If you try to take care of yourself and eat well but still end up craving sugar time to time it’s not entirely your fault. There is so much sugar added to even unassuming foods and condiments that we sometimes don’t even know how much we’re actually eating. Most American adults eat 128 pounds of sugar in a year, which is like the size of many people so think about that. Plus anytime we do indulge in a nice dessert or something, that sugar lights up the pleasure portion of our brain like nobodies business and tries to convince the body that it needs more. And more. When you’re cravings start to get too intense it’s a good sign it’s time to cut back. Here are some ways to help beat that sugar addiction.

Eat Less Sugar

Sigh. It’s mandatory. Start looking at the labels of foods to see how much sugar you’re actually eating and you might be appalled. This can even be enough to turn you off certain foods completely. The recommended daily allowance for sugar is around 24 grams which you can find in many single servings of yogurt. To start avoiding sugar, start working in fresh and natural ingredients as much as possible which of course don’t have any added sugar. Fruit and vegetables have naturally occurring sugar but that kind if fine as a portion of your diet. The less sugar you eat, the less you will crave it, so pass on those donuts at the work meeting.

Eat More Protein

Often times when we crave sugar it’s just because our blood sugar is low, but that doesn’t mean that we need to feed it with a chocolate bar. The body just wants fuel for energy in general, so if you can you overrule your urges and eat something with less or no sugar, you can actually give your body the long lasting fuel it needs instead of setting yourself up for an inevitable sugar crash if you eat something high glycemic with no nutritional value. You might be surprised by how quickly a sugar craving goes away when you eat a couple hard boiled eggs instead. Avoid getting to the point of extreme hunger between meals by keeping snacks on hand like almonds and roasted chicken breast.

Avoid Trigger Foods

If there are certain foods that you just can’t eat in moderation, then you should just avoid those all together. How many times do you have to eat an entire jar of Nutella in one setting before you realize you’re wildly addicted? Again, the body is hardwired to make you think this is a good idea so you will store fat and avoid starvation, so it’s not your fault. Just tell it no and don’t keep the Nutella in the house where it can tempt you.

Stay Hydrated

First of all, you should be skipping any beverages that have sugar added like sports drinks and mochas. You can get your electrolytes and caffeine without sugar, we promise. Drinking plenty of normal water throughout the day can help keep you feeling fuller between meals as well, and it might even help boost the metabolism.