. Healthy, unsaturated fats such as those found in salmon or avocado, balance your sugar levels and help keep you fuller for longer.

Start small

Cutting out sweets, chocolate, cake, added sugars in teas and coffees and super sugary cocktails will make a huge difference on their own and your body and skin will thank you for it. But baby steps are key; don’t be too hard on yourself for falling off the wagon in the early days — a glass of red wine on a Friday has health benefits all on its own, after all — and having a little will make it easier to ditch it altogether, as the weeks go on. Also, dark chocolate — a piece or two at least 70% cacao — will curb your sugar craving and it’s full of antioxidants.

H20 is your new best friend

Drink plenty of water. Research says that our minds and bodies can often confuse a yearning for water with a yearning for something sweet, so keep yourself hydrated to ensure these confusing signals are kept to a minimum.

Artificial sweeteners are not a good idea

Artificial sweeteners may be calorie-free but did you know they create a surge in insulin that leads to more hunger and sugar cravings? Substitute with stevia or avoid altogether and opt for a serving of low-sugar fruit such as kiwis or green grapes. A tip: Cinnamon makes a great substitute for sugar in coffee and gives it a kick. Always read labels if you’re unsure; sugar is everywhere and has many aliases in the form of corn syrup, dextrin, dextrose, fructose, glucose, lactose and many more.

The sugar cravings should get easier after the first seven days so if you can keep them reduced up until then, you’re on the right track.