Who among us doesn’t enjoy the indulgence of rich chocolate cake, heavenly ice cream, and warm, gooey chocolate chip cookies? Just thinking of these things is enough to get those cravings started, isn’t it? While it’s okay to pamper ourselves every once in a while, not many have the ability to draw the line.
When you bite into your favorite sweet treat like a chocolate bar, a pastry or a cookie, the sweet taste receptors on your tongue get activated, sending a signal to your brain. This signal then activates the brain’s reward system and the thrill you feel is a result of that, making you want to do it again and again.
This cycle of bite after bite and wave after wave of warm fuzzy feelings bring some not-so-good behaviors with it: cravings and loss of self-control. Moreover, we are all in the know about the risks of high sugar intake over time – it can damage your teeth, makes your skin age faster, can lead to obesity, type 2 diabetes and also affect the arteries of your heart.
Here is some good advice on how you avoid these health disasters:
Stop eating them at once
This one would be something of an impossible task for the majority of people but the rewards would be nothing short of tremendous. If you can handle putting an end to sweet indulgences altogether, in time you will find that your taste buds will react differently to the things you craved for at one time. Moreover, your hankering for them will diminish as well.
Every now and then is okay
Eating a little bit of your favorite treat every once in a while is not considered particularly harmful but indulge within reason. Reduce the size of it; have a smaller chocolate bar or a smaller cookie. This way you can enjoy the taste and at the same time, not go overboard.
Switch up for a healthy version
Add a healthy twist to your sweet cravings. You can dip a banana in chocolate sauce or opt for an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie. Fruit-based sugar-free yogurt is another smart option.
Fruit is definitely the better, healthier option than all that nasty added sugar. What’s more is you’ll get nutrients and fiber from the fruit and let’s be honest, the chocolate cake won’t give you that. Mangoes, pineapples, grapes, watermelon, and oranges are your healthy options that deliver that sweet kick as well. Want more? Raisins, apricots, and figs!
Eat smaller meals more often
Don’t go hours without food because waiting too long will set cravings in motion and you don’t want that. Your brain will convince you into going for something sugary and unhealthy to curb your hunger and before you know it, you’ll be back where you started, dispirited at your lack of control. Fruits, carrot sticks, and fresh popcorn are some healthier options you can keep in your snack bag.
Some people want to curb their sweet tooth for weight loss or other health-related issues. Whatever your reason, there are always healthy solutions nowadays and plenty of sound advice available online. If you feel that you cannot kick the sugar habit altogether, give it time, do it gradually and never go too harsh on yourself if you fail. Allow yourself mistakes but learn from them. Keep your goal in mind and welcome the obstacles. Victory tastes sweeter when it’s harder to come by.