Dr. Oz Explains How to Cut Down Sugar Cravings in Two Weeks
How Can I Stop Craving Sweets?
I used to be very conscious of my health and had very good habits, but recently I gained ten pounds in one month because of my addiction to chocolate! I have to have at least one piece a day, and I'm craving sweet stuff in general. I don't understand why I have these cravings. I never even added sugar to my coffee, but now I constantly want to eat sweets. What's happening here, and how do I break this habit?
By Dr. Martin Binks
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It's difficult to know why you are suddenly craving sweets, but one way to find out is to do a little homework. Start carrying a small notebook with you. When you have a craving, write down details like the time of day, your mood, what you were doing at the time, who you were with, and what you ate that day. This will help you identify any particular triggers or patterns that may be contributing to your problem.
People commonly crave certain foods when they are:
- Feeling deprived.Swearing off specific foods or not getting enough calories can lead to cravings.
- Managing emotions.People often use food to reward themselves or reduce stress.
- Dealing with learned patterns or associations.If you always eat cake with coffee, for example, the smell of coffee can make you crave cake.
There are many ways to work on controlling your cravings, and you're already practicing one of them: If you can limit the food you're craving to a reasonable portion (in your case, one piece of chocolate) then perhaps you can make the food a regular part of your eating plan. Work it into your total calorie count for the day and enjoy!
Often, though, people find it difficult to limit the foods that they crave. If you're one of those people, try making a list of hard-to-resist foods. Start with the ones that are the least difficult, and when you have them, do what is called mindful eating. Take small bites, savoring each one, and try to eat very slowly. By practicing in this way, you can re-teach yourself to control your intake of certain foods. When you master one, move to the next one on the list.
Finally, distraction, or finding other ways to reward or soothe yourself can also work. Next time you find yourself reaching for a food that you're craving, do something else instead. Go for a walk with a friend, take a relaxing bath, listen to some music — anything to take your mind off that craving! The good news is, if you distract yourself, most cravings pass in about 20 minutes.
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