If you’re overweight or obese, shedding a few pounds could lower your risk of some potentially serious health problems, according to the NHS.
Obesity increases your risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, strokes and type 2 diabetes.
You could gain health benefits from losing just five per cent of your body weight, if you keep it off.
But, one of the hardest parts of dieting is avoiding sugar cravings.
These five tips could help you avoid surrendering to your sweet tooth.
Food cravings may be confused for feeling thirsty, according to nutritionist Adda Bjarnadottir.
“If you feel a sudden urge for a specific food, try drinking a large glass of water and wait a few minutes,” she said.
“You may find that the craving fades away, because your body was actually just thirsty.”
Drinking water before meals could reduce appetite and help with weight loss, she added.
Get extra sleep
Not getting enough sleep disrupts the hormones that let you know you’re hungry.
“Your appetite is largely affected by hormones that fluctuate throughout the day.
“Sleep deprivation disrupts the fluctuations, and may lead to poor appetite regulation and strong cravings.”
Eat more protein
Adding extra protein to your diet could prevent you from feeling hungry, a study has claimed.
“Eating more protein may reduce your appetite and keep you from overeating,” said Bjarnadottir.
“Another study in overweight men showed that increasing protein intake to 25 per cent of calories reduced cravings by 60 per cent.
“Additionally, the desire to snack at night was reduced by 50 per cent.”
You should try planning your meals for the week ahead.
Bjarnadottir said: “By already knowing what you’re going to eat, you eliminate the factor of spontaneity and uncertainty.
If you don’t have to think about what to eat at the following meal, you will be less tempted and less likely to experience cravings.”
Stress can lead to food cravings, studies have reported.
Stressed individuals eat significantly more calories, and experience more cravings – especially in women.
“Furthermore, stress raises your blood levels of cortisol, a hormone that can make you gain weight, especially in the belly area.”