You’ve probably heard a thing or two about sugar addiction by now, but have you really taken to heart the warnings about the negative effects of the sweetest shade of white on your health? If you haven’t, it’s no wonder your weight loss diet doesn’t seem to be working. Sugar is a highly addictive ingredient found in virtually every commercial product – but that’s not the worst part yet. The reason why you’ll often find yourself craving the sweet flavor of refined sugar is wired into your nervous system: sugar intake stimulates a part of your brain called nucleus accumbens, thus triggering release of one of the happiness hormones known as dopamine. The outcome is simple, yet dismal: eating sugar makes you feel better, but it also makes you fatter with every second helping – and it also gradually desensitizes your brain, resulting in downright addiction that’s as hard to shake as a junkie’s need for cocaine.
Luckily, there are a few ways to defeat sugar cravings and speed up weight loss journey without experiencing intense withdrawal symptoms. Ready to curb sugar cravings and trim your figure by a single dietary blow? Check out the top five tips on how to trick your brain’s need for sugar and put your slimming project on full throttle.
The Alkaline Agenda
In its natural state, the human body is slightly more on the alkaline than acidic side of the pH continuum. Sadly, the world we live in thrives on takeout pizzas, junk food, and other processed food that tip the pH scale to acidic, causing a chain reaction in the body that ends in biochemical imbalance. With your organism in the acidic state, you’ll be easy prey to sugar cravings, which can lead to the vicious cycle of comfort food binges and an aggravating biochemical issue below deck.
Switch to plant-based diet and do your figure and health a favor: by eating more leafy greens, garlic, lemons, broccoli, avocados, herbs, and other alkaline foods, you’ll keep your body both well-nourished and biochemically balanced. For bonus points, highly alkaline foods are also extremely filling, so your appetite will stay in check longer, which translates as lower calorie intake and faster fat burn.
Up the Healthy Stock
Another simple way to avoid sugar cravings is to stock your lunchbox with ingredients rich in protein, healthy fat, and fiber. Midday slumps are one of the most common reasons why we reach for sweet snacks – but instead of fixing the problem, sugar intake triggers a short-lived energy and focus spike after which you’ll need more of the white stuff to keep your engines roaring.
Sate your midday belly rumbles on lasting energy, not a quick fix: have a proper lunch centered on protein, fiber, and fat and avoid adding inches to your waistline while rewiring your eating habits, preventing hunger between meals, and feeding your brain quality fuel.
The Land of No Milk
Dairy products contribute to inflammation in the body and trigger increased release of a hunger hormone called ghrelin in the digestive tract, both of which can result in sugar cravings and – surprise, surprise – weight loss derailment and fresh fat stock.
The next time you find yourself tossing in turning in bed, don’t take the proverbial glass of milk: head out for a quick jog in the park instead. If you drop dairy from your carte du jour, you’ll also accelerate weight loss as milk and dairy decelerate digestion and metabolism which contribute to weight gain.
Sleep More, Stress Less
You read that right: sleep problems can lead to sugar cravings and weight gain, so if you want to knock off both belly fat and addiction to sweets, you shouldn’t stop at the diet alone. A decent nightly shuteye allows your brain cells to recover and replenish for another long day at work, thus boosting your productivity, focus, and mood and curbing risk of brain glitches that lead sugar cravings.
Stress is another part of the sugar craving puzzle that will have to go out the window if you’re to lose weight anytime soon. When anxiety hits the fan, most people reach for comfort foods rich in refined sugar and add another brick in the weight gain wall. The next time workplace stress begins to tug at your sleeves, take a few minutes to breathe consciously or do a set of exercises to get tension out of your system: you’ll be surprised by the effects of such a simple tweak on your figure and state of mind.
Work Sugar Out Of the Mix
Did you know that regular workouts can help you curb sugar cravings? Pre- and post-workout meals centered on complex carbs and protein will keep you full for hours, boost your focus and energy, and prevent appetite spikes which often lead to increased sugar intake.
The next time your focus drops, don’t reach for candy: put on your workout apparel and trainers and get a move on. By working out 3-4 times a week, you’ll be avoiding emotional sugar binges while accelerating fat burn and improving your overall health at the same time.
Staying on top of your weight loss diet progress is much easier once you cut out the sugar cube from the mix. By ditching empty calories from your menu, you’ll be doing a huge favor to your brain, belly, and overall health. After all, the control over your dietary decisions is in your hands – it’s up to you to break the vicious cycle and move from the fat and slow to the fast and slim lane. Curb your sugar intake today: your body will be eternally grateful to you for it, and optimal weight loss results will quickly follow suit.