If Youve Got It Really Bad Here Is Supplemental Support
- 500 mg 1000mg of glutamine really helps some people. Break open the capsules and empty under your tongue, then swallow with water. This does not work for everyone.
- certain minerals like chromium help arrest sugar cravingsyou can often find them in blood sugar balance blends with other herbs or nutrients to help stop sugar cravings. Examples are gymnema, alpha lipoic acid, and even cinnamon. Body Ecology Ancient Minerals is awesome.
- Try this crave arrest to help balance brain chemicals that can cause cravings.
- Have a cup of green tea. It may sound preposterous, but we sometimes mistake hunger or craving cues for thirst, and the minerals in green tea give you a boost. Minerals in general also help stop sugar cravings. Drink lots of green juicesvery high in minerals!
- Have a protein snack using suggestions above. As I mentioned, when blood sugar is low, you actually need protein, not sugar.
Stick to dark chocolate it has health benefitsor truffles over hard candy, and bring treats that dont contain refined sugars to parties. Its ok to treat yourself every once in a while, and I often recommend sugar busting snacks in the afternoon, like coconut butter or coconut oil melted with almond butter and a bit of honey that can satisfy a craving. Remember that indulging in too much sugar every day will only make sugar cravings worse, so save the treats for parties and special occasions.
Sugar Substitutes You Need To Try
For a sugar detox, you need to find some alternatives to satisfy your sugar cravings. This can be a fruit smoothie or a frozen yogurt bark recipe. Whatever you try, stay away from refined sugar. Refined sugar is far more harmful than natural sugars found in raw honey and fruits, and it can be as addicting as drugs.
Honey has a plethora of benefits including being antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. It also reduces the risk of cancer and helps fight infections. Whether you have a sore throat or digestive problems, honey can fix seemingly everything. Replace refined sugar with honey in your recipes and feel the difference. Not only will it satisfy your sugar craving but also improve your immune system in the process.
When you feel the sugar rush coming, dont reach for chocolates or brownies. Fruits like berries, mangoes, bananas, and apples have plenty of natural sugar in them and will satisfy your sweet tooth easily without causing any damage to your body. Snack bars made from oats, dates, peanut butter, dark chocolate, and honey are also a good option for a quick dose of sugar.
Sweet potatoes are a rich source of vitamin A and vitamin C. They taste sweet and are pretty filling too. Besides containing a variety of minerals, theyre also high in fiber which promotes gut health and digestion. People trying to lose weight often eat sweet potatoes to control their hunger.
Eat More Healthy Fats
Healthy fats stabilize blood sugar levels and keep us feeling full over a longer period of time.
Therefore, just by eating more healthy fats and cutting back on sugar, the body starts to use more fat whenever it needs energy.
So what are the best fats to help curb sugar cravings?
raw nuts, coconuts, coconut oil, olive oil, avocados, avocado oil and fatty fish will give you the most benefits.
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Sometimes Its Possible To Create Changes In Life To Get These True Cravings Met:
- Leave or speak up in a relationship that isnt working for you
- Read a book that teaches skills to communicate differently to people that leave you feeling angry/taken advantage of
- Find more creative ways of rewarding yourself
- Change your job, or negotiate different conditions.
If its possible to make the change then do so, and notice what happens to those sugar cravings. But sometimes it feels impossible to make these big changes and we can feel very stuck. Often just the insight of what you are truly craving loosens the grip of power that it has over you. So rather than saying to yourself, Whats the matter with me, I just cant resist sweet food, you can instead start to see the craving as an attempt to get an important inner need met. You can begin to have a different conversation with yourself, Ah I see, Im craving this sugary food because of XYZ.
Sugar doesnt have to be the enemy, to be battled. When we switch our mind-set to see the sugar as an attempt to take care of ourselves, we can start to think creatively about our choices. Think of a child you know. Yes, they might want to keep eating sweet food until theyre sick, but as a parent, you likely allow sugar in moderation, and then engage them in a distracting activity that will appeal at least as much. What might be your equivalent? After all, as adults we too need a good balance of work, rest and play.
When You Suddenly Need A Sugar Fix That Urge Might Feel Like It Has A Hold On You To Help Manage Sugar Cravings A Registered Dietitian Suggests You May Simply Need More Of This Healthy Basic In Your Diet
Concerned that you eat too much sugar? Your worry may be warranted. Some clinical professionals, like dietitians and physicians, understand that when your blood sugar suddenly rises, your blood actually gets thicker. Over time, this can lead to serious health issues and increase your risk of chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and obesity.
And, many nutrition professionals teach that sugar from processed foods is a drug. This means that by definition, regularly consuming refined sugar typically only leads to more cravings. So to hear the suggestion you should just totally cut out sugar can feel the way someone with clinical depression hears advice to just be happy.
If youve tried every method you can think of to beat your sugar cravings but still find yourself struggling, one dietitian may have just come to the rescue. Her suggestion? What you actually might need is to add more of something into your diet, rather than totally turning toward cutting the sweet stuff out. Weve got the scoop. Ohand if youve ever asked why you crave sugary, fatty foods before your period, you may have just found the answer.
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An Imbalance In Blood Sugar
Another reason to crave sugar is if you have reduced glucose levels in the blood.
Sugar in the form of glucose acts as fuel for different cell functions. When the glucose supply is insufficient, the body will send hunger and sugar cravings as a signal to provide it a quick sugar boost.
This is especially common if your diet is full of processed foods and lacks fiber. Fiber controls the release of sugar, while processed foods will cause an immediate spike and fall in sugar, again causing you to crave sugar.
Cover The Essential Nutrients
Protein and fat are crucial to kicking a sugar habit. Unlike sugar, healthy fats and protein provide slow and steady forms of energy, more like a flat, newly paved road rather than that glucose-flavored roller coaster. When your body doesn’t find sugar for fuel, it turns to fats, so eating plenty of healthy fats such as nuts, seeds, avocados and olive oil can help your body adjust to getting its energy elsewhere. Protein helps you feel satiated, which can reduce hunger and cravings, and many of the amino acids in protein help build the brain chemicals â such as dopamine â that make us feel good. When we feel balanced and energized, we are less likely to seek a sugar high.
Other important nutrients while trying to wean yourself from sugar include fiber, which slows digestion and stabilizes blood sugar iron, which when depleted can cause low energy and cravings and the energizing B vitamins, which are often depleted by sugar consumption and stress.
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Pack Your Plate With Protein
Curbing late-night sugar cravings may come down to getting a proper portion of protein at dinner.
Your body digests protein more slowly than fat and carbs. “This means that when you eat a higher protein meal, it will generally keep you feeling full for a longer period of time, mitigating the urge for a sugar surge post-dinner,” Moskovitz says.
In fact, protein has been proven to reduce the “hunger hormone” ghrelin and increase hormones like glucagon-like peptide-1 and cholecystokinin that contribute to satiety, Gearhart says.
“Protein also has a minimal impact on blood sugars,” Moskovitz adds. And that matters because foods that quickly raise blood sugars often lead to rapid blood sugar crashes, and, consequently, more sugar cravings.
So, make sure your supper plate gets an ample portion of protein. Fortunately, there’s a plethora of protein options perfect for the dinner table. From chicken, turkey and fish to eggs, tofu and legumes, you can find a healthy no matter what your dietary preferences.
A Fluctuation In Blood Sugar
If youre craving sweets all of a sudden, most likely you are experiencing blood sugar fluctuations, Goodman explains. When your blood sugar drops, your body may be trying to get you to give it more fuel to keep your blood sugar levels stable.” To keep your blood sugar balanced, she recommends eating a healthy amount of protein and adding more high-fiber foods, like beans and legumes, to your diet, along with complex carbs. This will give you the fuel you need without the blood sugar spikes, she promises.
When your blood sugar drops, your body may be trying to get you to give it more fuel to keep your blood sugar levels stable.
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Avoid All Artificial Sweeteners Too
Curbing sugar cravings involves more than just cutting out added sugars. Dr. Thompson says that you also need to cut out sugar replacements, like artificial sweeteners.
“Our taste buds have direct connections to the addictive centers in the brain, so triggering them with artificial sweeteners just keeps the cravings alive. Plus, artificial sweeteners dysregulate our gut microbiome, leading to poor glucose and insulin regulation,” says Dr. Thompson.
Sweet Steps To Stop Sugar Cravings
Step 1: Mix pleasure with protein.
When you have a little protein with your sugary treats, it helps balance your blood sugar. Add a handful of nuts when you eat sweets or mix high-quality protein powder into a sweet smoothie. Having protein at the same time counteracts the spiky sugar surge to the brain that makes you crash afterwards.
Step 2: Rebalance your hormones.
Just before your period when estrogen is low and progesterone is on its way down, levels of feel-good beta-endorphins in your brain bottom out. This hormonal imbalance can cause intense sugar cravings for women in perimenopause or with PMS as your body attempts to boost serotonin and endorphins. Hormone balancing options like Herbal Equilibrium can help kill cravings and other symptoms by restoring natural balance to reproductive hormones.
Step 3: Go no-sugar for 3-5 days in a row.
Toughing it out and avoiding sugar for just three days can make a huge difference in reducing your cravings. Though it may take longer for cravings to completely go away, eliminating sugars cyclical bursts of serotonin and beta-endorphin can normalize your sugar receptors and neurotransmitters. Then your brain isnt constantly sending the message that it needs more sugar.
Step 4: Plug in targeted nutrients to calm cravings.
Step 5: Balance your belly bugs.
Step 6: Watch out for acid-forming foods.
Step 7: Investigate food sensitivities.
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Blood Sugar Spikes And Dips
Hunger varies inversely with blood sugar fluctuations. As blood sugar dips, hunger rises.
And blood sugar on a high-sugar diet can be like a rollercoaster. When someone drinks a sugar-sweetened beverage, their blood sugar goes up, only to crash as insulin scrambles to clean up the mess.
The aftermath is a low-energy state, full of angst and craving. Its called being hangry, and it doesnt increase your likeability. Unfortunately, many consume more sugar as a short term solution, which worsens the downward spiral.
Eat Natural Sugars Instead Of Junk Food
Enrique Diaz/7cero/Getty Images
So what foods should you be replacing sugar with? Fruit is the obvious answer. It contains natural sugar paired with healthy nutrients and antioxidants. Reaching for a handful of raspberries or blueberries when the sugar cravings kick in can be a helpful way to transition away from junk food. Take it from Palinski-Wade.
While initially substituting junk food with foods that contain natural sugars can be helpful, not to mention healthier, over time, your taste buds will adjust to your diet, and choosing foods with fiber and protein will become the norm. You just have to make that transition and stick to it consistently until it becomes a habit that replaces your sugar one. That’s not to say you’re not ever allowed to indulge. Feel free to have that office doughnut or celebrate over a slice of birthday cake every now and then. Just make sure you’re not choosing those rich, sugary foods on the daily and in replacement of other, healthier options. Remember: Clean eating is a lifestyle practiceânot a strict diet or a quick fix for anything.
Sleep is also tied to sugar cravings, so make sure you’re catching enough Z’s every night.
That information is kind of crazy but also totally believable. I don’t know about you, but when I’m feeling extra tired, I’m way more likely to give in to the beckoning call of junk food.
Can You Make Your Life Sweeter
If sugar feels like a reward to you, try replacing it with a different treat that makes you happy. A walk with someone you love, a trip to the movies, an excellent new book, or a bouquet of flowers for your bedside can lift your spirits and make you smile.
And dont rule out the bump in serotonin and beta-endorphins you get from exercise, a well-balanced meal, work that makes a difference, even a sunny day. When you experience joy and fun, they spell happiness to your body so you dont need to fill yourself up with sugar.
Letting go of sugar is stressful but the benefits you feel will keep you moving forward. Go for progress not perfection!
1 Rouch, C., et al. 2003. Extracellular hypothalamic serotonin and plasma amino acids in response to sequential carbohydrate and protein meals. Nutr. Neurosci., 6 , 117-124. URL : http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12722987 .
Wurtman, R., & Wurtman, J. 1995. Brain serotonin, carbohydrate-craving, obesity and depression. Obes. Res., 3 , 477S-480S. URL : http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8697046 .
2 DesMaisons, K. 2008.Potatoes Not Prozac: Solutions for Sugar Sensitivity NY: Simon & Schuster.
3 DesMaisons, K. 2008. p. 145.
4 DesMaisons, K. 2008. p. 75.
5 DesMaisons, K. 2008. p. 145.
6 DesMaisons, K. 2008. p. 185.
7 DesMaisons, K. 2008. p 84.
Switch Spice For Sugar
Sweet spices, like ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon, can trick your sweet tooth and satisfy your craving.
If you like to bake, you can reduce the sugar in many recipes without compromising taste by adding cinnamon, vanilla or cocoa.
Spices are also a great substitute for sugar in hot drinks. Try adding mint, ginger or cinnamon to your tea.
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Enjoy A Piece Of Fruit
“I don’t know if it’s possible to eradicate sugar cravings because they’re part of being human. But I do think that nature gave us fruit for a reason,” Largeman-Roth says. “It’s naturally sweet and loaded with fiber to help us feel full. It also delivers a host of benefits, including antioxidants that help our bodies and skin stay young and healthy.” Training your body to crave fruit instead of processed sugar will be greatly beneficial to your overall health.
A Note On Sugar Substitutes
Many readers ask me if they should swap out their refined sugar for artificial sweeteners or other substitutes. Unfortunately, just switching out sugar for another kind wont address the underlying problem. In some cases, it may even lead to more serious problems. I personally use xylitol and stevia as natural sweeteners on occasion. You can read my full take on sugar substitutes here.
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Make Sleep A Priority
Getting enough sleep is a vital key to success for good health. Not only will it help you stop your sugar cravings, but it will also keep you energized throughout the day.
Set a regular bedtime and decrease the number of distractions in your bedroom. Try moving your TV out of the bedroom and charging your phone in another room.
Practice Habits That Increase Serotonin
Eating sugar may give you that sense of “instant gratification,” but what if there were other ways to get the same feeling?
“Sugar can increase serotonin levels in the brain. Since serotonin is our ‘feel-good hormone,’ people think they are craving sugar when they are simply craving that serotonin boost. In fact, lower levels of serotonin in the brain have been linked to sugar cravings in animal models. But sugar isn’t the only way to support a healthy serotonin level. Exercise and exposure to sunlight can elicit happy feelings too, and it may possibly help cut your sugar craving for good,” says Manaker.
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Opt For A Crave Less Patch
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