7 Secrets to Overcoming Sugar Cravings
Are you constantly craving candy, chocolate or desserts? Do you feel the need to reach for something sweet after each meal or do you feel powerless when there are sweets in front of you? Powerless! It’s like a little monster is inside of you screaming for sugar, its primary food. In a society where we are bombarded with sugar-filled drinks and donut obsessions, it’s no wonder that many people crave, or are even legitimately addicted, to sugar.
Learn more about how emotions can affect sugar cravings in my podcast episode
While it might seem that these feelings are sometimes uncontrollable, the good news is that there are simple and effective ways to overcome your cravings. Making even small changes in your lifestyle can be hugely effective in curbing your sugar addiction for both your physical and mental health!
Keep reading to learn some of my secrets to overcoming sugar cravings, so you can be well on your way to healthier, more beautiful life.
Cut out artificial sweeteners.
You might think that opting for sugar-free, calorie-free artificial sweeteners like aspartame or saccharin is an effective way to get your sweet fix without the detrimental effects of eating sugar. But did you know that consuming artificial sweeteners can actually worsen your sugar cravings? Further increasing beauty-destroying acid in your body, and even causing weight gain?
A study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal found that artificial sweeteners have been linked to weight gain, heart disease, and other major health issues. Another study in the Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine concluded that artificial sweeteners encourage sugar cravings and dependence on sugar. Because they perpetuate your flavor preference toward sweet things. Rather than training your body to desire other foods that are not sweet, consuming artificial sweeteners constantly reminds your taste buds of that sweet taste that you continue to crave.
So, in fact, artificial sweeteners are definitely not a good substitute for sugar. And they actually do more harm than good when it comes to beating your sugar cravings. Cut out those diet sodas and ice creams, and watch your cravings start to gradually disappear!
Supplement with probiotics.
Fun fact: bacteria plays a big role in your sugar cravings. Studies have discovered that microbes in the gastrointestinal tract influence your eating behaviors, cravings, satiety and taste receptors. When there’s an imbalance of bad bacteria to good bacteria in your gut, the bad bacteria can onset your sugar cravings. This is because you’re actually feeding that bad bacteria when you eat sugar, and leaving it constantly needing more.
By incorporating an excellent, probiotic supplement with the right ratios between strains that can create harmony in your system into your daily routine, you’ll be flooding your gut with the good bacteria that your body needs. I offer a wonderful SBO probiotic supplement that has clinically researched strain. It is hearty enough to survive your stomach acid. And its properly combined, for maximum effectiveness when it comes to balancing out your gut flora. It’s the same probiotic that I take on a daily basis!
Have you listened to my podcast episode about Candida and sugar cravings? Check it out now!
With an increase in gut-friendly bacteria comes an increase in energy and elimination, and a decrease in cravings and mood swings. How’s that for a win-win?
Choose fruit for a sweet fix.
Let’s clear the air on this one. It’s okay to have some sugar in your diet! So long as it is the natural kind of sugar, balanced in a whole food package that fruit is, with minerals, enzymes, fiber and countless other phytonutrients. Those that try to cut out fruit completely are missing out a lot of nature’s beauty foods, I am sad to say!
Our bodies naturally crave sugar, and it’s totally healthy to satiate that craving with a natural source, like fruit, for example. Fruit is the most natural form of sugar that humans can consume. And fruit comes along with the added beauty benefits of vitamins, minerals and fiber. Unlike refined sugar, fruit nourishes and hydrates your cells.
Try munching on a piece of fresh fruit when your cravings start to arise. You may find that you are completely satisfied with the natural sugar from that fruit, and that you won’t even want to reach for that piece of chocolate cake or your hidden candy stash. By incorporating more natural sugar (e.g. fruit) into your diet, you might discover that you no longer crave refined sugars. Plus, you’ll be treating your body with the extra beauty-boosting nourishment that fruit provides. The key is to go for whole fruit- like a bowl of blueberries or some apple slices- over straight, fiber less fruit juice.
Watch your sodium intake.
Do you know that your sweet cravings might be linked to how much salt you’ve been consuming? The bottom line: greater salt intake = more sugar cravings.
The science behind this concept is simple. Think of sugar and salt on two opposite ends of a spectrum, or as the yin and the yang. On one hand, salt (the yang), is a contracting mineral that causes fluid in the cells to contract and pull in. You’re probably familiar with that feeling of being thirsty and dehydrated after you overindulge in salty foods.
On the other hand, sugar is an expanding food. Sugar (the yin) causes you to feel relaxed and less contracted. Sugar cravings start to crop up when you have a higher concentration of sodium in your body, causing you to sometimes subconsciously feel the need to counteract that. In your body’s effort to reach a more balanced state, you could begin to crave sweet foods.
Ready to monitor your sodium intake? Keep an eye out for processed, canned and packaged foods and avoid eating out too often. These foods are often chock full of salt and sodium-filled preservatives. You might be surprised to see your sugar cravings dissipate when you are conscious of how much salt you consume!
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
You’ve heard it time and time again: drinking lots of water every day is important for maintaining a healthy body. But did you know that staying hydrated can help you overcome your sugar cravings, too?
Sometimes dehydration is mistaken for sugar cravings. When your body experiences even a small drop in dehydration levels, it will start to feel low on energy. When energy levels are low, it’s no surprise that you feel the need to reach for something sugary — a source of glucose that fuels your cells.
A study in the Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise journal found that when body fluid homeostasis is altered (e.g. dehydration), sensory and perceptual changes occur in the brain, which can increase your appetite… even if you’re not actually hungry! So the next time you get a hankering for something sweet, down a glass of water first and see how you feel after.
Make sure you’re getting enough ZZZs.
Are you getting the recommended 8 hours of sleep each night? Do you experience those late night sugar cravings that just won’t quit? Getting enough sleep could actually be to key to conquering your sweet cravings.
How well do you sleep? Take this 90 second quiz to find out.
Research published in the Obesity journal shows that your internal circadian rhythm is deeply linked to sugar cravings, especially at night. When your circadian rhythm is thrown off by poor sleep, you are likely to experience more intense sugar cravings.
Deep and restful sleep is a rare thing in this day and age, given our crazy schedules and fast-paced lifestyles. If you’ve given up on a good night’s sleep long ago, I encourage you to give it another shot. Check out my SleepWell System, which has been proven to transform the length and quality of your sleep!
Spice it up!
A simple way to make your food more interesting without adding sugar is by spicing it up! Spices add a natural sweetness to your food, which will keep your sugar cravings in check. Some wonderful, naturally sweet spices include cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, and cloves. Plus, these spices are considered by Ayurvedic medicine to improve poor digestion and increase your agni, or digestive fire. Cinnamon packs a double-punch, as it provides the sweetness your body is craving while helping to stabilize your blood sugar to prevent you from crashing.
You’ll find that you can easily cut back on adding extra sugar to your food when you use these sweet spices. If you’re making a dessert, try using less sugar than the recipe calls for and supplement with your favorite spice instead. You might actually end up enjoying the taste even better!
Remember, Beauty, you can re balance your sugar cravings.
I hope you feel empowered to take some of these tools and overcome your cravings for good. Every small step you take to beat your cravings is a step toward a healthier, more beautiful life. We’re all works in progress, and we are all on the path together!
Lots of love,