The Holiday season is here! Time for trips to the pumpkin patch, scary movies, fun costumes, and sweets, lots and lots of sweets. This time of year it can be hard to curb your sweet tooth when all of your favorite stores display Halloween candy, candy apples, and pumpkin pies front and center.
If you find yourself craving something sweet you are not alone. It has been scientifically proven that sugar can actually make your brain release dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter the brain produces and it is responsible for how we feel pleasure. So indulging in that cute orange and black sprinkle donut or a couple of candy bars really does make you feel better.
However, eating too much added sugar can begin to have negative effects on your health. It can lead to blood sugar issues, weight gain, increased risk of heart disease, and other serious conditions. Here are some tips to combat your sweet tooth this holiday season;
Sugar cravings are often the most worrisome when you are dehydrated. When your body is lacking hydration it has issues properly metabolizing glycogen for energy. Glycogen plays a role in regulating blood sugar levels. When glycogen isn’t properly produced and there is not enough, your body will begin to crave sugar for an energy boost.
Next time you’re craving something sweet try drinking a glass of water. If you are not a huge fan of drinking water try adding a lemon or some fresh fruit for a little added flavor.
Eating 3 meals a day with 2 snacks in between, which is every 3-5 hours, can help keep your blood sugars stable and avoid sweet cravings. Waiting too long between meals allows you to get to the point where you are starving. This sets you up to go for sugary, fatty foods that will satisfy your hunger quickly.
Meal planning can be a helpful tool when it comes to eating regularly. Planning ahead and already having your meals prepped makes it easier for you to stay on track and not give in to your sweet cravings.
Reach for fruit
Eating fruit when your sweet tooth is giving you trouble is an easy and healthy way to curb your sweet craving. Fruit has natural sugar and it also provides your body with fiber and a ton of other vitamins and minerals.
Next time you go to the grocery store head to the produce section and stock up on fresh fruit. Fruit is also a great grab and go snack if you’re a busy person. Pair a piece of fruit with some nuts, cheese, or a boiled egg for a filling snack that will satisfy your sweet tooth and keep you full so you can power through the rest of the day.
Give in a little
Just go ahead and eat it, we won’t tell anyone! If you stick to the tips above, giving into your sweet tooth every now and then will not threaten your health or set you back on your weight goals. Restrictive diets and eating can have harmful effects on your body and your relationship with food.
Responsibly giving into your sweet cravings can keep you both satisfied and on track. The next time you’re craving a candy bar, grab a fun sized bar, pair it with some nuts, fruit, and enjoy. Or if you just have to have that pumpkin pie with whipped cream, drink some water to rehydrate your body, then enjoy a small slice.
Combating your sweet tooth can feel like a daily struggle to some. Making an effort to keep your body hydrated, eating regularly, and choosing healthier natural sweets like fruit can ease the struggle and keep you and your sweet tooth in check.