Nutrition Articles

How to Stop Sugar Cravings

Pull Your Sweet Tooth with These Tips

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

  • I had gotten to the place where I wanted something sweet after every meal and I had gained about 15 lbs. after maintaining for 5 years.
    Several months ago I saw a team entitled "ONE HUNDRED DAYS TO A NEW YOU".
    I joined it and immediately said I will go 100 days without sweets. A teammate befriended me and that helped as she wanted to do the same. (she later disappeared)
    She encouraged me by saying after a week it would be so much easier. And it has been!!! I am so proud that I have gone 72 days without sweets and am just 6.4 lbs. away from my goal.
    I have discovered that when you fill your body with good solid food, not idle calories, you don't get very hungry.
    My 100 days will end just before my 60th wedding anniversary and I will have some sweets for a few days, then go back to complete another 100 days with NO Sweets!
    (BTW - I bake all the time, dip chocolates, and make others happy, but I don't even lick my finger.) - 8/10/2014 7:46:05 PM
    I think this article is off the mark, not written by anyone who has had food issues for a long time. These kinds of "solutions" have been around since Weight Watchers Jean Niditch in the 1950's, and they haven't solved or changed anything for the majority of us at all. Experts need to understand there is more to it than "have a little of this or that" behind any kind of food craving, plus, what works one time may not work another, and so forth, life being the way it is. I think there is no cure, a person can try to control it, but that's about it. - 8/10/2014 1:35:20 PM
  • A box of raisings?!? Fruit?!? not likely to help me fend off a craving. And cravings only last a few minutes? I guess what I have aren't cravings then, because the thought of eating something sweet can haunt me for days. Constant craving? - 8/10/2014 8:55:43 AM
    I find it distressing that the article author recommends drinking fruit juice as a sugar substitute when it contains enormous amounts of natural sugar. The medical advice is quite clear and has been well known in the fitness and nutrition fields for years -- stay away from fruit juice! Search online for details -- it's no mystery. - 8/10/2014 4:55:29 AM
  • I have found an herb that has reduced my craving for sugar to zero. I can pass up all the sweets, candy, pastries, ice cream, etc. I have to make a conscious choice to eat foods with sugar. When I do eat sugar I really do not like it anymore. I just get natural sugar from fruits and vegetables. Yes I still eat dark chocolate...for health reasons. I eat pancakes with savory toppings instead of syrup or jam.
    The herb I take is in a tincture. It is Gymnema Sylvestre. IT WORKS!! - 5/18/2014 1:22:30 PM
  • I GET sugar cravings just looking at the picture that accompanies this article.
    Personally I don't use rewards and substitutes. To me using them reinforces the belief that sugar is something to be missed. I prefer not to see it that way. - 5/3/2014 11:01:17 AM
    I usually tell myself that I must complete a task a don't want to do before I indulge. It is usually enough to dissuade my cravings. - 4/29/2014 9:13:43 PM
  • I can relate to others commenting that there is so much temptation in the office!! We are having a party every time you turn around.
    But I developed a "mantra"...I walk away saying, "Just don't eat right now", over and over and it works!! - 4/28/2014 5:20:21 PM
    Random but I heard playing Tetris in short bursts stalls cravings. When I get a bad craving, for sugary or oily foods, I play online Tetris for three or more minutes. Apparently it distracts the appropriate parts of your brain to stop your craving (there have been studies). It might come back an hour or two later, but if I don't do it, I end up stewing on the craving which makes it worse and leads me to cave in. You can play Tetris online or download an app for your phone. - 4/28/2014 2:21:45 PM
    It's super easy to stay away from sugar at home, I rarely buy anything junkie, but there is sooo much junk food at work! People are always bringing in bags of candy, patients bring us donuts, etc... it's very hard to stay away from it, especially when everyone around me (it's a wide open office) is eating it! I try my best to be healthy, but between the stress at work and the constant supply of sugar, it's much easier said than done. - 4/28/2014 11:13:40 AM
  • I just looked at the amount of calories in each "irresistable" sweet thing and suddenly they weren't so irresistable. It really wasn't worth giving up 50% of my calories for the day to indulge in a cupcake or brownie or whatever. Instead I now satisfy my sweet tooth with a no sugar added fudgecicle, a Weight Watchers Greek Yogurt w/Peach Swirl bar or a Nature Valley Sweet & Salty bar. I even occasionally have a 1/2 c. of light ice cream -- but only if I have the calories to spare. It's worked for me and I've lost 30 lbs in three months without starving or feeling deprived. - 4/28/2014 9:37:11 AM
  • 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

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