Nutrition Articles

How to Stop Sugar Cravings

Pull Your Sweet Tooth with These Tips

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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.
     
  • Recruit someone to do it with you. If you are married or have a family, this would be a healthy habit for everyone to adopt. Clean out the cupboards and refrigerator of unhealthy foods and tempting treats. Make it a team effort. Hold each other accountable and support one another through the tough times.
     
  • Put yourself in good situations. If you are one who loves to use the vending machines at work or will drive through the local gas station to fill up on snacks, then try to do things in a new way to prevent yourself from falling into old habits. Clean out all of the change and single dollar bills in your wallet so you aren't able to feed the vending machine. Make sure you fill up on gas when someone is with you. Go grocery shopping after a meal, so you don’t load up on unhealthy foods.
     
As hard as it might be to believe, you CAN quit the sugar habit. Not only will you probably lose some weight, but you will feel better and more energetic. Good luck!

Need more information on where hidden sugar may be lurking in your food? Check
out this helpful resource from the USDA.

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Member Comments

  • again, all in moderation
  • Cravings do pass as long as you don't give in to them.
  • Fruit juice has as much sugar as candy, don't think that's a great suggestion.
  • sugar is my enemy, I need help...I dpon't buy it my husband buys sweets on a daily basis and I eat them. I tell myself its just to get rid of them. the more i eat the more he buys. he is no help when it comes to me losing weight.
  • This is exactly what I need! A few months ago on a whim I stopped eating processed sugar and the detox period was agonizing. It felt like I as sick. I was shaky, tired, I had a headache, and I was literally debating myself trying to convince myself to just have one bite of sugar. However, once a few days passed I felt great/amazing/awe
    some. I stopped the challenge, but I can't even remember why,and I haven't felt as good since.Time to detox again, I am excited :)
  • Cookies, cakes, etc all have high carbs. I use fruit with low fat whipped cream (about 1-2 tbsp. (not Cool Whip) Watch the fruits some contain more sugar than others, bananas are off limits for me- sends BS high. I like dark Chocolate the darker the better, I try not to use artificial sweeteners of any kind this only wants me to have more sugar and increases my appitite. I like ice tea with just fresh lemon or water and lemon. I recently discovered Trop 50 yellow lemonade and use a small amount of this for flavoring.
  • LDRAG07444
    You need to cut out all cookies, cakes, donuts and all that stuff. Once you've done it for two weeks, you can do it for years! I have not had a cookie for at least 4 years. My substitute?? Fruit, but low glycemic that won't raise your blood sugar. For example, most of the time, I eat an apple or blueberries. When I attend a function I make a pudding pie with sugar free, fat free pudding, using skim milk. I use a reduced fat graham cracker crust that doesn't have too many sugars. Bottom layer, 4 oz reduced fat cream cheese, a little bit of splenda and a few tablespoons of milk - blend together then add about 1/2 cup lite cool whip to the cream cheese. Next layer - mix 2 cups milk with 2 small packages of sugar free fat free pudding, mix until thick and spread on cream cheese layer. Last layer, lite cool whip on top. Then I add just a few sprinkles. The funny thing is everyone loves it. Again, you are using stuff that has spenda and that kind of thing, but it is a treat I make when I go out somewhere. Absolutely no cookies, cake, donuts, etc.
  • SOXGAL33
    Sugar tends to leave me crampy and irritable...but I continue to crave it. If I can get to three days without it, I note I am happier and less bloated. So why the pull? Grr.

    Today my distraction was a large unsweetened iced tea with lemon. It's working...so is reading these great posts!

    Thanks!
  • OOps, I forgot to add this to my previous comment.

    Fruit contains sugar, so it really isn't an appropriate substitute for a "sugary treat". Your body doesn't distinguish between the sugar in fruit, starchy carbs (like breads and potatoes) and cake/cookies, etc. It is all sugar. Agave and honey, too. We can't pat ourselves on the back for using a "natural" sweetener if they are perpetuating the addiction.
  • Sugar detox works fine for me, after several days I'm no longer craving sugar, but then a special occasion comes up and that first bite of sugar gets me. I'm hooked until the next detox, which would be okay if I started immediately after taking that bite. Instead, I give in and overdo the sweet treats until I disgust myself, and then I have to start all over.

    As long as I "just say no" to any and all sugar, I'm fine.
  • According to the movie "Fed Up", they cited research with cocaine-addicted rats. 43 of 45 rats in the study preferred sugar water to cocaine.

    So, they concluded that sugar is more addictive than cocaine. Something to consider.
  • Finally an article I have found helpful on the addiction of sugar!!!! I'll.try the distraction method. Hmmm as far back as I can remember,,, I've been seeking out sugary things!! Even at the age of 4 sneaking out of the house,,,, there was a market less than 3 minutes away,,,,and STEALING candy!! By the age of 7 I had it perfected!!! The stealing stopped when I babysat ,,age 14.

    TY for all the suggestions.
  • I've struggled with this even since all the years I've been using SP. I made it a rule not to have any sweets before lunch. That's pretty easy because I've never wanted them in the morning anyway.
    Then I made Other Goals in SP for avoiding sweets in the afternoon and for dessert at home at least three times per week. Now I'm in the habit of avoiding them at work. This summer I made another goal to not eat dessert during the week, only on weekends, and I,ve stuck to it for nearly six months. It's hard every day but sloooowly it becomes a habit and I know it's better for my health and my waistline, and I honestly feel better when I eat this way.

    To clarify, sweets mean added sugar, to me. I eat as much fruit as I want and I make sure to have lots of fresh, frozen, and dried fruit around. A nice ripe pear or pineapple or melon to me tastes so much better than a donut or dry cookies, but it takes time to get to that point. It's a struggle but keep at it for your health!
  • "To a sugar addict, nothing is tougher than getting through the day without a sugary treat"
    SOOOOOO True! I've struggled with this for years and years. And this article and the comments have provided me with a little bit more strength to try another day!!
  • Great article! I like the idea of paying yourself a dollar for everyday you go without sugar.

About The Author

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

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