Hi! I'm Stelios Pantazis. I'm a doctor and I specialize in medical nutrition and metabolic disorders. Today, I'd like to present some ideas and strategies that will help you beat sugar cravings. When you try to follow a healthy diet, your biggest enemy is sweets. I've been doing this job for almost 20 years and in the two medical nutrition centres that I've been leading, I've helped tens of thousands of people to improve their diet and to enjoy the benefits that this change in lifestyle offers. The problem that I almost always face, namely the only food that many people find it hard to limit, is sweets. Moreover, the most common reason why someone cheats is to eat sweets. Sugar cravings, either you follow a diet or not, are powerful and we often feel that we can't beat them. Today, I'm presenting a series of secrets that I suggest to people that come to my centre, in order to beat sugar cravings. Drink water. It sounds almost silly, but many times, when we get sugar cravings, it goes away, if we drink some water. Every time you get sugar cravings, try drinking a large glass of cool water. The result will surprise you. Increase the protein you consume. Many scientific studies show that if our breakfast is rich in protein, we're much less likely to get sugar cravings during the day. Another study has shown that when we increase the protein percentage of daily calories to 25%, sugar cravings reduce by 60%. Don't expose yourselves to the temptation you're trying to avoid. When you try to limit sweets, it's really important not to have sweets at home. Or, if you have sweets at home, put them somewhere where you can't reach them, locked in a cupboard or somewhere you don't know or you can't reach in any way. When you get sugar cravings, it's highly unlikely to go out and buy something sweet. But even if you do, until you buy it, you'll have realised that what you're doing is absurd and you won't buy it. Distraction. When you get sugar cravings, try to run away from the temptation. For example, if you see that you get sugar cravings after dinner, go out after dinner and go for a walk for 5 or 10 minutes. When you come back, you're very likely not to have sugar cravings anymore. If you can't go out and walk, you can take a shower immediately after dinner. In this way, you'll take your mind off it. Some studies also show that chewing a gum can make you beat sugar cravings. Organise your diet. If your diet and your meals are organised and you know what you're eating and when you're eating it in advance, this makes you less likely to want something sweet. Avoid extreme hunger. Extreme hunger increases the chances of eating something sweet. If you're extremely hungry and you see something sweet, you're much more likely not to resist. Hunger will also justify the consumption of something sweet. Therefore, try to apply a series of strategies, so that you're not extremely hungry. Try to reduce stress. Studies clearly show that very stressed people consume more and worse foods. Obviously, they consume many more sweets too than less stressed people. The reduction of stress is easier said than done. But if you start finding ways to limit stress and stressors in your environment, you'll see that this monster can be tamed little by little. Increase spinach in your diet. Spinach has been proven to contain an extraordinary substance that suppresses appetite for many hours, particularly sugar cravings. Make sure that you sleep well at night. Sugar cravings largely depend on the hormonal changes in the body. This is why women get them more often, because their hormonal changes are more intense. This hormonal changes are much more intense in people lacking good and restful sleep. Many studies have shown that lack of sleep dramatically increases sugar cravings, while other studies have shown that people that don't sleep sufficiently have 55% more chances of suffering from obesity. I believe that good and restful sleep is the most important factor that can protect us from sugar cravings. Eat nutritious foods. The body needs tens of different vitamins and trace elements. Unfortunately, the message "I don't have enough energy" and "I'm lacking this or that vitamin" is the same: hunger. Namely, either you have low blood sugar or some vitamin's level is low, you'll feel hungry. The bad news is that we may have much energy in our body in the form of fat and still feel hungry because we're lacking one or two vitamins. Therefore, you should make sure that your diet is rich in nutritious foods, namely foods rich in vitamins and trace elements, so that vitamin and trace-element sufficiency can block and restrict hunger, when the energy in our body is abundant. Don't go shopping while you're hungry. The chances of eating something that's not nutritious dramatically increases when you see it right in front of you. To avoid having something that's not nutritious in front of you, namely some food with low nutritional value, it's important not to buy this food. But if you go shopping while you're hungry, the chances of buying foods with low nutritional value, namely sweets and junk food, are much higher. Unfortunately, supermarkets make our life even harder, because they place foods with low nutritional value where it's easier for us to buy them. On the contrary, nutritious foods are usually as farther away from the cash register as possible. Therefore, the solution is to go shopping only while you're full. You'll make better choices then. Don't try too hard. Although this may surprise you, most people that avoid eating sweets for a long time manage to do so by eating a few sweets from time to time. Obviously, I've met people that don't eat any sweets for many months. But I've noticed that the people that allow themselves to eat small amounts of sweets once or twice a week pull it off more often. Namely, this approach is more successful in the long term. Obviously, it's not the only successful approach, but it's the one that seems to work more often. Read the labels. Sometimes, if you take the time to read the label with the ingredients, you'll have the time to realise that what you're about to do is a bad idea. You may find out that some food contains too much sugar, an amount that you're allowed to consume all through one day. Or you may notice that some food contains too many trans-fatty acids, which are very bad for your health, as you know. Or you may notice some ingredients that you've never heard before and worry if it's worth putting all this chemistry into your body. Sometimes, this may give you the time and strength you need in order to avoid eating it. Prepare yourselves with alternatives. Make sure that you have dried fruits, such as dates, apricots, plums, figs and raisins. If you see them right in front of you when you get sugar cravings and you eat two or three of them, you're most likely to beat the cravings and not to go on looking for something sweet to eat. I hope some of these strategies will help you reduce sweets. If you thought this was interesting, please give us a thumbs up. Share it with people who you think might find it interesting and subscribe to our channel in order to get notified when we upload a video. You can also suggest subjects in the comment section. Thank you very much!

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