If only I had a quarter for every time someone told me how out of control their sweet tooth or sugar cravings were. I think some people think it’s genetic or they’ve had a sweet tooth for so long, they can’t imagine a life without their go-to treats. If you’re reading this and saying, “Yep, that’s me,” I have some really good news for you!
First, understand sugar cravings are often the result of under-eating, nutrient depletion, or burning sugar instead of fat. These are the three most common reasons I see. If this really does seem to be a major problem, I would recommend being assessed by a nutrition specialist or a functional medicine doctor. Can’t hurt! Or jump into my next challenge so we can get you burning fat as fuel and increase your nutrient absorption. We even have some really fun treats in the lineup.
The good news is: after 10 days without sugar, you will experience the shift toward fewer cravings (even during your hormonal changes).
Here are my go-to snacks to reduce sugar cravings or even indulge a bit to make it feel like I cured the craving:
1. Dark chocolate-covered nuts – This nutrient-packed snack not only kicks the craving, but gives you just enough sweetness to make your mind think you’ve given it what it wanted! No more than 1/4 cup though.
2. Banana with peanut butter – Just the right amount of sweetness, and adding the nut butter not only stabilizes your blood sugar to help you burn fat, but it creates the illusion of eating a dessert.
3. Rice cake PBJ – You may see a trend here with the nuts/nut butters. They’re so rich in minerals and so filling. I add two tablespoons of nut butter and a few strawberries sliced on two thin rice cakes.
4. Meal bar – A meal bar like the Perfect bar is another go-to for me. It counts as a meal and has the perfect combo of all three macros, has multiple vitamins and minerals, keeps me satisfied, and feels like I enjoyed the snack I wanted.
See the trend here? No need to avoid cravings altogether, but swap them with better options!
With that in mind, there are foods that increase sugar cravings. You want to reduce and eliminate:
5. Sugar – Duh. But seriously. Refined sugar messes with your entire body, especially your brain. There’s a lack of true satisfaction. You always want more!
6. Alcohol – I know, another duh, but alcohol dehydrates you and depletes you of certain nutrients like zinc and magnesium that help to regulate glucose, causing you to want sugar.
7. Carbs – This is a food group, yes, but eating carbs by themselves without protein and fat to slow digestion can cause you to keep craving more sugar to relieve your hunger.
8. Processed foods – This is what makes them continue to sell. You have some, you want more. The nature of additives and preservatives is to make sure you buy them again.
Break free from sugar cravings once and for all, friends. You can do this.