Ways to Fight Sugar Cravings

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, eating a small amount of dark chocolate can help to curb some cravings for sweets. However, in this candyland world that we live in, some of us are going to need a lot more help in fighting sugar cravings than just sucking on a piece of dark chocolate. So today I would like to suggest some ways to fight sugar cravings that are natural and healthy.

There are a number of ways to fight sugar cravings, such as eating some fruit, which contains natural sugars to satisfy your sweet tooth.

There are a number of ways to fight sugar cravings, such as eating some fruit, which contains natural sugars to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Is the downfall of your diet usually a bowl of peanut butter and chocolate ice cream or a cupcake with heaped frosting on top? Perhaps the morning donut of your past is what you miss the most and you end up caving it after a few weeks of going without. If so, you may have to do more to fight your sugar cravings. If you have enjoyed sugary items for most of your life, and it always makes you feel better to eat such things, fighting them off is going to be especially hard for you. If this is you, then try these natural ways to fight sugar cravings so you can stay on track with your diet.

One of the best ways to fight sugar cravings is to make it a point to do so. Sounds simple enough, but we all know it is not. When you first reduce the amount of sugar you eat you are going to find it difficult for about a week or two, and then it is going to be much easier. You may even have headaches, but if you can make it through those first weeks, things are going to go much smoother. Remember that losing weight is not only changing how you eat, but also how you think. Try to fight your next sugar craving with some meditation. Sit back in your chair, breath deeply and visualize yourself reaching your weight loss goal, be it 10 pounds or a 100 pounds. Let yourself feel happy and proud of your accomplishment and fill your mind with positive thoughts. Doing this technique helps you to overcome the emotional craving for sugar, which is often triggered by stress and negativity.

One of the best ways to fight sugar cravings with food is to substitute processed, sugary snacks with protein snacks. Snacks that contain protein will satisfy your hunger and help to keep you full longer. One of the things I commonly use when I feel desperate for something sweet is a small protein shake using chocolate protein powder mixed with milk. Not only is my chocolate protein shake high in protein, but it is also supplemented with fiber, vitamins and minerals that make my body feel like it has eaten something really good. I find that these shakes help to get rid of sugar cravings and food cravings right away.

Another way to fight sugar cravings is to use artificial sweeteners if you think that would help, but remember these sometimes make sugar cravings worse. Artificial sweeteners are particularly good because they do not cause a big spike in insulin when eaten. Avoiding an insulin spike is important because when you insulin levels crash back down your body will demand more sugar, thus forcing you to crave more (see the post “Foods that Stabilize Blood Sugar” for more information). By the way, I do not recommend eating any foods that contain aspartame as an artificial sweetener because it has caused some serious health reactions in some people (see my review of aspartame here, “Health Effects Caused by Aspartame“).

As for snack foods that help to fight sugar cravings, the best option is to keep a stock of protein snacks, such as cheese sticks, hard boiled eggs, yogurt, nuts and small amount of fruit on hand. Of course, just because these foods are high in protein does not mean you can eat as much of them as you want. Portion control is very important with everything you eat, even healthier snack foods.

Perhaps one of the best ways to fight sugar cravings goes hand in hand with the saying “out of sight, out of mind”. The sight and smell of sugary foods can trigger and insulin response in your body that is going to propell you towards getting a sugar fix (see this interesting post about “Insulin Response to Sight and Smell of Sweet Foods“). For this reason, you should remove the tempation by keeping sugary treats out of your grocery cart. Ask members of your family to eat these items away from home (and you), or in another room so that you are not being constantly tempted and tested. Instead look for sources of natural sugars to get your sweet fix. Things like fruits are a great choice, whether dried or fresh. Do your best to just walk away from all processed sugary foods, including high carb prepackaged foods, as they can mimic sugar in the body and up your cravings.

Another suggestion for ways to fight sugar cravings is to include more vitamin B3 in your diet. Vitamin B3, otherwise known as Niacin, is found naturally in foods high in protein, such as eggs, meat, dairy and peanuts and some other foods such as mushrooms and leafy greens. Thus, if you begin eating more protein in your diet, you will naturally raise the level of vitamin B3 you consume. Using Vitamin B3 to fight cravings is something the founder of AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) swore worked for him with alcohol cravings, and it is said to work with sugar cravings as well. However, consuming a lot of vitamin B3 is not something you should do without talking with a doctor or pharmacist. Vitamins are needed by the body, but can be unhealthy and even dangerous if you take too much.

The next time you are struggling with a sugar craving take a few minutes to evaluate your options. While you are thinking of all the ways to fight sugar cravings and choosing the best one to try slowly drink a big glass of cold water. As you may know, drinking water is not only essential for keeping your metabolism going, but it may also help to fight cravings, be it for food or sugar.

4 comments to Ways to Fight Sugar Cravings

  • dieter

    I prefer using artificial sweeteners. Nice post btw


  • Robin

    I use Splenda all the time now. But no doubt that 5 years from now they will say that Splenda is worse than sugar! But for now it seems to work.

    Food and Sugar Addiction

  • Tasha

    Great article. I have tried a few of these tricks and they work great. Sugar is my downfall. It is the one food disaster I have not been able to kick. I will be using all these tips now and pray that they work.

  • Tasha – I’m glad this article may help you. If you visit back, please update us about how these tips about ways to fight sugar cravings worked and let us know if you have found any more tips that work as well. Good Luck!

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