No one enjoys coming down from a sugar high. And once your energy from that big bowl – yes, what started as one can turn into the whole bowl – of candy is all gone, the side effects will sink in and you’ll wish you never even took a single bite. But turning down that candy or cupcake when you’re suffering from a sugar craving can often be just as hard as dealing with the post-sugar consequences. Even worse, the more sugar you eat, the more you continue craving it – aka, once you start, you literally can’t stop. And while sweets may look and taste like they’re well worth the caloric splurge, indulging in too much sugar can have a lot of negative effects on your body that go way beyond your waistline (think speeding up aging – yeah, no thank you to that.). If you struggle with putting down that extra piece of chocolate (don’t we all), here are some ways you can help yourself curb and manage those cravings for good.
Saying no to sweets is never going to be easy, but the first step is always reminding yourself that you’re stronger than your cravings. Your body and your mind knows you better than anyone else does, and the best way to stop yourself from doing something you will regret is to speak to yourself and remind yourself that you’re capable of resisting the urge to go a little sugar happy. If you already have the mindset that you are going to cave in the minute that birthday cake comes out, then chances are you probably will, since you’ve already set yourself up for that reaction. Instead, tell yourself that you have the willpower to turn down temptation when it strikes, and you’ll be surprised to see what the power of persuasion – even self persuasion – can manage to do when it comes to controlling yourself in the face of sugar. Cake shmake.
Do you really need that Kit-Kat bar or do you think you might need something else? Hunger and thirst go hand in hand and a lot of people get the brain signals for both crossed, convincing themselves that they’re starving when in fact all they really need is a large glass of water. And while we’d hope that hydration is always at the top of your priority list, this is one reason to make it even more of a priority, since cravings will often strike when your body is dehydrated. So whether you’re drink plain old water or going for something a little more creative like an infused option, the key is to make sure that you’re constantly hydrating throughout the day to avoid any mistaken identity in the case of thirst taken for hunger.
Don’t stress over (occasional) indulgences.
This one may seem a little counterintuitive, but stay with us for a second. The fact is, if you give into a craving every once and awhile – maybe that double chocolate brownie wouldn’t stop staring at you at the store, or you couldn’t resist the urge to splurge on some Twizzlers at the movies – you can’t let that throw off your mindset. If you need to satisfy an intense craving, it’s never the end of the world to treat yourself a bit. The key is to make sure that you don’t dwell on the indulgence, since often it’s that kind of post-treat regret that can trigger more out-of-hand binges. It all comes back to attitude, and when you allow yourself to indulge while remembering that you are in control and are only enjoying your treat because you are choosing to and not because you’re a victim to the sugar, it becomes a lot easier to keep lose occasional splurges in check. So next time you are at your friends house and she whips out some fresh baked chocolate chip cookies, indulge, enjoy, and move on.