Whether you're hooked on packets, diet soda or zero-calorie snacks, this plan from nutritionist Dr. Josh Axe will help you kick your cravings for good.
Step 1: Slowly Scale Down
Some artificial sweeteners can cause withdrawal symptoms if you cut back too quickly. Follow this schedule to gradually reduce the amount of artificial sweeteners you consume:
- Reduce by one packet for one day.
- Reduce by two packets for two days.
- Reduce by three packets for three days.
- Continue this pattern until you are down to using no artificial sweeteners.
Step 2: Go for the Real Thing
Over time, learn to eat and drink natural sugars. Each of these tricks all have 50 calories or less, so you don't need to worry about weight gain going off artificial sweeteners. About five minutes of jumping jacks is enough to burn off these calories.
- Instead of diet soda, pour any flavored fruit juice into a shot glass, and then dump in a glass of seltzer. Each shot only has between 20 and 25 calories.
- Instead of artificially flavored water, try fruit-infused water instead. Use watermelon, as it's naturally sweet and will feel like you are indulging.
- Instead of sugar-free pudding, get the kind with real sugar. Put half the pudding in a piece of Tupperware to save for later and fill the other half of the cup with fresh fruit.
Step 3: Add Sweet Spices and Stevia
Spices like ginger, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and nutmeg enhance natural sweetness. Sprinkle sweet spices into your coffee or tea and even on a baked apple as a dessert. Stevia as a natural sweetener is also a great replacement; it comes in granulated form that looks like sugar or in drops that you can add to coffee, water or dessert in all different flavors. Read on for five more of Dr. Axe's favorite natural sweeteners.
This plan was originally created for Dr. Oz's Truth Tube. Get the past expert Truth Tube plans here.