3 Steps to Put the Brakes on Sugar Cravings

By Mike Howard

2807-sugar1.jpgSugar can be one of the most formidable detriments of healthy eating.

Here is a 3-step defence strategy to use when those cravings come a knockin’.

Distract

Your number one defence against cravings is to simply find something else to do – right away. Ok I used the word “simply”, implying that this is a “simple” thing to do. It isn’t, but if you can get your mind focused on something else, the craving will likely pass. Here’s a distraction inventory:

  • Take a bath
  • Do some body weight exercises
  • Brush your teeth
  • Surf the net
  • Grab a book/magazine
  • Write

Alternative

If it so happens that you are unable to distract yourself, the second step is to find a healthy(er) option. Here is a list of things you can do to placate your sweet tooth.

  • Protein smoothies – make yourself a healthy smoothies with a flavoured protein powder.
  • Chewable vitamins. Chewable vitamin C tastes at least somewhat like something you’d get at Halloween. Just don’t overdo it – stop at 2000mg’s worth.
  • Greek yogurt with vanilla protein powder gives you a high protein kick with a vanilla twist.
  • Dark chocolate: Bitter/sweet treat with health benefits! If you choose the dark chocolate route, however, just remember it doesn’t take long to consume too many calories worth.
  • Eat some fruit. Some dark seedless grapes are nice and sweet, but have fiber and antioxidants in them as well.

Give in (without giving in)

If all else fails and distractions aren’t working and the alternatives just aren’t going to cut it then allow the indulgence… but DO SO WISELY. That doesn’t mean devouring a bag of chips or a container of Hagen Daas. When you choose to indulge do so moderately and without guilt.

So there you have it – a three step strategy to helping avert sugar craving!

What is your best tip for shirking sugar?

Image Credit: Flickr/delairen

15 Comments

  1. James Hamilton

    Hi there. Even I cannot control my cravings for sweet. But after reading this article I would definitely go for Dark chocolate and Protein smoothies.

    Reply
  2. Aaron

    Get a Grip… Kellie…
    What’s with you “thumper’s” taking ANY opportunity to throw in a quick :Pro god” comment.
    god ain’t at the gym with me.. and he ain’t halpin me with my visa payment.. He’s in a book… a figment.
    Really…

    Reply
  3. Charle

    Or… go complete cold turkey.

    It works for me/some people.
    I made a 30-day no sweets challenge for myself and proceeded to stick wsith it (with exceptions: home made jam, aunt flow and social occasions).

    Whenever I felt like a sweet, I had tangerines/fruit or meat.

    After two hard weeks, my sugar cravings went down dramatically.

    Reply
  4. Kellie

    There is a great book out called “Made to Crave” and it talks about turning to God when we are tempted to give in to these foods. It really works!

    Reply
  5. Kathleen

    Hi Mike.I think you definitely did a good job persuading people to put a halt to their sugar cravings. But, its important to point out that it is never a good idea to forbid yourself from eating specific foods. Why? Well, it goes back to everyone’s childhood. Whenever your parents told you not to do something, didn’t that always make the action look more appealing? I sure know that did the job for me! And creating forbidden foods only makes them more appealing to our senses and desires. Its only natural to want what you are told you shouldn’t have. Because of this idea, I want to persuade the readers to make the switch to intuitive eating. Intuitive eating is simply listening to your body and staying attuned to it. Americans are so concerned about what’s healthy and unhealthy that they are forgetting to listen to their body’s cues of what and when to eat. Stop telling yourself that you cannot eat high sugar foods. Let yourself know you can eat however many sweets your little heart desires. Once you begin to try this out, you will realize that even though you tell yourself you can eat as many chocolate chip cookies you want, you will stop craving them and no longer go for that cookie. As soon as the idea of these “forbidden foods” melts away, so will your cravings.

    Reply
  6. Ying&Yang

    Exercise is definitely a big component to helping supressing those cravings. For time concerns, simple yoga moves would be a good choice as it can be done at home at any time!

    Reply
  7. Priscilla L. Martin

    Hello Mike. Eating sugary foods because our body needs its form for certain type movements is one thing. Sometimes I think we eat too much of something we love in order to build up on the little something it contains that we need to make a whole part. A good source of daily vitamin and mineral supplements can help us towards a new way of providing our body with the nutrition it needs to keep us working on better health and fitness, because the body will probably begin to respond to getting what it needs. Follow me on facebook Mike.

    Reply
  8. Freek van Zwartendÿck

    Wanting to bankcrupt the horrible sugar industry is another good motivational factor.

    Reply
  9. MichaelD

    I’m experimenting with giving up use of all sugar substitutes which I’ve read actually increases the desire for sugar. We’ll see how it goes.

    Reply
  10. steven clark

    This would help diabetic people on the management of sugar level. Such idea would help people to stay healthy along with enjoyment.

    Reply
  11. Jackie

    I love eating fruit when I have a sweet tooth. In fact, I just had some seedles grapes about 10 minutes ago. BTW, I am on a dieting journey, doing it my way, the LAZY way.

    Reply
  12. udderperfection

    Good tricks. I really love it . We all know prevention is better than cure. You proved the proverb “If there is a will there is a way”.

    Reply
  13. Dan

    I find, contrary to what I originally thought, that I am able to eat sugar in moderation. Another thing to try, which I haven’t that much is to consume blackstrap molasses, as well as date sugar. Nutritionfacts followed by org stated that date sugar and blackstrap molasses had by far the most nutritional value of any sweeteners. In fact, just one tablespoon of blackstrap molasses contains 20% of one’s calcium requirements for the day. It is better when it is organic and unsulfured. I am not familiar with date sugar, which is just pulverized dates, therefore it still contains all the fiber and nutrients of whole dates. Therefore the trick is the get the most nutrition with the sugar.

    Reply
  14. Spectra

    I do the protein trick–eat something high in protein like fish or some yogurt or an egg…that usually stops the craving in its tracks.

    Reply
  15. Lala

    The best way to go at it, is to not give in at all. After some time, your body will get used to not having sugar and your cravings will naturally go down…

    Reply