How to stop your sweet tooth from ruining your diet

PHOTO: Pexels

Sometimes, the real enemy that's preventing you from losing weight isn't the lack of exercise but your cravings.

If you're addicted to sugar, here are five tips that can help.

1. Have a well-rounded diet

Photo: Pexels

When we limit our meals to the point that we are only eating a plate of greens for the sake of "clean eating", our cravings for sweets can occur more often and end up ruining that healthy diet plan.

Make sure your plate consists of a good mix of fibre-rich carbs, protein and healthy fats. In other words, a satisfying meal can keep any sugar cravings at bay.

2. Spike your water with lemon juice

Photo: Pixabay

Make that glass of water more refreshing with lemon juice. The sharp-tasting citric acid in this wonder fruit cleanses the palate and helps to curb any sugar cravings you might have after a meal.

Lemon juice also prevents fluctuations in your blood sugar levels by slowing down the conversion of carbs to sugar.

3. Reach for fruits instead

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Yes, fruits still contain sugar but they are a much healthier go-to as compared to a chocolate lava cake. Organic berries, grapes and apples are your next best option!

4. Incorporate natural extracts and spices into your food

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Reduce the amount of sugar when you make baked goods. Instead, use spices like cinnamon as they add flavour with neccessary damage control.

5. Schedule your treats

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Condition your body such that it only indulges in your favourite ice-cream once a week on a Friday night.

It takes some discipline, but scheduling your treats will eventually become a habit that'll help you control your sugar intake.

Tips on living well with diabetes

  • People with diabetes know that they need to take control of their eating habits because blood sugar levels in the body are directly affected by the foods we eat.
  • A diabetic diet is an eating plan that is high in nutrients and fibre, low in fat, sugar and salt, and moderate in calories
  • The only difference is that you need to pay more attention to your food choices
  • Controlling carbs: If you have diabetes, excessive intake of carbohydrates will lead to high blood sugar levels and poor control of diabetes.
  • Load up on greens: Loading up on vegetables, especially green leafy ones, will assist in blood sugar and weight control, and promote a healthy heart.
  • Choose wisely when eating out: Reduce your food portion size by requesting for less noodles/rice, and avoid dishes with thick gravy or fried foods with flour/bread coating
  • Order more vegetables and have a serving of fruit for dessert.
  • Regular mealtimes: For individuals who are on fixed doses of insulin and/or taking oral medication for diabetes, it is important to maintain regular mealtimes to prevent fluctuation in blood sugar levels and to optimise the effects of the medication.
  • Be active: The reason exercise is so important is because it increases cell sensitivity towards insulin. This means that cells are better able to use any available insulin to take up glucose during and after each physical activity.
  • You can start slowly with a 30-minute brisk walk three times per week and work your way towards a more intensive regime.
  • This helps you to have better blood glucose control and maintain a healthier body weight.
  • If you have diabetic complications such as heart disease, nerve problems or kidney failure, seek the advice of your doctor or an exercise specialist about appropriate exercises to do.
  • Shoes that fit: Comfortable footwear is also important as diabetes causes nerve insensitivity in the feet.
  • Poorly-fitted shoes can lead to foot complications such as ulcers, blisters or corns.
  • Stick to medications: In order to ensure blood sugar targets are achieved, most people with type 2 diabetes will require oral medication and/or insulin, along with living a healthy lifestyle.
  • Keeping clinic appointments: You need to take a proactive role in the management of your healthcare in order to prevent or delay the development of diabetic complications.
  • It is very important to follow the medication dose and timing prescribed by your doctor. It is dangerous to skip medication, or adjust medication dosage and timing without checking with your doctor.
  • Self-monitor blood sugar levels: Regular monitoring of your blood glucose gives you a basic understanding of how your diet, medication and physical activity affects your body and how you can manage it.
  • In general, individuals with diabetes should have comprehensive physical examinations once a year and have their diabetes assessed at least every three to six months.
  • Too little sleep can increase the risk of diabetes, and if you already have diabetes, sleep deprivation can lead to poor blood sugar control.

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