Diets

3 Easy Ways to Curb Sugar Cravings

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If you’re tempted by leftover Thanksgiving pie, you’re not alone. It happens to the best of us. Luckily, you can curb those sugar cravings with easy and natural fixes that will make it a breeze to pass right by all kinds of sweet treats  — even pie. Read on for three quick tips you can try right now.

Get Moving

You might think walking would increase hunger, but scientists reported in PLOS ONE in 2015 revealed that sugary cravings are actually least likely to occur after we’ve spent time moving. In fact, a 15-minute walk quashed folks’ yearnings even when they held the sweets! One suspected connection: Throughout the day, life’s little stressors can build to a tipping point that triggers the brain to try to soothe its anxiety with a sugar fix. But light physical activity short-circuits the process by lowering cortisol levels and tamping down craving-triggering stress by 40 percent.

Cut Down on Your Screen Time 

After a long day, cozy up with a good book instead of scrolling through Facebook. A new European study suggests that as little as one hour a night of blue light emitted by cellphones and computers triggers you to eat more sugar the following day. That’s because blue light suppresses levels of the sleepiness hormone melatonin by 50 percent, hindering the deepest level of restorative slumber. “When we don’t get deep sleep, our brains crave quick fixes of energy”, explains Shelby Harris, Psy.D., author of The Women’s Guide to Overcoming Insomnia ($10.29, Amazon). 

Don’t want to give up your device? Change your iPhone’s settings to the  blue light-filtering Night Shift mode or download the Twilight app to your Android.

Brush Your Skin

When seasonal busyness has you craving sugary snacks, try dry-brushing your skin for five minutes. Stanford University researchers say stimulating pressure-sensitive skin nerves triggers the brain to release serotonin —a hormone that slashes the urge to eat for up to four hours. Use a long-handled brush with firm bristles ($12.39, Amazon) to make short, firm strokes on your legs, belly and arms, as you brush toward the heart.

This story originally appeared in our print magazine. 

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