Satisfying your sweet tooth can be risky business; on one hand, indulging your cravings every once in awhile can help you stay on track with a healthy diet. On the other hand, sometimes eating a sugary dessert can awaken cravings, causing you to want sugar even more — in fact, many people believe that sugar is as addictive as alcohol or cigarettes. Nix your back and forth, up and down sugar habit with these tips.
Choose the better option: You may not exactly have to cut out sugar completely, but if you know you're on sugar overload, choosing options with less-refined sugars can help curb cravings over the long run. Bypass the office donuts for a little bit of dark chocolate instead, or try one of these healthy dessert recipes, many of which use smaller amounts of sugar and/or less-refined sweetener options. Or satisfy cravings with foods that contain naturally occurring sugar like milk or fruit.
Fight cravings: Sometimes, intense cravings for sugar can mean that your body is lacking certain nutrients. Switching up your diet to replace craving triggers with foods that give your body these much-needed nutrients and can help turn your cravings off. If sugar cravings are getting the best of you, check out this chart on what to eat to calm sugar, coffee, and other cravings.
Have some leeway: Quitting sugar cold turkey can be as hard to do as quitting other bad habits. Instead of denying yourself any refined sugar at all, try slowly cutting down instead — share desserts if you're ordering out with friends, don't eat from the package of cookies at home, and end meals with herbal or green tea to keep you from wanting to continue to eat. Once you cut out sugar slowly, you may find that you won't crave sugar as much.