How to Curb Your Cravings for Sweets and Sugar
-Part 2
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Last updated November 1, 2017, originally published November 8, 2008
By Sara Ott, Contributing Columnist

As we discussed in Part 1 of this series on cravings, we Americans have
a huge sweet tooth.
Each one of us consumes 19.5 teaspoons of refined
sugar per year, according to the US Department of Health and Human
Services. This is far more than the 6 teaspoons per day recommended by
the American Heart Association and the World Health Organization.

And it's fairly easy to exceed this 6 teaspoons per day sugar budget. A
single can of soda contains approximately 12 teaspoons of sugar.

This insatiable need for the sweet stuff is at the bottom of many chronic
disease.  Sugar is the culprit.

The taste buds for sugar are some of the earliest to develop on the
tongue. We probably developed a taste for sugar, from and evolutionary
perspective, because it helps infants to seek the sweet, nutritious
mother's milk.

However, this natural preference wears off after about a year. After
that, you might notice that young toddlers have no special preference
for sugar. After that, the taste for sugar is learned. The foods we are fed
as toddlers on, grooms our taste buds for sugar-- sugar even in baby
foods, sugar in breakfast cereal, even ketchup is mostly sugar.

Why do some people develop a lifelong sweet tooth while others grow
out of it after infancy? Why do we crave the things that are bad for us?  
Why do the things that are bad for us taste so good?

Exchange Oil for Sugar

There are 2 powerful tricks discovered by dieters and confirmed by
research which can turn help you to tame that sweet tooth.  The first
trick is to exchange oil for sugar.  If you increase-- slightly-- the amount
of oil you eat and at the same time decrease the amount of white
carbohydrates (white bread, potatoes, white flour), you will start to lose
your cravings for sweets in about 10 days to 2 weeks.

This is the "trick" behind the success of many of the low-carb diets.

In addition to using vinegar to curb your sweet tooth, researchers have
found that certain other habits  actually dampen our need for sweets.

Walking Cuts Your Cravings

A 2008 study on food cravings conducted by scientists at the University
of Exeter in the United Kingdom has found that taking a brisk walk can
curb your cravings for chocolate. As reported in the journal Appetite,  
25 regular chocolate eaters abstain from their favorite snack for three
days, and were then assigned to either rest or to take a brisk 15-minute

The walkers experienced lower cravings both during the walk and for
about 10 minutes afterward. They were also less likely to be tempted by
unwrapping a chocolate candy bar.


Walking for Just 15 Minutes Cuts Your Chocolate Cravings in Half

A study in 2011 by the same group from the University of Exeter
discovered that workers who take a brief 15 minute walking break cut
down on their cravings for chocolate. This study asked 78 people who
regularly eat chocolate to abstain for 2 days. A part of the group was
asked to exercise for 15 minutes on a treadmill.  Then, all 78 people
were then put into a simulated work environment where chocolates
were available in a bowl. Those who exercised for 15 minutes on a
treadmill consumed half the amount of chocolates as those who were
sedentary. The morale of the study? Walk for 15 minutes during your
lunch hour to cut down on that afternoon snacking on sweets.]

Mint Kills Your Appetite for Sweets

Ever wonder why restaurants give you mint candy after your meal?
They're not dumb. If they gave you mint before your meal, they
wouldn't be in business for long.

One of the best natural appetite suppressants is mint. Try chewing sugar
free mint gum before you eat.

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