Controlling your sweet tooth isn’t easy, but here are some tried and tested ways to help you out.

If you’re one of those people who can’t imagine a day without chocolate or ice-cream, then you need to face you’re in trouble. An uncontrollable sweet tooth makes you fat, and also more prone to many diseases.

Too many sugary foods mess up your metabolism, raise the risk of diabetes, and impair brain function. Like it or not, research confirms that excess sugar intake can raise the risk of death from heart disease by 20%.

So, try these 6 hacks to help you control your sugar intake:

#1 Drink more water

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One of the most efficient ways to reduce cravings for sugary foods is to drink more water. Sometimes, we perceive thirst for hunger. But staying hydrated all day long reduces the chances of this mix-up.

#2 Choose fresh fruits over dry fruit and juice

Dried fruit contains over 70% of sugar. Even though this is in the form of fructose, too much is bad for you. Of course, fresh fruit also has sugar. But the difference is that the fibre in it enables you to metabolize the fructose.

In the case of fruit juice and dried fruit, there’s no fibre, so your body is left with heaps of sugar that’s hard to process.

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#3 Eat smaller, more frequent meals

Skipping your meals, and letting yourself get extremely hungry drives us to reach for sugary foods, for quick energy. To avoid this, make sure you keep your blood sugar level stable, by eating five smaller meals.

Research shows that this habit will reduce your sugar cravings.

#4 Avoid processed foods

Before you tear open that so called “healthy” snack bar, remind yourself that it may not be the best choice. Processed snacks and food are notorious for having added high amounts of sugar. So, do make sure you read the label before making a choice. And instead of eating packed food, go for healthy snacks like yogurt and apple slices.

#5 Get enough sleep

Being sleep deprived and tired makes you more prone to sugar cravings. Sometimes, we confuse tiredness with hunger. And since sugar provides instant energy, its a quick fix solution.

But once the short-lived energy crashes, you feel even more fatigued. So, tackle your tiredness with a high protein meal instead.

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#6 Avoid low-fat or non-fat food

When removing fat, most of the manufacturers add sugar to keep the product flavorful. So, you think you’re eating no fat!  But this is a self-defeating move, since your body converts all the excess sugar in these foods, to fat. Instead, eat a small amount of healthy fats, so you don’t reach for the sugar.