Sugar; we love it, we crave it, we need it. Well, sort-of. Probably some of your happiest memories of your life revolve around sugar, such as weddings, birthdays, holidays, and graduations. Its important to manage sugar cravings and there are many ways to do so.
This may be the reason most of us have a complicated relationship with sugar. Because on one hand, we know that too much of it isn’t super great for us, and usually leads to eating or drinking too much of it. But at the same time, we want to keep a healthy balance in all things and understand that cutting it out completely is usually a short-lived endeavor.
So what can you do to mend this complicated relationship between you and sugar?
Here are five ways to have a healthier relationship with sugar, so you have that balance you need to maintain your body’s health.
Understanding need versus want
Humans, in general, have an interesting relationship with sugar. A study by MIT found that sugar activates a completely different part of the brain than normal, healthy eating, so that means that your body doesn’t actually need sugar, it usually just wants it.
Sugars produce this need and want for it, but in reality, those are just signals coming from our brain that are similar to or may even be an addiction.
Now addiction is a pretty serious word and doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone is addicted to sugar, but it does mean we need to train ourselves and our brains to understand that although we may really, really want something sugary we need to ask ourselves if we really need it.
Stick to the real stuff
Whether or not you decide to eat something sugary when you have a hankering for it, it is best to stick to actual sugar instead of artificial sweeteners when you want to partake of it.
Most research has found that artificial sweeteners can actually lead to some cancers, making an attempt to replace something not so bad with something much worse.
Sugar producers create sugar from sugar cane or sugar beets, and after they are processed we get the table sugar that we normally eat or that is contained in most foods. These are the ones that are best to stick to rather than the artificial stuff.
Take a big drink of water
A huge part of understanding our relationship with sugar and how we can keep that relationship as healthy as possible is to understand our body and its needs.
So many times when we think we need food and something sugary we are most likely in need of water and hydration instead.
When it seems you have a sugar craving that just won’t kick, instead of indulging in it right away try drinking a large glass of water. If after about 15 minutes or so you still want something a little sweet go right ahead, but most will find the craving will actually dissipate.
Make sure you are getting sleep
According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, getting enough sleep and rest can greatly help your ‘need’ to have sugar.
Studies show that when you sleep enough you are less likely to reach for something sugary and more likely to have a better balanced relationship with sugar.
Also, something that is not good to do and can affect your relationship with sugar is using it to disrupt your sleep schedule, such as trying to stay awake by drinking caffeine or energy drinks that contain a lot of sugar.
Know you are human
Just like everyone else, you are human which means sometimes you will do great with balancing your sugar intake and sometimes not so much.