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Three Steps to Stopping Sugar Cravings

Why we crave the sweet stuff and how to avoid it

Out of control cravings can quickly sidetrack our best intentions when it comes to weight loss and health goals. Sugar is one of the biggest—and cutting it out is no small feat. Even JLo, who recently did the 10-day no-sugar no-carb challenge, documented her struggles. Here are the reasons sugar seems to have so much control over you and how you can curb your desire to reach for that sweet treat!

Beat Your Cravings

The key to beating sugar cravings is to understand that it’s not actually sugar people are addicted to; it’s the high insulin levels needed to break it down that has us reaching for sweets. Why? Insulin is the hormone your body uses to break down the carbohydrates that you eat (fruits, vegetables and naturally occurring sugar) and turn them into sugar, which is then used or stored for energy. When you reach for the sweets or foods with high sugar content, your body can flood with too much insulin, which causes your blood glucose levels to drop. This creates a dip in energy and a desire for even more sugar. This can create a vicious cycle that makes taking sugar and carbs out of your diet a challenge, even for someone like JLo.

Why am I craving so much sugar in the first place? Let’s break it down:

1. More is more.

When you have sugar, your body will immediately want more sugar. These cravings can be so intense that if you create a habit of having sugar at the same time every day, your body will begin to crave and expect it at that same time daily. This is also the reason you end up eating that whole box of cookies in one sitting!

THE FIX: Add some protein and fat.

You can neutralize sugar cravings by having some protein and fat with your sweet treat. For example, if you indulge in a cookie, you can cut the desire to eat another cookie by having a slice of cheese or a handful of nuts. The protein and fat will help neutralize the amount of insulin your body uses to break down the sugar and decrease your cravings, giving your will power a fighting chance to kick in and help.