Sure, sugar tastes good. And it can make us temporarily feel good too (from the endorphins they trigger in our brain that calm and relax us). Because of these brain chemicals, simply white-knuckling your sugar cravings isn't likely to work, and other strategies are in order.
It probably comes as no surprise that eating sugar regularly isn't good for you. And many of us do it (morning lattes, afternoon chocolate pick-me-ups, cookies before bed, anyone?) without even realizing it. The average American consumes a whopping 22 teaspoons of added sugars every day (88 grams), according to the American Heart Association.
Becoming more aware of how much sugar you’re eating is an important first step in kicking the habit. And here’s some good news: the simple act of eating less sugar helps to reduce cravings; the less we have, the less we want, and the more sensitive we become to it.
Reducing sugar cravings isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. Some people do best going cold turkey, while others fair better with a gradual decrease.
“I used to love mochas…and even worse, white chocolate mochas,” says Coach Agatha. “First, I switched to a regular mocha, then to an americano with two pumps of chocolate sauce, until I was down to regular coffee with two sugars and cream. Eventually, I was able to cut out sugar all together and I alternate between black coffee and black coffee with cream. Now when I try a sweetened coffee or latte, I can hardly believe I used to drink them regularly. But if you were to ask me to go straight from a white chocolate mocha to black coffee, I would have thought you were crazy.”
Regardless of your personality type, here are 10 ways to help ween you off the white stuff: