How to Stop Craving Sugary Foods

How to Stop Craving Sugary Foods

Sugar addiction can be a very real, serious problem. The issue has nothing to do with indulging in a sweet treat every now and then – it lies in over-consumption, and how easy it is to do these days.

Sugar is added to pretty much every variety of processed food in order to improve taste. That means even stuff that is supposed to be good for you – like breads, juice, yogurt and cooking sauces – are loaded with unhealthy levels of sugars.

This leads most Americans to overindulge – a lot. According to the American Heart Association, American adults average around 22 teaspoons of sugar each day, which Is well over the recommended six to nine teaspoons each day.

Too much sugar can lead to insulin resistance and eventually diabetes, as well as tooth decay, obesity, high cholesterol and heart disease.

But before you try to kick your sugar addiction, it’s important to know the biological reasons your body craves sweets. Unfortunately, some people are genetically predisposed to having a taste for sugary goods – it’s based on the makeup of their taste buds.

However, that doesn’t mean that everyone isn’t susceptible to sugar cravings. When you eat something sweet, it’s typically loaded with carbohydrates which release the feel-good brain chemical serotonin. Plus when sugar hits the tongue, it also tends to release a rush of endorphins that relax you and simultaneously produce a natural “high.”

Sugar seems pretty irresistible. But it’s not impossible to limit your intake or even to learn to live without it entirely. Here are ten steps on how to stop craving sugary foods:

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1) Quit Cold Turkey

Train your taste buds to live without sugar. Try cutting out all simple sugars for 48-72 hours. This will help diminish your cravings and help you learn how to be satisfied with fewer sweets.

2) Eat More Fruit

You know what they say about fruit: it’s nature’s candy. So fill your cupboards with fruit – both fresh and dried. This will allow you to get your sweet fix, along with fiber and a ton of other essential vitamins and nutrients.

3) Combine Sweets With Nutritious Foods

It can be hard to quit sweets entirely – so it’s important to learn balance. Try only allowing yourself to have sweets if it’s in tandem with something healthy. For example, strawberries with whipped cream, bananas dipped in chocolate or oatmeal mixed with chocolate chips.

4) Walk it off

When an insatiable sugar craving hits, sometimes it’s best to just walk away. Literally. Exercise can help get your blood flowing and release endorphins – a similar effect as eating sweets. So get up and out of the house – walk around the block or run a couple flights of stairs.

5) Drink Water

Of course, water isn’t sweet. However, staying hydrated can help you feel full and satisfied – which will help deter hunger and sweet cravings. Shoot for eight, 8-ounce glasses of water each day. In order to punch up your plain water, try adding sugar-free flavor additives.

6) Chew Gum

Gum can be a great way to sate your sweet tooth. Just be careful – some varieties are loaded with sugar. Instead, look for low-calorie, low-sugar varieties. Then whenever you get a sugar craving, simply pop in a piece of sweet gum.

7) Substitute Sweet Proteins

Your body needs protein to stimulate muscle grown and repair – but most people don’t get enough. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that adult men and women need at least .37 grams of protein per pound of body weight each day.

But it can be difficult to meet daily protein requirements in meals alone. Fortunately, most protein supplements are sweet in taste and low in sugar. Add a protein bar or protein shake into your daily diet as a meal replacement or a snack.

Protein powders usually come in decadent flavors like vanilla ice cream, milk chocolate and strawberry. You can actually make a protein shake taste just like a milkshake by blending a scoop with 8-ounces of water with ice in a blender. This will make it creamy, frothy and a dream to drink!

8) Don’t Get Hungry

The best way to avoid overeating or going on a sugar binge is to stay feeling satisfied throughout the day. Don’t go too long between meals. The key is to keep your blood sugar stable by eating every three to five hours.

These don’t always have to be full meals – keep healthy snacks with you wherever you go. Granola bars, apples, grapes and protein supplements are all nutritious alternatives to keep you full in between meals.

9) Give in Every Once in a While

If you deprive yourself too much, you risk going on a sugar binge. Instead of harsh deprivation, listen to your body and its needs. It’s better to allow yourself to have one cookie every once in a while than binge eating an entire bag of Oreos.

10) Keep a Food Diary

Hold yourself accountable and track your progress by logging everything you eat in a food journal. You can do this the traditional way with a pen and paper – or download a free fitness app ‘Lose It!’ and ‘My Fitness Pal’ are free calorie tracker apps that make keeping a food diary fast and easy.

You can even keep tabs on your daily sugar intake by creating an individual nutrient goal for how many grams you’re allowed each day.

How to Stop Craving Sugary Foods

Most people consume well over the recommended amount of sugar. And too much sugar can lead to serious health problems, including diabetes, obesity and heart disease. However, quitting sugar isn’t that easy – sugar consumption releases serotonin and endorphin in the brain which leads to a natural “high,” meaning it can be a very real addiction.

Remember, it is possible to curb sugar cravings: you just have to be committed and make smart choices. Stay hydrated, stay full and reach for healthy alternatives like fruit and protein supplements whenever possible.

If an intense sugar craving hits, try going for a brisk walk or popping in a piece of sugar-free gum. Keep a food diary to hold yourself accountable and don’t get discouraged if you slip up. Remember: it’s better to let yourself have the occasional sweet treat than risk serious sugar binge-eating down the road!

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12 thoughts on “How to Stop Craving Sugary Foods

  1. Hi Calorie Ninja! Couldn’t agree more with what you’ve said here. When you look deeply enough its terrible just how much sugar is crammed into our everyday foods. As such, its hard to really know if you’re consuming the best stuff anymore. I’d say ‘eat more fruit’ is the crux of this article. If you get a blender and put your five-a-day in there with a half pint of milk, you’re getting all the best fibre your body could ask for. While you wouldn’t think this fills you up, it actually does for a good few hours. As a result, you’ll snack less in the first half of your day.

    ‘Walk it off’ is also a great tip. I see people in the gym desperately trying to lose weight. Lifting weights is only toning the body under the fat. What they need to do is some good hard cardio on a treadmill or a rowing machine. If anybody combines these two things, the weight will fall off them. Remember people – diet is just as, if not more important than the workout 🙂

    1. Hi Nick, thanks for the in-depth comment on our article!

      Nice to see that you agree with the 10 points we have covered here, thanks for taking the time to leave your opinion! 🙂

  2. Hey Chris

    I must confess I have a sweet tooth, but it just can’t be helped as I see so many sweet foods on my travels to and from work every day!

    It always feels so good when you eat those kinds of things, but you feel so guilty and bad afterwards.

    I may just have to look in to The Fat Diminisher System 🙂

    Thanks for some awesome tips here on controlling my sweet habit, and I guess I should really eat more fruit because it makes sense.

    Cheers!
    Neil

  3. I am going to show this to my cousin. She eats chocolate constantly, everyday. When she was pregnant, her baby grew way too big in her womb due to extra sugar. Plus she had many problems during her pregnancy, blood sugar was too high and the delivery was way too long because of the size of her baby, huh. I told her to quit with sugar but she did not listen and just told: I let myself to enjoy!

    1. Wow that sounds like a pretty dicey situation Jess – her baby being that size in her womb! I definitely think she could do with reading the contents of this article!

  4. Did you write this to me? Sugar addition is definitely very real. I get anxious, nervous and bad tempered when I haven’t had my sugar fix. Thanks for giving me some new ideas to tackle the urges. I definitely will try more than a couple of these – especially chewing gum and keeping full. Thanks again – I will bookmark this and let you know how I get on.

  5. Hi Calorie Ninja,
    What a great article! And so relevant in this day and age where obesity and diabetes is on the rise! And sugar is so addictive. I went cold turkey a while back, and even though it was difficult to detox for the first few days, I don’t regret it at all. I really enjoyed reading your tips, very informative! Although I am hesitant to pop a piece of gum into my mouth as chewing gum messes up digestion, I found your other tips really useful and I actually used some of them. For example, I always have a piece of fruit around in the house.

    1. Sounds like you’re on top of things there Philip – shame about the gum situation though…never heard of it messing up someone’s digestion before? Well, each to their own! 🙂

      Stay healthy!

  6. Hi Chris!

    There is a lot of good advice here and it was a pleasure to read at the same time 😉

    I personally tend to act a bit like a yo-yo when it comes to sugar. Every time I am finally feeling good without it, and start to lose weight successfully, I begin to get HUGE cravings. Sadly, I do as you said and end up on a binge out eating more than I would have in the first place (extremely irritating!).

    That’s why I especially like the advice about giving in every once in a while – would you stand by this advice for all types of dieters or would it be different with people with certain obese setups?

    Thanks for sharing and I look forward to reading more posts in the future!!

    Good luck,

    Brian

    1. I give this advice to all dieters Brian but it’s important to remember that I am not a medical professional…and I never will be really!

      I think some cases are bound to be different – at the end of the day you always have to take your doctor’s advice VERY seriously!

      But in most cases I see that giving in once in a while can really help. It’s like cutting back on alcohol to lose weight. Ignore it all week then have a couple of drinks on the weekend to reward yourself!

      No harm there really and you are still pretty much sticking to your diet!

      Good luck Brian

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