If you’ve read my last couple posts on sugar, you’ve picked up that I have quite a sweet tooth. I’m with you – I LOVE sweets! I craved doughnuts during my pregnancy and thankfully, I have a gluten intolerance; otherwise I would’ve eaten my weight in Krispy Kreme…
The thing that’s saved me is learning how to curb my sugar cravings.
Ever noticed the more you eat, the more you want? It’s not just you! There are several theories of why we crave sugar, some of them being:
Pre-menstrual symptoms, pregnancy, or horomonal imbalances- sugars and other simple carbs are comfort foods during these periods of a woman’s life.
Candida, bacterial overgrowth, and parasites will cause cravings because sugar feeds these “bad guys.”
Adrenal fatigue- your body is looking for a ‘pick me up’ and sugar can give you that spike, although it is a stressor and will put your body in a worse state.
Food allergies – we unfortunately sometimes crave the very things we are allergic to so we don’t have withdrawal symptoms.
How Do You Beat These Cravings?
- Drink water!! Then, drink some more. This is a great tip to avoid overeating in general; but often when we think we’re hungry, we’re actually just thirsty. If you’re not big on water, you can add a lemon wedge or drink some green tea with stevia! (But seriously, learn to love water. Yesterday!)
- Do the apple test. If you’re craving something sweet, opt for an apple instead. If you don’t want an apple, which is still plenty sweet, you’re not actually hungry and should wait a while longer to eat.
- Eat plenty of fat! You’ve heard me say time and time again how amazing I feel eating a keto/high fat diet, and for good reason! Getting plenty of fat will help stabilize your blood sugar. Animal fats, dairy, avocado, olives, and nuts are all staples in my day-to-day diet.
- Avoid processed foods! Eating artificial foods stimulates part of your brain called the nucleus accumbens- which produces dopamine. In part 1 of my sugar article, we learned that dopamine is our pleasure center and causes the addictive feeling. We feel less inhibited, causing us to overeat, and also when the dopamine wears off, we start craving that happy feeling that the food gave us.
- Find natural sweeteners! Stevia has 0 calories and won’t raise your blood sugar. Another great option is to go with sugar alcohols and the products containing them. Keto Kookie is my favorite cookie company and a big part of why is that they have NO added sugars! I don’t feel one bit guilty when I down my pack of 2 cookies, and at the same time, the taste is still amazing.
- Eat a spoonful of coconut oil a few times a day. This will help cravings! I love eating a spoonful by itself, but you can also add it to coffee, smoothies, or cook with it.
- Keep your serotonin levels high! You can do this from diet, exercise, and getting plenty of sleep to boost your “happiness hormone.” The higher your serotonin level, the less likely you are to crave sweets.
- Add in fermented foods, which help curb sugar cravings. My favorite is kombucha tea! I drink this kind! You can also make your own.
- A lot of the time, cravings is a signal that your body is missing something. Make sure you’re getting plenty of these:
- Zinc- oysters, pumpkin seeds, brazil nuts, and eggs.
- Mineral Magnesium- nuts and seeds, avocado, dark leafy greens and raw cacoa. I use this Magnesium and it is the best quality I’ve found!
- Mineral Chromium- sweet potatoes, apples, broccoli and eggs.
- Use spices! Cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg will sweeten your food and also balance blood sugar. Recently, I’ve switched from stevia to cinnamon in my coffee and I’ve really been loving it!
- Cut down on caffeine and alcohol. I’m not much for alcohol, but boy I love my coffee! The truth is though, these both dehydrate your body and can lead to mineral deficiencies. The key here, like always, is moderation!
- It’s time to clean out the cabinents! A huge factor for me is not to keep any sweets in the house! If I want a cupcake, slice of cheesecake, etc…I have to get my serving at a restaurant- that way I can enjoy my dessert, finish it, and there’s none less in my home to tempt me later.
- Go for a walk. Ten minutes of fresh air is just what you need to beat a craving! If you’re still hungry when you get back to the house, find a non-sugary snack. Most likely though, you won’t feel the need to eat anymore.
So the next question is….
How Long Does it Take to Get Over Sugar Cravings?
After 21 days of no sugar, your taste buds actually change! Some say all you need is 8 to 10 days for the cravings to go away, but the point is, the longer sugar is out of your system, the less you’ll crave it, and eventually you’ll not have any more cravings.
One thing you’ll notice is how much sweeter fruit taste! I used to LOVE candy- all of it! And now, sugar tastes as sweet and delicious to me. And worlds better for you!
Conclusion- I hope this article helped you. This is a culmination of years worth of trying to beat my own sugar cravings. It’s not easy, but it’s simple! And it does get easier and easier over time.
What ways have you found help you with your cravings? Share below!