How to Deal with Sugar Cravings

How to Deal with Sugar Cravings

By Stacy Karen, Contributing Writer

It’s 4 p.m. and you find yourself in the kitchen pantry, rummaging through the baking supplies, trying to find that half used bag of chocolate chips. You know they must be somewhere.

And you must find them right now!

Is this you?

It’s certainly been me on more occasions than I care to admit.

Sugar cravings are well known to most of us. For some they come here and there, for others it is a daily occurrence.

Why do we have them and how can we overcome them?

Before we discuss those questions, let’s think about what sugar cravings do to us.

What happens to you when you have an intense sugar craving? Do you find yourself irritable, pacing back and forth, ready to snap?

How to Deal with Sugar Cravings
Image by nkzs

What is the desire behind the craving? Do you think that eating sugar will make you feel better? Happier? More energized?

I can attest to experiencing all of the above. I’ve been a complete sugar addict and know just how intense these cravings can be.

Besides the mental and immediate physical experience of a sugar craving, the future concerns of them also are unpleasant. These cravings often result in some form of over-indulgence which then leads to blood sugar spikes, weight gain, and energy crashes. All of which are uncomfortable and detrimental to our health.

So what’s a girl to do?

A variety of methods are useful in dealing with sugar cravings. Today I’m going to share a few of them with you. The reason I’m sharing so many suggestions is because everyone is different; what works for one person may not work for another.

If you are dealing with sugar cravings on a regular basis, try some of these and see which ones help:

Go cold turkey

Going cold turkey doesn’t work for everyone and can even lead to binge eating. But for many, it is an excellent choice.  After getting through the initial withdrawal phase (could last a few days to a few weeks), many report little to no cravings at all.

The reason this works so well is that many people struggle to only have a little sugar, yet a few bites often turns into needing more and more. So, removing refined sugars completely eliminates this issue.

Also, eating too much sugar dumbs down our taste buds; so staying away from refined sugar will help make real foods, such as fruit, taste like candy!

How to Deal with Sugar Cravings

Image by Terrin in Virgina

Go slow

Start by eliminating as many refined sugars as possible, especially white sugar. Replace those with more naturally sweetened treats. It’s important to be aware that although naturally sweetened treats are much healthier and have more nutritional value that those sweetened with refined sugar, they still elevate blood sugar and should be eaten in moderation.

By the way, white sugar is really bad for you! If you need convincing, check out this free printable that explains just what is wrong with white sugar.

Try a pattern-interrupter

When the desire for sugar strikes, try doing something active, such as push ups or taking a walk. Often times the distraction and boost of endorphins will get you over the hump and keep you from indulging.

Sip something yummy

Drinking a cup of herbal tea or sparkling mineral water with a squeeze of lemon or apple cider vinegar, can help alleviate sugar cravings. Since many cravings are accompanied by anxiousness, sitting down and sipping on something can be a great way to relax and bring some peace and calm (which will not be the end result if you choose to eat lots of sugar).

How to Deal with Sugar Cravings
Image by pontuse

Check for Candida

Sugar cravings are a key symptom of candida. A simple blood test, or yeast infection self-check can help confirm the presence of candida. Also, simply checking the long list of symptoms can give you a pretty good idea if this is something you might be dealing with.

If you have candida, removing sugar is necessary in order to heal.

Eat more good fat

Sometimes cravings are our body’s way of crying out for nourishment. We are often lacking good, healthy fats. Fats such as coconut oil and olive oil make us feel more satisfied and reduce cravings for refined sugars and carbohydrates.

Want more information about good fats? See: Good Fats, Bad Fats, and Why I Eat Plenty of Butter.

Get more sleep

I think we can all attest to the fact that little sleep usually causes lots of sugar cravings. Do your best to make sleep a high priority in order to reduce cravings and improve your health in all areas!

Take supplements

Cinnamon – Adding cinnamon to meals throughout the day can give you the sensation of eating something sweet, without the accompanying blood sugar spike. If you happen to overindulge while eating, cinnamon can help minimize blood sugar spikes.

How to Deal with Sugar Cravings
Image by YappsCotta

Vitamin B – Many of us are lacking in B vitamins. Taking a B complex with breakfast can help boost energy and fight fatigue. Lack of energy is often a cause for sugar cravings, so B vitamins are useful in warding off cravings before they begin.

Chromium –  In her book, 21 Day Sugar Detox, Diane Sanfillipo states, “Chromium helps increase insulin sensitivity, which affects how well your body regulates its blood sugar levels.” Taking 200 micrograms one to three times a day can be helpful in regulating blood sugar.

PlexusPlexus Slim is a new supplement I am currently trying. It is a natural drink that contains a variety of plant extracts. Originally developed to help those with diabetes balance blood sugar, it also has been found helpful reducing sugar cravings, balancing hormones, and dealing with auto-immune issues (such as Hashimoto’s, diabetes, and psoriasis). You can read more about it here.

As you can see, there are lots of ways to deal with sugar cravings. It can be a monumental task to break free of sugar addiction, but it’s a worthwhile endeavor.

For more information on sugar, why we eat it, and how to cut back, read:  

Cutting Down on Sugar: Why Do We Eat So Much?

Cutting Down on Sugar: 21 Ways to eat Less Sugar

How often do you experience sugar cravings? Do you have helpful tips for dealing with sugar cravings?

 

 Disclaimer: Although all Keeper of the Home contributors are passionate about nutrition, natural living and alternative health issues, we are not certified nutritionists, medical doctors, or practitioners of any kind. We are not licensed to counsel anyone in medical matters, nor may we be held responsible for any course of action that you choose in regards to your own health or that of your family.

About Stacy Karen

Stacy, a homeschooling Mom of three, enjoys healthy, natural living and is a make-it-from-scratch maniac. She strives to encourage women to find peace and joy at home through her blog, A Delightful Home, where she shares tips and tricks for creating a happy home (and life) with God at its center.

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Comments

  1. Try one oz of quality organic dark chocolate (70% plus) after lunch or whenever the craving hits. Just a little “sweet” so I don’t feel deprived but I don’t crave any pitching sweet after that.

  2. I have been working on my weight (35 pounds down!!!) and I cut out sugar almost completely. I still use natural sweeteners like honey and maple syrup, in limited quantities, and occasionally I will add a teaspoon of raw sugar to my coffee, but generally speaking I do not eat sugar. So any time I do eat sugar I get a horrible stomach ache! That’ll teach me to stop eating sugar. ;-) Yesterday I had *one scoop* of Breyer’s vanilla ice cream with a few toppings and I thought I was going to bounce off the walls! I have never felt such a sugar rush before.

  3. I’m currently working with a naturopath to tackle sugar issues (among other things) which in my case is a symptom of insulin resistance. I find that eating protein (right now I tend to snack on a little bit of peanut butter) seems to help me get through cravings.

  4. {Kathy} Sugar, sugar, sugar…..the bane of my existence. Thanks for the tips!

  5. I am definitely someone who has to go cold turkey or I overindulge. Sugar can totally be an addiction, only a much more socially acceptable one.

  6. Great post on an important topic! I would like to point people towards Radiant Recovery (http://www.radiantrecovery.com/) and / or the related books (Potatoes not Prozac, The Sugar Addict’s Total Recovery Program). Some people are ‘sugar sensitive’ and their biochemistry is such that they need to heal their brains before they can successfully cut out the sugar (which is actually pretty addictive for everyone). If nothing else it makes interesting reading :)

  7. I agree with some of your suggestions here and appreciate the post, but I would like to point out that everyone has candida in their body and in healthy levels is a GOOD bacteria that you need in your gut. I think what this author meant to say is candida overgrowth. When candida goes out of balance, then there might be intense sugar cravings and the symptoms linked to above…

  8. I found cutting back slowly worked for me best. For instance I use to love full strength sweet tea. I slowly weaned myself off of it by doing 1/3 unsweet to 2/3 sweet. Now I am down to 1/2 and 1/2 now I do 1/4 sweet to 3/4 unsweet. I did the same with yogurt. I first bought the plain and added 1tbsp of maple sugar now I am down to 1tsp maple sugar added. I am making these cuts in other areas too, and now when I have a full sugar product I can’t stomach it.

  9. This is a great list of ideas to battle sugar cravings. I especially liked that you pointed out Candida since it is often overlooked and can be such a nag until it’s addressed.

    In addition to not keeping prepared sweets in the house, I’ve found that stopping to think and pray for just a minute about what’s at the root of my craving has been the most helpful for me. Personally, my desire for something sweet is rarely physiological, so reasoning through my motivation for drifting into the kitchen is almost always where I need to start. Lots of times, I talk myself out of “needing” something sweet, or literally have that desire for comfort fulfilled by prayer or a scripture God brings to mind.

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