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Jun 30, 2012

How Much Cardio Is Enough ?

I do 20 to 30 minutes of cardio 5 days a week after about 45 minutes of weight training.  I feel awesome afterwards and that's what I think a person should go by. Don't do so much cardio each day that you're NOT looking forward to doing it the next day. I think a person needs to do 20 minutes of high intensity cardio five days a week or 30 minutes of moderate intensity cardio five days a week. Unless you're not used to doing any kind of cardio yet. Then you should start with like 10 minutes and work your way up to that. 
I would suggest just doing cardio to where you're looking forward to doing it and you feel great afterwards. I personally would rather do 20 to 30 minutes a day, five days per week instead of two 1 hour cardio sessions per week. That is a psychological thing and many people think about that and it just makes them dread it.  Spread it around a bit, let yourself enjoy it! I actually enjoy doing 30 or 45 minutes of cardio but because I'm doing weight training before had I tend to keep it around the 20 minutes of high intensity mark .

Jun 29, 2012

What are the core fundamentals of the Fresh Balance Diet Plan?

Eat 5-6 small meals Per Day ' it's very important to provide your body the opportunity to metabolize your meals in small bites so that you can feed your body with a steady stream of energy and nutrients that help support your daily lifestyle of fitness or health activities.

Reduce your Daily Sugar Intake - we should all realize by now that sugar in its natural state, in fruit juices, or in hidden forms like high fructose corn syrup or other added sweeteners, are really driving some of the on-going obesity problem in the world today.
Keeping your Daily caloric intake of all forms of sugar low, helps support a sound and quality fresh balance diet plan. It's crucial that blood sugars remain balanced throughout the day and high sugar diets will spike your blood sugar levels and not support a life long weight loss or diet plan. Eating lots of Sugar can just flat out help you store all these empty calories as fat on your body.

Eat every 2-3 hours - keeps blood sugar in check during the day and also helps rev up your metabolism to burn more energy. Never allow your body to go hungry for quality energy or when you do eat, your blood sugar while spike or if you wait too long between meals, your blood sugars will drop to very low levels.

Consume low or Zero calorie beverages ' Save your calories for high quality fresh wholesome food products and make your daily liquid intake low or NO Calories.

The Benefits of Not Mixing Proteins with Carbohydrates

When you separate foods that contain proteins and carbohydrates, you are able to expedite your digestive process.  This boils down to the fact that foods are either acid or alkaline producing.  So when you eat foods that contain both acid (meats, fish, cheese) and alkaline (fruits and vegetables) you are essentially causing fermentation in your intestines.  The protein foods you eat only require a medium level of acid in order to be digested and expelled properly.  They naturally spark pepsin to be activated, which is essential for breaking down the proteins.  On the other hand, the digestion of starches or carbohydrates requires an alkaline balance to expedite digestion.  With carbohydrates, the digestive process begins in the mouth with the release of an enzyme called ptyalin and the complex starches are broken down in part even before they reach the stomach.  If you were to eat steak with alkaline foods (carbohydrates), you are hindering the natural process of your digestion.

Luckily, there are foods that are considered neutral meaning that they get along with both the proteins and the carbohydrates that you eat.  For instance dairy products (with the exception of milk), olive oil, all green leafy vegetables, raw or smoked meats, fish, nuts (except peanuts), mushrooms, olives, avocados, blueberries and herbs are considered neutral foods.  One easy example of a daily meal plan separating proteins and carbohydrates would be as follows. Breakfast can be fruit of your choice.  Fruit should always be eaten alone because of the sugar content.  For lunch, you could have a baked potato with sour cream, butter and chives and for dinner, eating a piece of fish with grilled mushrooms would be ideal.  Unfortunately, common food choices like sandwiches go against the idea of the separation diet!

Essentially the problems that most people encounter by eating the common meat, veggies and bread meals that have become mainstay are stymied digestion and the inability to maintain proper pH balance or expel toxins properly from the colon.  Long term, this causes just about every discomfort you might experience including things like headaches, joint pain, bloatedness, inability to lose or gain weight, fatigue, acne, and millions more.  The bottom line is that the human body requires balance and that digestion is designed to break down foods so that you are able to gain the nutrients, minerals and positive factors while eliminating any of the things you don’t need for survival and health.

Jun 28, 2012

Eat your way to fabulous skin

If you want radiant skin, the old adage 'you are what you eat' has never rung more true

Moisturisers and sunscreens can help to keep you looking youthful, but your skin also needs to be nourished from within and the best way to do that is by choosing the right diet.

Eat your 5-a-day

Eat more red peppersFruit and vegetables contain powerful antioxidants that helpto protect against the cell damage caused by free radicals, which include smoking, pollution and sunlight. Vitamin C is one of the most powerful antioxidants. it is found in all fruit and veg but especially in citrus fruitsred peppers, guavas and kiwi fruit. Betacarotene, found in pumpkincarrots, and sweet potatoes, and lutein, found in kale,papaya and spinach are also potent antioxidants.

Cut out crash diets

Repeatedly losing and regaining weight can take its toll on your skin, causing sagging, wrinkles and stretch marks. Crash diets are often short in essential vitamins, too.

Stock up on selenium

This is also a powerful antioxidant - studies suggest that a selenium-rich diet can help to protect against skin cancer, sun damage and age spots. One way to boost your intake is to eatBrazil nuts - just four nuts will provide the recommended daily amount (rda). Other good sources are fish, shellfish and egg

Drink up

Even mild dehydration will cause your skin to look dry, tired and slightly grey. Drink at least six glasses of water a day - all fluids count towards your daily allowance, but water is the healthiest. if you work in an office, keep a large bottle of water on your desk to remind you to drink.

Don't be afraid of fat

Good fats - the type found in avocados, nuts and seeds - provide essential fatty acids, which act as a natural moisturiser for your skin, keeping it supple. these fats also come packaged with a healthy dose of vitamin E (a vitamin many of us lack), which will help protect against free radical damage.Good fats - the type found in avocados, nuts and seeds - provide essential fatty acids, which act as a natural moisturiser for your skin, keeping it supple. these fats also come packaged with a healthy dose of vitamin E (a vitamin many of us lack), which will help protect against free radical damage.

Eat more phyto-oestrogens

Phyto or plant oestrogens are natural chemicals found in food, which act in the body in a similar way to oestrogen but help keep our natural hormones in balance - they block the uptake of excess oestrogen and raise low levels when needed. They are thought to offer protection against breast cancer and heart disease.

Opt for omega-3

Skincare guru Dr Nicholas Perricone recommends eating salmon at least 10 times a week in his book The Wrinkle Cure. He says its omega-3 fats encourage the body to produce anti-inflammatory compounds, which can help to slow and even reverse signs of ageing. While some dermatologists are sceptical about his claims, there are other reasons to eat oil-rich fish regularly, as it helps to keep our hearts and minds healthy.

Go for low-GI carbs

Eat plenty of bean, pulses, porridge and other low-Gi carbs - these slowly release sugar into the blood, providing you with a steady supply of energy and leaving you feeling satisfied for longer, so you're less likely to snack. in Dr Perricone's most recent book, 7 Secrets to Beauty, Health and Longevity, he suggests choosing low-Gi carbs and avoiding high-Gi ones, like biscuits and sugary drinks, as they lead to over-production of insulin, which damages collagen and accelerates wrinkling.

Jun 26, 2012

How to boost your metabolism

        Here are 7 ways to boost your metabolism, so you can burn fat fast:
  • The first thing you need to do is add breakfast to your daily meal planner. Although many people don’t like eating breakfast, it gives your body the rev up it needs to launch your metabolism. A 250-calorie snack is all it takes to boost your metabolism in the morning.
  • Another way to increase your metabolism is to add spices to your food. According to the U.S. Agricultural Research Service, Cinnamon is one spice that increases your metabolism twentyfold — and all you have to ingest is a mere 1/4 to 1 tsp per day!
  • While you’re planning your meals, you may want to add kiwi fruit to your diet. Kiwis pack a lot of vitamin C, but if you add 500 mg of it to your day, you burn up to 39% more fat when you’re exercising. Don’t get too much C, though, because once you get to the 2,000 mg mark, you start experiencing adverse effects like bloating, gas, and diarrhea.
  • Another metabolism boosting measure is to watch what you drink. Adding ice to a drink makes your body work harder because it has to heat it up in your stomach, which increases your metabolism. Also, ingesting a caffeine drink like coffee or tea can raise your heart rate and increase your metabolism.
  • Where you’re eating can be just as important as what you’re eating. When you’re having breakfast in the morning, try positioning yourself near a window so that you can soak up some sun. The bright light boosts your metabolism and also helps you increase bone and muscle strength.
  • Make sure you’re getting enough chromium in your diet to help your body burn more calories. Chromium, which is found in tomatoes and in a supplement form, also boosts the way you burn fat. According to MedlinePlus, meat, eggs, green pepper, apples, banana and spinach are also good sources of chromium. When you supplement 120 mcg of chromium daily, your body benefits by revving up its metabolism.
  • If you really want to kick-start your metabolism, you may also try dividing your meals up into smaller portions that you eat more often throughout the day. Every time you eat, it helps your metabolism rise, so as strange as it may sound, eating frequently can help you lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.

Jun 25, 2012

The 3 P's - Persistence, Patience, Progress

Persistence is the very foundation of success. You do want to be successful don't you? If you look at any endeavor the only people that you will ever see in the winners circle or at the top of their field were persistent. Have you ever seen anyone in the winner circle who quit? Of course you haven't. If you quit you cannot possibly win. That's a pretty basic concept.There are quotes to be found in abundance on this. "Quitters never win, winners never quit." The list goes on. 
"If something is worth starting than it is worth finishing." He was right. Make a commitment to yourself right now to never quit. If there is something that you want to accomplish never quit. Take action every day. Taking action builds momentum. Momentum drives you toward success. Success reinforces your belief in yourself, and results in more action, more momentum, and more success. It is a continuous cycle that never ends. Quitting only leads to a lot of frustration, heartbreak and wasted time and effort.

Be patient Everybody dreams of being an overnight success. But the fact of the matter is seldom do people accomplish it. We live in the age of instant gratification. We become accustomed to getting what we want when we want it. Again I say be patient. Results do take time. I know that when we start out to do something we can become discouraged when we do not see results. We have to be patient. If we become impatient, we open the door to discouragement and failure. Remember the old phrase"Rome wasn't built in a day"? That is a fact. Results take time. Promise yourself that you will be patient. Without patience we all to easily quit and give up on what we are doing.
Progress only comes by taking action. Progress is an action word. Whatever your endeavor make sure that you do something every day! It doesn't have to be something huge. But if you commit to doing something on your project every day you will see success!
I wish you the best in whatever your endeavor may be!

What You Need to Know About Fitness After 60

If you’re 60 or older, you’ve probably grown up with the idea that the transition from middle age into “senior citizen” status means slowing down. “Take it easy–you’re not as young as you used to be.” How many times have you heard that advice? If you’re like me, you probably say it to yourself whenever your post-exercise aches and pains seem a little worse than usual.

It certainly seems like a lot of middle-aged (and older) Americans have heeded this advice–and taken it too far, in many cases. Surveys show that only 32 percent of adults 65 and older follow a regular exercise plan, and for those aged 45-64, the number is even lower: 30 percent.

It turns out that this is a prescription for trouble.

We know now that the physical decline associated with aging is not simply the result of getting older. In many respects, it’s a product of becoming less active as we age. In other words, it’s not aging that forces us to take it easy, it’s taking it too easy that makes aging more debilitating than it needs to be. The human body is much better at repairing and maintaining itself when you keep it well conditioned through a program of regular physical activity, exercise, and good nutrition. This doesn’t change when you move into old age—in fact, the old adage “use it or lose it” is probably more true when you’re in your 60s and beyond than when you’re in your 40s. Slacking off on healthy habits (like regular exercise and good nutrition) is the primary factor in age-related problems like excessive muscle loss, deteriorating bone density, declines in strength and aerobic fitness, and increased difficulties with balance and flexibility.

Now, don’t get me wrong here. I’m not trying to say that a 60-year-old who starts exercising and eating well can expect to go out and win athletic competitions against the 20-something crowd. And I’m not encouraging you to jump up off the couch and start training for the Boston Marathon if you haven’t run in 30 years. Wear and tear does have its effects, and we aren’t designed to keep on going forever like the Energizer Bunny–40 may be the new 30, but 60 is never going to be the new 25.

I am saying that, with a little bit of well-planned effort, you can make your “declining years” a lot less about declining, and more about staying functionally fit enough to do what you want to do and enjoy yourself in the process.

When is the Best Time to Tan Outside?

The best time to tan outside is before 11:00 in the morning, and after 2:00 in the afternoon. This allows you to tan when the sunlight and the harmful effects it has is not at it's peak.

How many meals should you eat daily ! Eat every 3 hours

Do you need to eat every 3 hours? This question came up several times in the forum, like here. And usually it stems out of convenience: you lack time or are too lazy to cook. So you're looking for a way to rationalize.
No time to eat? Make time, your body needs food. No time to cook 6x/day? Me neither. That's why you must batch cook 1x/day. But practical things aside, let's see if your body benefits from eating every 3 hours.

Why You Don't Need to Eat Every 3 Hours
Popular myth: your metabolism — how many calories you burn at rest — is faster if you eat more frequent meals. That's how eating every 3 hours would increase fat loss.
Research shows that eating every 3 hours doesn’t increase your metabolism. And less frequent meals or fasting doesn’t decrease your metabolism neither. Forum member Leanstrong posted the studies. Thank him for the info.

Why You Need to Eat Every 3 hours. 
Eating every day at the same time will make you hungry each day at the same time. More benefits:
  • Fat Loss. You'll get hungry if you go without food for more than 3 hours. And this can make you overeat at the next meal, preventing fat loss.
  • Weight Gain. Try eating 6000kcal/day in 3 meals. Gaining weight is a lot easier if you spread your calories in 6-7 meals per day.
  • Less Hunger. Smaller meals decrease your stomach size over time. Your stomach will feel full sooner. You'll also stabilize blood sugar & insulin.
  • More Energy. Eating 3 large meals of 1000kcal will make you sleepy & lethargic. Smaller meals: more energy, better focus, no set stomach.
  • Less Cheating. You know you'll have a healthy meal within 3 hours. Psychologically this makes it easier to keep your diet healthy.

Jun 22, 2012

12 Health Benefits Of Eating Salad

Eating raw fruits and vegetables will keep you feeling better, look more fit, become healthier and live longer. Listed below are twenty health benefits of eating salad. Hopefully this will encourage you to add salads as a staple to your diet.

Salads Are Delicious

Fresh fruit and vegetables are delicious, so mixing them in an array of different combinations to create a salad ensures exciting meals. Salads are delicious and knowing that they are also good for you, adds to the delicious factor.

Salads Are Visually Satisfying

First, you eat food with your eyes. Salads have varied textures, shapes, sizes and colors which make them visually appealing and satisfying. We enjoy foods that are entice our eyes and also eat more of them.

Eat A Different Salad

A salad does not have to be just lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers. There are thousands of ingredient combinations possible for making a salad. You could have a different salad every day for years! Not only are the ingredients in the salad numberless, but there are also many salad dressing combinations that can spice up a salad.

Eat Salads To Decrease Calories

As long as you don’t add a bunch of fried ingredients that swim in dressing, salads are low in calories and can help you lose weight. Adding fruit and good fats such as olive oil, nuts and avocados to a salad enable the body to absorb lycopene (in tomatoes), lutein (in dark green vegetables), iron (in spinach) and other nutrients.

Salads Are Healthy

Salads are high in vitamins and minerals such as: vitamin A (immunity), vitamin C (fight infection, boost iron absorption, maintain healthy bones, gums and skin), vitamin K (strong bones, heal wounds, assists blood to clot), calcium (build strong teeth and bones, assists blood to clot, nerves to carry messages, muscles contract), alpha- and beta-carotene (antioxidant that help protect against cancer and heart disease), iron (maintain healthy blood) and many other vitamins and minerals.

Eat Salads To Increase Vegetable Intake

The perfect way to increase the number of vegetables in your diet is to eat a variety of salads often. Eating plenty of raw vegetables ensures that you are getting the benefit of the enzymes found in them. These enzymes enable your body to absorb the nutrients found in the food. More nutrient absorption leads to better health.

Everyone Can Make A Salad

You simply can’t go wrong when adding basic salad ingredients, so it isn’t necessary to be a chef or even know how to cook in order to make a delicious salad. Children can easily assist in preparing salads. It is also the perfect meal to motivate children towards eating a variety of vegetables since they are more apt to eat what they help prepare.

Salads Unlimited

There is no end to the number of recipes for salads and dressings. The only limiting factor is your imagination. Start with fresh greens like arugula, spinach and Romaine, then add a variety of colorful vegetables.

Salads Digest

Do you hate that super full feeling and the bloating that happens after eating a fatty meal? Well, salads do not cause bloating and that is akin to winning the golden ticket in “Willie Wonka And The Chocolate Factory”. Salads help to fill you up, but they do not feel heavy nor do they make you feel lethargic.

Salads Ward Off Disease

Salads help protect the body from diseases such as cancer and heart disease because they are high in fiber which improves digestive health. The raw fruits and vegetables in a salad also are antioxidants. Just add a hand full of blueberries and walnuts to a salad to up the health factor significantly. Research has also shown that people who consume plenty of raw vegetables and good fat (olive oil) have a reduced mortality! Salads will help you live longer!

 Add Fiber

Eating healthy foods aid in helping the body feel energetic and filled with vitality. Salads add fiber to the diet which reduces cholesterol and constipation. High fiber salads eaten before a meal tend to help you consume less of the higher calorie foods served afterward. This fiber fullness side effect will help you lose weight.

Eat Salads To Stop The Craving

If you have a sweet-tooth that craves sugar and candy, add fruit or a fruity dressing to the salad. Not only will this satisfy your craving, but it tastes refreshing and will re-energize you.

Salads Are Fast

Compared to making homemade lasagne or waiting for Chinese food to be delivered, making a salad is relatively quick. The basic salad only requires that you wash and cut the vegetables. No baking is required. After buying vegetables, washing and storing them in the refrigerator decreases the time it will take you later to prepare a salad.

Do Diet Drinks Actually Cause Weight Gain?

The studies suggesting diet sodas, or anything containing sugar substitutes, can contribute to weight gain are based almost entirely on animal research. What scientists have found is that a rodent's brain relies on the link between taste and calories to keep track of just how much eating has occurred. Sugar substitutes—saccharin, sucralose, aspartame, neotame unbundle the taste of sweetness from calories: The taste buds tell the brain that food is coming in, but the body doesn't get the energy it's expecting. This, apparently, undermines the ability of rats to judge how much they've consumed, and, over time, they begin to overeat and gain weight.

The same mechanism may occur in people, too, but we don't yet know for sure. Though some human studies indicate sugar substitutes help with short-term weight loss, an equal number suggest they don't. My particular concern is that artificial sweeteners are 200 to 13,000 times as sweet as sugar, and that is a potent stimulus for turning a sweet tooth into a fang. Other research suggests that the taste of sweetness is mildly addictive—the more you eat, the more you need to feel fully satisfied. If artificially sweetened sodas increase your cravings, the calories they take out of your diet are apt to sneak back in later when you, for instance, need a larger or sweeter dessert to feel satisfied.

One exception for diet drinks: They can be a great substitute for people who drink a lot of regular soda and are trying to cut down. Just be sure to take the next step—toward the water cooler.

Jun 21, 2012

You are what you eat

Have you ever heard the saying, "Eat your breakfast like a king, your lunch like a prince, and your dinner like a pauper"? It basically means to eat your biggest meal in the morning, to fuel your day, and your lightest meal at night, before you go to sleep since you'll need less energy then.

While dinner is traditionally the heaviest and heartiest meal of the day, following this tradition may prevent you from losing weight (especially those last few stubborn pounds of fat). Eating a large quantity of food later in the day (and closer to bed time) encourages fat storage and may even lead to gradual weight gain. The primary goal of this “slimmer waistline” plan is to get the majority of your calories in the early, more active part of your day when you have more opportunities to burn them off. More importantly, come the evening time you won’t feel famished and won’t feel the need to overeat. An additional goal of this plan is to keep your blood sugar levels stable and metabolism increased to fight off fat storage and nighttime cravings. Dr. Salge-Blake explains that you can achieve this by eating your last meal (around 350-450 calories) three to four hours before bedtime and by reserving 30% of your dinner calories from protein, 25% from healthy fats, and 45% from carbohydrates.

Breakfast Like a King

We’ve all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day but not all of us eat the breakfast that we should, usually due to time constraints in the morning.  Read on to learn why we need to make time and exactly why breakfast is so important.

Why is Breakfast so Important?

Out of the three main meals of the day, breakfast is the meal that is most likely to be neglected or skipped.  If you don’t eat breakfast, you are likely to feel tired, restless, or cranky in the morning.  Why do so many people not eat breakfast?  Many people say that they are simply not hungry in the morning, because they’ve eaten a big meal the night before or simply snacked late at night.  As a result, the body is still trying to digest food when they are going to bed.  During sleep, the digestion rate slows and, as a result, there is still food in the stomach in the morning.
Breakfast is the first meal of the day, and it is the meal that the body uses to top up its glucose levels after eight to twelve hours of fasting.  Glucose is vital for the brain and it’s the main energy source for the body. As well, it also fuels the muscles that are necessary for physical activity through the day.  If you skip breakfast, you will have a shorter attention span, be less alert, take longer to react, have low blood sugar, and decreased productivity.

Breakfast and Weight Loss

Many people think that skipping breakfast will help them to lose weight but the opposite is true.  Breakfast is literally breaking the fast and it helps to curb hunger and stop you from binge eating later on in the day.  By eating a hearty, nutritious breakfast, you will actually consume fewer calories through the day.  Breakfast should actually contain one-third to one-half of the daily dietary needs of the body.  Skipping breakfast can lead to vitamin and mineral deficiencies.  When we do get hungry, we tend to gravitate towards high-fat, high-sugar foods that provide an instant energy boost.  Unfortunately, these foods cause unhealthy spikes in blood sugar levels and only satisfy us for short periods of time – leading us to eat more and thus putting on weight.

Breakfast Suggestions

Some ideas for a healthy breakfast include:
  • wholegrain cereal with fruit and yoghurt & green tea
  • wholegrain bread with a boiled or poached egg
  • an omelete with a bran muffin and fresh juice
  • wholegrain toast with natural nut butters
  • an English muffin topped with lean turkey and fresh juice
  • wholegrain toast with fresh fruit
  • hot cereal such as oatmeal is high in fibre and low in sugar

Breakfast like a King, Lunch like a Prince, Dinner like a Pauper

We need the most energy at the beginning of the day, and the least energy at the end, when most daily tasks are over and we are relaxing.  For this reason, it is wise to stick to the old adage, “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper”.  Eat according to the needs of your day.  If you have an office or other sedentary jobs, eat lighter meals.  If your job is more active, eat foods that provide sustained energy.
If you are very athletic and train hard, then you will need more nourishment towards the end of the day, to sustain your training needs. Always apply these principles to your own individual needs, nothing ia ever written in stone.
At lunch time, still eat a substantial meal to fuel you for the afternoon but make sure that it isn’t too heavy.  A hearty soup with salad is ideal or perhaps lean meat with vegetables or salad.  Essentially, it should be a medium-sized meal – smaller than breakfast but larger than dinner.
If you eat a large meal at dinner, which is traditional in most homes, weight gain can occur as the body cannot use all the energy in the food and thus stores it as fat instead.  A heavy meal at dinner can also cause sleep disturbances.

How to Stop Sugar Cravings: 12 Tips to Use Right Now

Give in a little. Eat a bit of what you’re craving, maybe a small cookie or a fun-size candy bar, Enjoying a little of what you love can help you steer clear of feeling denied. Try to stick to a 150-calorie threshold, Neville says.

Combine foods. If the idea of stopping at a cookie or a baby candy bar seems impossible, you can still fill yourself up and satisfy a sugar craving, too. "I like combining the craving food with a healthful one," Neville says. "I love chocolate, for example, so sometimes I’ll dip a banana in chocolate sauce and that gives me what I’m craving, or I mix some almonds with chocolate chips." As a beneficial bonus, you'll satisfy a craving and get healthy nutrients from those good-for-you foods.

Go cold turkey. Cutting out all simple sugars works for some people, although "the initial 48 to 72 hours are tough," Gerbstadt says. Some people find that going cold turkey helps their cravings diminish after a few days; others find they may still crave sugar but over time are able to train their taste buds to be satisfied with less.

Grab some gum. If you want to avoid giving in to a sugar craving completely, try chewing a stick of gum, says nutrition advisor Dave Grotto, RD, LDN. "Research has shown that chewing gum can reduce food cravings,

Reach for fruit. Keep fruit handy for when sugar cravings hit. You'll get fiber and nutrients along with some sweetness. And stock up on foods like nuts, seeds, and dried fruits, says certified addiction specialist Judy Chambers, LCSW, CAS. "Have them handy so you reach for them instead of reaching for the old [sugary] something."

Get up and go. When a sugar craving hits, walk away. "Take a walk around the block or [do] something to change the scenery," to take your mind off the food you’re craving, Neville suggests.

Choose quality over quantity. "If you need a sugar splurge, pick a wonderful, decadent sugary food," Moores says. But keep it small. For example, choose a perfect dark chocolate truffle instead of a king-sized candy bar, then "savor every bite -- slowly," Moores says. Grotto agrees. "Don’t swear off favorites -- you’ll only come back for greater portions. Learn to incorporate small amounts in the diet but concentrate on filling your stomach with less sugary and [healthier] options."

Eat regularly. Waiting too long between meals may set you up to choose sugary, fatty foods that cut your hunger, Moores says. Instead, eating every three to five hours can help keep blood sugar stable and help you "avoid irrational eating behavior," Grotto says. Your best bets? "Choose protein, fiber-rich foods like whole grains and produce," Moores says.

Skip artificial sweeteners. Artificial sweeteners may sound like a great idea, but "they don’t lessen cravings for sugar and haven’t demonstrated a positive effect on our obesity epidemic," says Grotto, author of 101 Foods That Could Save Your Life.

Reward yourself for successfully managing sugar cravings. Your reward could be large or small.  Remember why you’re working on it and then reward yourself for each successful step.Slow down. For one week, focus on your sugar cravings and think about what you’re eating, suggests Chambers. Diet mayhem often results from lack of planning. So slow down, plan, "and eat what you intend to eat, instead of eating when you’re desperate," Chambers says.

Get support. Many people turn to sweet foods when they're stressed, depressed, or angry.  But food doesn't solve emotional issues. Consider whether emotions are involved in your sugar cravings and whether you need help to find other solutions to those emotional problems.

Mix it up. You may need more than one strategy to thwart sugar cravings. One week you may find success with one tactic, and another week calls for an alternative approach. What’s important is to “have a ‘bag of tricks’ to try,” Gerbstadt tells WebMD. To tame sugar cravings, you really need to "figure out what works for you," Neville says.