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Nutrition Articles  ›  Pitfalls and Plateaus

How to Stop Sugar Cravings

Pull Your Sweet Tooth with These Tips

-- By Holly Little, Certified Personal Trainer
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Do you feel like you're constantly giving in to your sweet tooth? Are your cravings so constant that they're hard to ignore? Like any other habit, turning to sugar can be a tough one to kick. It seems like the more sweets and desserts you have, the more you are waiting for the next hit. Where does the battle end?

There isn't a single cure-all to this problem, but in general, the less sweets you eat, the less you'll crave them. So how do you get to that point? Here are a few tips that just might help you pull your own sweet tooth once and for all.
  • Try to find a substitute. Generally, people tend to crave sweets after a meal or as a pick-me-up in the late afternoon. It might be helpful to have something else there and ready to fight off those cravings. For example, peppermint tea might work in the evening, a box of raisins in the afternoon, a piece of fruit, or anything else that you can think of that would be somewhat nutritious and easy to keep with you. If you must have "sweet," go with something that's naturally sweet, such as dried fruit or even 100% fruit juice.
     
  • Wait out the craving. Most nutrition experts say that the cravings you experience will only last a couple of minutes. So if you can wait it out, they will pass and you will be better for it. Try to occupy yourself for a good 10 minutes when you get a craving. Call a friend, take a short walk or do something to distract yourself.
     
  • Set daily goals and reward yourself for meeting them. To a sugar addict, nothing is tougher than getting through the day without a sugary treat. The longer you can hold out, the easier it will become, so try to find a reward that would be worth holding out for. I did this about a year ago and gave myself a dollar for every day that I did not indulge in sweets, and at the end of the month, I would go get a manicure or buy myself something nice. Continued ›
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About The Author

Holly Little Holly Little
A former Division I basketball player, Holly is a certified in Spinning and personal training.

Member Comments

  • Look at the doughnut. Picture the worst case scenario. (Mumble: diabetic coma, diabtic coma - heart disease, heart disease....) This is a tough strategy, but it works for me. Once you realize that's the stuff that gets you sick, it doesn't look appealing anymore. I've banned doughnuts, cakes, etc. from my mental list of edible things. I look at them like flowers: they look good and smell good, but I they're not for eating. - 4/20/2014 11:02:32 PM
  • OMG! my cravings are so bad right now i want the doughnut that is in the picture with the article!
    I have sugar ever single day and every night i say "not again" there are a few times i can say no especially if i look at the nutrition and ingredients, it is like when i go shopping and look at the sale price. I have to ask myself if it is really worth it. - 4/19/2014 12:54:01 PM
  • Sugar is my biggest enemy. Sadly, the whole "cravings only last about 10 minutes, so just wait it out" thing doesn't seem to ring true for me. My cravings can hang on for days if I don't give into them. I was doing OK yesterday, and today until about 5 PM, then a candy craving hit and hasn't gone away still, 5 hours, some raisins (yeah, the fruit suggestion doesn't help me, either), a couple glasses of water and a bowl of pasta (dinner) later. 8-( - 1/8/2014 10:08:32 PM
  • It works best if I don't allow temptations in the house! - 12/11/2013 4:57:45 AM
  • While I know I should have more self-control for me the best way to learn is to have it and not eat it. For me it's obviously easy not to eat it if I don't have it but then I end up purchasing it and eating half in the car. So what I've started to do was to see how long I could hold out. It was really hard not to eat the other half of the Cherry Garcia in the fridge but I had half one week during my favorite show and decide to wait another week. I held out the entire week! I was so proud of myself. I've bought some drumsticks (Ice Cream come) for this weeks show. It's a box of six and I need to make it last six weeks. )Which is how many episodes are left in the season). I enjoy it more when I wait.

    Sure I could choose not to buy it and not have the temptation but it's even better to have the temptation and ignored it. For me anyways. I love a challenge. - 10/15/2013 11:53:28 PM
  • BEOPTOMISTIC
    hey there everyone im new to this and a type 1 diabetic and struggle sometimes so all your great advice helps so thankyou xx - 9/19/2013 3:40:33 PM
  • My sugar / carb addiction stopped when I stopped eating carbs. Eating carbs just creates cravings for more and more carbs. On a very low carb diet, I eat nutrient-dense foods that are very satisfying and my cravings are GONE. - 7/24/2013 9:43:54 AM
  • A lot of people with Binge Eating Disorder had severe sweets (and other) restrictions as children, resulting in a "When I grow up I'll eat whatever I want!" mentality. If you must remove all sweets from the house for your own progress, be sure to allow your kids to have some now and then. - 5/17/2013 1:15:28 PM
  • PAPA55MPH
    Tomorrow is day one of my journey without sugar
    I know I can do this every thing is out of the house
    now all I need is someone to do the food shopping for the next few weeks or years
    that is the hard part I can go for weeks and be good and than I always break at the store I'll say it's for the kids but....really it's not I just found this support page so wish me luck thanks - 3/13/2013 9:30:19 PM
  • I don't think that the quiz outcome for me is indicative of how I am. I avoid sweets at the office. I crave sweets around that time of the month and maybe once or twice a week. What I have started doing is eating fruit, snap peas and broccoli instead. The little bit of sweetness in these items seem to be enough to satisfy my cravings, however Friday nights seem to be the hardest for me to get through without eating sweets. I used to have froyo every Friday night with my daughter, and I broke that habit a month ago, but I still have cravings for the stuff something terrible. This is going to be difficult, but I want to kick the habit because I don't like the idea of being addicted to something that is not healthy for me. Thank you to everyone who commented because the comments were helpful to me. Let's kick sugar's bootay y'all:) - 3/1/2013 8:45:02 PM
  • I eat 1/4 cup of trail mix with large dried fruit mixed in. By the time I'm finished chewing part of the fruit I usually am full and don't want anything else. I use mental tricks too. I have a picture of me at my heaviest that I can't stand, I mentally think of this picture when I think I want to snack. That's usually enough to stop me cold turkey.

    After making rules and sticking with them I no longer have cravings, but this took me several weeks and the first few days were murder. I promise, give it a few weeks and your consistency will pay off. - 2/26/2013 9:57:47 PM
  • BABE471
    Idont eat salt so i dont have that issue. My problem was with suger i eat yogart or popcorn i try to look for something that is sweet thats healthy if those dont work an that does it for me. Ihave found sense i have been tracking an counting caories i am doing very good on my diet an i dont crave sweets has much as i did before. that was my issue in the past craving the sweets. - 1/11/2013 1:18:02 PM
  • I am going to keep a stash of Jolly Rancher hard candies handy. Each piece is about 23 calories and they take a while to dissolve. I hope this helps. - 12/6/2012 4:45:53 PM
  • MELAYAHM - Thank you for that encouragement. If I give this time it will subside! - 10/10/2012 3:39:50 PM
  • It is so hard. I also live with someone who is a terrible sweets addict - Ben & Jerry's is his favorite. Ugh! Frustrating but I know I can do it. Thanks for the suggestion of a $1 for every day I am able to resist. I am sick of my clothes not fitting and the ugly muffin top. - 10/10/2012 3:38:03 PM