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Have you tried several sugar-free diets, only to be hit with the cravings days in? You aren’t alone.

With the right approach, it’s easy to silence those sugar cravings. It doesn’t have to take up all your willpower, either – in fact, once you start fueling your body well, you’ll have more energy than ever, and you won’t have to spend it on resisting cookies. This guide will show you how to kick carb and sugar cravings for good.

Clean Out Your Kitchen

To first combat your sugar intake, you will want to free your house of any sugary or carb-heavy foods. When no options are available in the house to satisfy your craving, you are less likely to cave in. You can replace these low-quality snacks with better ones instead, like leafy greens or fruit. Keep them on hand in your kitchen pantry so you can quickly grab them and go when a craving hits. You are less likely to drive to the grocery store and pick up a brownie when there are ample options already available for you at home.

High Fat Meals

Carbs in general, not just sugar, cause a glucose spike and crash that leaves you craving sugar later. Carbohydrates like bread, bagels and pasta are highly refined and act just like sugars in the body. High-quality fats, however, will give you a steady stream of energy that keeps you full for hours. This will help curb your desire for sugary foods. Your body will adapt to the high-fat, low-carb, anti-inflammatory diet over a couple of weeks. If you are hit with a sugar craving, try throwing a grass-fed ribeye on the grill and roast up some cauliflower or Brussel sprouts on the side.

Remove Stressors

Kicking sugar is hard for those with extra stress in their life. Working long days, having minimal sleep, or pushing yourself too hard make it easy to cave in and eat a high-sugar diet. Cortisol is a hormone we release in response to stress, and it directly increases our desires for comfort foods. When we eat high-sugar diets in conjunction with stress, our bodies have trouble regulating our blood sugar.

To help remove stressors, try moving your body more. Exercise, dance, or do some yoga. Whatever movement you enjoy will not only help reduce built up tension, but it will boost your energy and in turn decrease your need to a sugar lift.

Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth Naturally

There are several spices that will help you sweeten your food naturally. Try adding cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves or cardamom to your favorite foods. In addition, the all-natural sweetener Stevia has zero calories, does not raise blood sugar levels, and is 300 times sweeter than sugar. If you are baking, try out Lakanto. It’s an all-natural sweetener with zero calories as well, and has zero additives.

Read Labels

When shopping at the grocery store, make sure to pay extra attention to the label of your favorite foods. Things you think have no sugar in them may actually be jam-packed with the stuff. Check how many grams of sugar is in each serving of food. The longer the list of ingredients, the more likely it is to have sugar added somewhere. Recognize these ingredients that are actually sweeteners: corn syrup, corn sugar, high fructose corn syrup, sucrose, dextrose, honey, molasses, turbinado sugar and brown sugar.

Drink Water

Sometimes drinking water or seltzer water can help with the sugar cravings. What we perceive as a food craving might actually be thirst, so it’s always worth a shot. Avoid extra soda and other sugar-filled drinks by replacing them with tea, homemade soda, coffee, or sugar-free fruit juice if water isn’t your favorite.

Other Tips

There are many other things you can do to reduce sugar cravings. Taking a multivitamin daily will help to prevent any deficiencies in your diet. Avoiding certain triggers, such as driving past your favorite ice cream store, is also a good idea to help you minimize the urge. In addition, avoid processed foods and artificial sweeteners. These further trigger your body to want the sweet stuff. Lastly, talk to a friend about your struggles. Opening up about your sugar addiction will help give you some perspective and you might receive a few encouraging words of support.

If you have trouble fighting off the urge to devour yourself in sugary treats, these tips will help you to beat them. If you manage to resist, the cravings will get weaker over time and eventually disappear. With a little willpower, you too can live a healthier, sugar-free life.

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