"For women, the daily recommended allowance [of sugar] is six teaspoons, and for men, nine teaspoons. Children should have less than six teaspoons per day," says Nicole Avena, PhD, a research neuroscientist.
Sugar substitutes are not get-out-of-jail-free cards
"Substitutes can help people who are dieting, who suffer from diabetes (because some artificial sweeteners don't cause a sharp spike in blood sugar), and those who are worried about cavities and tooth decay caused by sugar," says Avena. "In these ways, sugar substitutes can be a good choice over white sugar, however, an excessive intake of sugar substitutes can confuse the body's natural response to sugar and can cause blood sugar to be stored in tissues. This can cause hypoglycemia and can increase overall food intake."
Get more sleep.
Not sleeping well can affect your sugar cravings.
Know the difference between a craving and hunger.
Next time you want to reach for that chocolate cake, ask yourself: if the only thing I had to eat right now was an apple, would I eat it? If the answer is "no," then you're probably having a craving and not actually hungry. When you're hungry, what you're willing to eat is flexible, when you're having a craving, it's not.
Add some protein to a carb-rich breakfast.
A study that looked at MRI scans of people eating a high protein breakfast found reduced activity in the regions of the brain associated with cravings.
Aim to consistently fill your plate with protein, healthy fat, and high-fiber carbohydrates like non-starchy vegetables.
Go for portion control.
Because sugar addiction is biological-not emotional as is so often thought-this might not work for everyone, but that doesn't mean there's any harm in trying.
Cut out sugar in foods that aren't sweet.
If you can't give up your ice cream and chocolate, try to eliminate ketchup and salsa.