Along with “Why is the sky blue” comes another age-old question, “How do I curb sugar cravings?”
Choosing not to reach for the jolly ranchers when that craving hits is harder than trying not to sneeze when you’re already on the launching pad. Sugar cravings outrank any other food craving for three basic reasons:
- Sugar is addicting (literally)
- Your body is crashing
- It gives you a natural serotonin high
These are the bricks in the wall that you need to push through. Let us help you curb sugar cravings once and for all.
Step 1: Understanding
If you’re coming to this article after reading our last article, What do Sugar Cravings Mean?, then you’re already one step ahead of the game. We’ll paraphrase it here for your convenience.
When your body craves sugar, it’s yelling at you to fuel up. Sugar is like an energy boost to your system when it’s crashing, but instead of getting that sustainable energy flow, your body peaks really fast and then immediately crashes.
Your blood sugar gets low, and you reach for the bag of candy in order to get that rush of energy back. While your intention may not be to get energy, that’s what your body is telling you when you feel the beginnings of that sugar craving.
You are more likely to experience this if your diet is heavy in refined carbohydrates like bread and pasta; they turn into glycogen (sugar) in the bloodstream.
Candy and baked goods aren’t always the culprit.
Step 2: Feed yourself what you need
At the onset of a sugar craving, reach for something that has more nutritional value than that slice of cake. Reach for a piece of fruit, or something that’s going to fuel you up the right way.
A clever way to do this is to combine something healthy with the sweet that you are craving. For example, instead of just eating a spoonful of Nutella, try dipping strawberries into it. If you have a massive sweet tooth and you’ve got a bit of time on your hands, try making a healthy dessert like this raw vegan fruit tart recipe.
Store it in the fridge for those afternoon or midnight cravings. While dessert isn’t the healthiest meal in the world, at least you’re not polishing off that Nutella jar.
Step 3: Get outside, move around
Most people reach for sweets when they are tired, sometimes bored. Getting outside and taking a walk or going for a run can give you the energy you need and will help get your mind off the candy.
If the day is hideous and there’s no way that you’re leaving your house, then turn on a YouTube yoga session or a workout to help stimulate your brain and wake you up. This will also help stimulate your appetite so that you’ll be ready for a real meal instead of just dessert.
Step 4: Eat, eat, eat
Be honest, are you prone to skipping meals? If that answer wasn’t a solid no and you suffer from sugar cravings, then you may not be eating enough.
Remember what we said earlier about fueling your body? Well, food is how we get our energy. If you’re not eating enough then your body is going to want a quick fix, and quickly.
Set yourself up for success by having healthy snacks readily available. Otherwise that quick fix will come in the form of a Milkyway or a cupcake.
Step 5: Take a food sensitivity test
Despite what magazines and pop-culture may have us believe, sometimes a sugar craving shouldn’t be ignored. If you’re having a whole lot of sugar cravings, and adverse reactions like stomach pains or acne after giving in to your craving, then you may have a food sensitivity or an overgrowth of candida albicans, which can trigger sugar cravings, brain fog, mood swings, and several other chronic symptoms.
Ask your doctor about our Bloodprint panels and if a Candida Albicans test is right for you. These tests will help you get a full picture of how your body reacts to the foods you eat, and if that sugar craving is more than just a craving.