How to stop sugar cravings
Is it possible to overcome sugar cravings – without quitting sugar? One of the most common questions I am asked is How to stop sugar cravings.
Do you feel like you’re addicted to sugar? If you get sweet cravings, it sure can feel that way.
Intense sugar cravings can be really powerful and hard to resist. Luckily, you can retrain your brain and stop sugar cravings using these 5 strategies.
Why do you get sugar cravings?
- Sugar is a fast/easy source of energy. Your body is programmed to seek out easy calories. This is why…
- Sugar tastes really, really good to you.
- Sugar makes you feel better. Which is why you emotionally eat.
- You’re overly exposed to sugar so when food doesn’t have added sugar, it tastes bland.
- Today, 70% of the products in grocery stores have added sugar. Naturally, you have developed a taste for sweet things.
- Crave sugar after meal times? You’ve ‘conditioned’ your body to expect sugar at certain times, in certain places. Every time you eat sweets after dinner, you reinforce the behaviour.
The good news is you can retrain your brain to stop sugar cravings… and you don’t even have to quit sugar to do it.
HOW TO STOP SUGAR CRAVINGS FOR GOOD – WITHOUT QUITTING SUGAR
1. Re-train your taste buds
When you eat a lot of sugar, your taste buds become used to it – and you require more and more sugar to satisfy your craving.
It will take 2+ weeks, but you can retrain your brain, body and taste buds to be more sensitive to sugar.
- Stop adding sweetener to your tea and coffee. Even natural or artificial sweeteners (including stevia) train your brain to expect sweet flavour and increase cravings for sugar.
- Skip the biscuits with the tea, as well.
- Swap sweetened yoghurt for plain Greek yoghurt.
- Swap soft drinks (including diet softs drinks) for water or herbal tea (without sweeteners). Here are 5 simple steps to drink less soft drink.
- Stop chewing sweet gum (even if it’s sugar-free) or having sugar-free lollies.
- Use nut butter or avocado as spread instead of honey or jam.
- Make your own muesli with less sugar. Try this healthy granola recipe.
2. Eat less sugar but don’t go to extremes
Don’t ‘quit sugar’ by cutting out all sugar from your diet. Just aim to eat less added sugar.It’s especially important you don’t cut out whole grains, carbs or fruit because fruit is not fattening.
Adding a bit of honey to your meals instead of going for the sweetened version is a good idea. Some sugar is absolutely ok as part of a healthy diet.
3. Practice ‘crowding’
Instead of thinking about what you are ‘not allowed’ to eat (this will only make you think/obsess about it more), aim to fill up on more healthy food.
Instead of saying:
- ‘I can’t eat sugar or Lollie’ -> try ‘I want to snack on fruit’.
- ‘I should eat less takeaway’ -> try ‘I want to cook more at home’.
Add more healthy foods to your diet and you’ll naturally crowd out the less healthy choices. I promise. ‘Crowding’ works!
4. Create a healthier fridge + pantry
When you go shopping, aim to bring home healthy foods.
- Create a healthy kitchen/home environment that isn’t filled with ice-cream and chocolates.
- Buy sweet ‘sometimes’ foods as you need them instead of keeping them on hand for ‘in case’.
- You can still enjoy these foods (nothing is ‘off-limits’) but order them for dessert when you’re out for dinner – instead of bingeing on them at home.
4. Challenge habits that cause sugar cravings
Always eat in front of the TV?
You’ve conditioned your brain to crave food when you sit down to your favourite TV show.
If you want to stop sugar cravings, then don’t eat:
- In front the TV (this is crucial – and game-changing).
- Whilst driving
- In front of your computer/at your desk
- Sitting on the couch
Sit at the table (not the couch) to eat. Turn off the TV.
If you are watching TV and get a sugar craving, turn OFF the TV, walk into the kitchen, put the food on a plate, eat it slowly, mindfully and enjoy it. When you’re finished, you can watch TV again.
You can watch TV and you can eat – but not at the same time.
I teach you how to do break this habit in Keep It Real Program.