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. 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

  • This article contains some great info, and the comments posted highlight how hard it is to kick the habit. Clearly when we eat the sweet stuff, we set ourselves up for the cravings and the inevitable CrAsH. Over time the whole process of steering relatively free of sugar is no longer as hard, yet it has NEVER been easy. Each time we say no, flip the switch in our brains to think something differently, or when all else fails...suck on a sugar free candy (one of my go to life savers ;~\), I feel empowered...annnn
    nd no piece of chocolate can compare with that feeling! - 7/21/2015 7:46:06 AM
  • KIMSTIRLING1
    I'm always tempted to eat anything sweet, in January I stopped eating and drinking chocolate, but just recently I pounded down, one pound box of red velvet fudge, witch made me feel very awful, every time I look at myself I've become my own worse critic, my blood pressure is also high as well. - 7/20/2015 11:47:12 PM
  • I've used the "waiting it out" method in the past, and it worked. I'll institute it again, and add the money reward! - 7/20/2015 11:11:39 PM
  • Pictures of sugary donuts just make me want them.
    - 7/20/2015 6:23:16 PM
  • I remember when I was in high school (30+ years ago), my mom decided to "clean" herself up. She wanted to get off caffeine and sugar. Wow. That was huge since she drank tea for breakfast and dinner and probably about two liters (she had bottles and cans) of Tab, now known as Diet Coke. She felt the only way she could do this was cold turkey. I kid you not, she was in bed for two weeks. When she got up, she was weak, had trouble eating, and did lose almost twenty pounds -- she thinks it was from sweating. I just remember going in the room and telling her I was leaving for school or going out and she would said, "Okay, let me know when you're home and don't forget to lock the door".

    By the end of the second week, being the little snot that I was, I told her I was pregnant and running off to Vegas to marry the guy who wasn't my then-boyfriend. She said the same thing. After she got up from her down time, she asked me if I had gotten married and I played dumb. What? Me? I never said that. Afterwards, I thought of a lot of things I probably could have gotten away with, but I doubt my dad would have approved.

    However someone chooses to curb an addiction, know that it can be done with strong will and determination. My mom is still "clean", going on 32 years now. I'm working on it, but I have too much of my father's stubborn Polish side to go cold turkey. I started by substituting agave syrup for white sugar. Only problem is I think the syrup tastes like burnt butterscotch and I LOVE butterscotch. But I'll get there eventually.

    Anything's possible. I just have to convince myself of that. - 7/20/2015 3:42:24 PM
  • I found that gradually reducing the proportion of carbs in my diet eliminated the cravings. For me, I get into craving trouble if I start creeping above 45% carbs. I also try to maintain that for my meals as well because a carb laden meal can send me into ravenous cravings too.

    As healthy as oatmeal is for so many it is a ticking time bomb for me. It leaves me feeling empty and starving within about 90 minutes and I feel so hungry that I joke about going into "hunt it down and kill it mode." Very uncomfortable feeling. So, no more oatmeal for me.

    The nutrition proportions that are working for me are as follows:
    carbs - 40% to 45%
    fat - 30% to 35%
    protein - 20% to 30%

    Too little fat in my diet (less than 30%) can set cravings up for me too. So, what's working for me is increased fat and decreased carbs. - 7/20/2015 12:25:46 PM
  • Cravings only last a few minutes? I doubt that. Just the picture of that donut at the top of the article is probably going to haunt me for the rest of the day.

    Replace sweet things with healthier options like fruit? Tried that. The craving didn't go away so I only ended up with the extra calories from the fruit.

    Sugar is an addiction just like any other drug. Try telling "ignore your cravings for a few minutes" to a heroine addict and see how well that works. - 7/20/2015 12:15:17 PM
  • Sometimes sugar cravings are more. There is an addiction just like any other addiction. Eating a pc of fruit that is sweet only increases the desire to eat sweet things for an addict. - 7/20/2015 9:31:26 AM
  • @LILA70 lol - 7/20/2015 5:02:34 AM
  • Know what would help me with sugar cravings? Not showing me a picture of a delicious-looking doughnut. - 1/22/2015 1:53:42 PM
  • QUEBALLJ
    Any information about sugar is good for the public to know. So much of our health is destroyed by the overuse of sugar. I was not aware of the wait period of sugar either. Thank you for posting. - 12/27/2014 4:17:49 PM
  • In my many, many attempts to diet, I've noticed that I'm sensitive to products that contain wheat. Also, I have GERD, and I've noticed that I have little or no heartburn, if I stay away from sugar. Unfortunately, I can still consume High Fructose products, just not regular cane sugar or products that say "Sugar" as one of the ingredients. That helps me stay away from doughnuts, chocolate, many sweets and treats - the heartburn makes it so not worth it! My fave cereal is oatmeal with a half cup of pumpkin, a tsp of vanilla, and a little honey - yum! Tastes like a dessert! - 12/15/2014 5:27:25 PM
  • ETHELMERZ
    Our ancestors didn't live very long, and life was not as pleasurable as it is for us, so it didn't matter to them how good the food tasted in the first place, as long as they had some. - 12/15/2014 2:00:44 PM
  • DADKAJ
    I just wonder what did our ancestors do when there was nothing like sugar available? - 12/15/2014 4:42:09 AM
  • ETHELMERZ
    Realistically, some of these things "work", some of the time, but never forever, I've been doing this stuff since age 12 1/2, mind you..............
    I still want to have something sort of sweet that tastes really good, fruit does not "cut it", in the end........... Just cut back if you can and be thankful that you can do that, I'm 68 years old, and still want to have a good piece of chocolate cake or something now and then. That's just the way it is, all the "hints and tips" in the world won't change that. - 11/15/2014 12:02:26 PM

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