In the Kitchen with Fareway: How to Outsmart your sweet tooth

MOLINE, Illinois-- Giving in to your sweet tooth isn’t just tough on your waistline, it can also lead to some major blood sugar swings.

What does that mean? Eating quick-digesting carbohydrates (like sugar) give you an immediate burst of energy, but a crash later.

The result? A cycle of sugar, crash, repeat.

The good news? Taming that sweet tooth doesn’t have to be hard.

Here are five ways to easily cut back.

1. Start at breakfast: Skip the sugary breakfast cereals and reach for a well-balanced plate instead. Fiber, protein and fat help balance your blood sugar, which helps reduce cravings.

2. Hydrate: Have you had enough water? Sometimes we confuse thirst for hunger. Next time a craving strikes, drink a glass of water, wait 15 minutes, then see how you’re feeling.

3. Get enough sleep: Being tired releases your “hunger hormone,” known as ghrelin. At the same time, your body is looking for a quick energy fix, so you’re left reaching for something sweet. If last night’s sleep wasn’t up to par, reach for fruits and vegetables to provide better-for-you carbohydrates, fiber and antioxidants to get you through the day.

4. Adjust your taste buds: Our taste buds become accustomed to sweetness, so we start to crave its flavor. Train your taste buds by using “savory sweet spices” like cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg. While these spices aren’t technically sweet, they trick your brain into thinking you’re eating something sweet.

5. Watch the nibbling: Whether you spend the day baking or sitting at your desk, it’s easy to mindlessly munch. Instead of eating sweets while you’re preoccupied, divvy out a single serving and focus on enjoying the treat. This way, you feel satisfied with fewer calories.

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