How To Beat Sugar Cravings

18 May

Twitter follower @Dubellow asked for advice on beating sugar cravings, so here goes… because I know there are lots of people who could benefit from this information!

First of all, I want to say that sugar cravings are a genuine phenomenon and actually work in similar ways to addictions.  A lot of people do find that if they go without sweet things, they begin to crave either sugar specifically or foods high in carbohydrates (and carbohydrates are essentially a form of sugar).  Since sugar increases the brain’s production of dopamine, getting your fix really does make you feel better, until you crash back down.  Now it really does sound like an addiction, right?

But don’t despair – you can beat your sugar cravings.

Here’s my action plan to help you overcome sugar cravings for good:

  1. Take your cravings seriously – admit to yourself (and others) that you have a weakness for sugar, and that you are battling very real cravings right now.
  2. Commit – again, declare to yourself and others that despite your sugar cravings you are going to reduce your sugar intake.  Get specific.  How often a week will you allow yourself sugary drinks or snacks?
  3. Start each day right – for breakfast, eat a meal rice in lean protein and complex carbohydrates (eggs and whole grain toast is a great choice).  This will keep you full for longer, which reduces sugary snacking, but will also keep your blood sugar stable.
  4. Don’t ignore cravings – ignoring cravings completely will often be too difficult to begin with, and isn’t necessary when you can satisfy them with healthy options.  Whenever you get a sugar craving, just choose a piece of fruit or even some sweet vegetables (sweet potato, carrot, peas).  While you eat, focus on the food and nothing else (turn off the TV!), and make a note of concentrating on how sweet the food tastes, so your brain connects that you are eating to satisfy your craving.
  5. Water – water really is your best friend, especially if you eat sweet treats out of boredom or without really thinking.  Often, when we reach for food between meals our body could actually do with a drink.  Water also fills you, so you’ll be less likely to snack on sugary foods.
  6. Avoid salty foods – salty foods are bad news for the sugar addict for several reasons.  Firstly, they increase thirst, usually leading to a big sugary drink.  Secondly, eating salty foods actually sparks cravings for sugar.  And thirdly, most salty foods are high in carbohydrate content – and remember that carbs are a form of sugar.
  7. Adrenal review – a common cause of sugar cravings is low adrenal function.  This is often caused by stress or underlying food allergies.  Consult a nutritionist if you think this may be a problem for you.

If you need any more help with beating sugar cravings, or would like to discuss low adrenal function or food allergies, just contact me.

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2 Responses to “How To Beat Sugar Cravings”

  1. Sleep Aid : October 28, 2010 at 4:14 pm #

    i think that we should focus more on healthy eating to avoid diabetes and cardiovascular diseases”-`

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. What About The Millions of People Who Shouldn’t Be on Antidepressants? « Healthy Nutrition Expert - June 16, 2010

    […] when coupled with high stress levels as these can result in adrenal exhaustion – learn how to beat sugar cravings if […]

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