Diary / Wellness / Sep 26, 2022
5 Ways to Decrease Your Sugar Cravings
Written by: Lauren Slayton
by Lauren Slayton, founder of Foodtrainers
If you’re wondering why your sugar cravings feel so intense, you should know that rodents will choose sugar over cocaine. Sugar is addictive and lights up pleasure centers in our brains. Sugar is also omnipresent. Aside from candy and cookies sugar is added to everything from almond milk to bacon, once you start to scour for sugar, you’ll see this. But there are a few, key dietary tweaks and things you can do to reduce sugar cravings and eventually your sugar intake too.
One of the best things to do, to decrease sugar cravings, is to increase fat in your diet. Fat not only satiates you, but it also decreases cravings. When your body is used to burning sugar for fuel, you’re hungry often and desire carbs and sugar. Try adding 1-2 tablespoons of fabulous fat (the term “good” fat isn’t emphatic enough) to all meals. Fabulous fats include avocado, walnuts, unsweetened nut butter, olive oil, MCT oil, olives and chia seeds.
Shake on some cinnamon
When you’re consuming sugar and carbs your blood sugar rises and falls precipitously. When it drops…you want more sugar. A key strategy to decrease sugar cravings is to add foods or ingredients that curb the rapid rise in blood sugar. Enter Ceylon Cinnamon. Half a teaspoon of cinnamon a day can help blood sugar and sugar cravings.
Cinnamon is also great to give you the feeling you’re having something sweet, in place of sugar especially if you combine it with vanilla. Try cinnamon and vanilla in plain yogurt or cottage cheese or in coffee.
Sleep for seven
Chances are you’ve heard that sleep is an important component of wellness. But did you know that insufficient sleep is associated with increased cravings? Researchers had people who typically sleep 7-9 hours a night curtail sleep by 30%. So, if someone usually slept for 9 hours, when sleep was decreased to 6 hours a night they had more cravings, higher appetites and ate larger portions of food the next day. If you find yourself staying up too late, set an alert on your phone or set an alarm clock to the time you want to turn the screens off. Aim to get at least 7 hours of sleep a night, minimum.
One singular sweetsation
When I look at a client’s food journal, sometimes I’ll see sugar woven through the whole day. Perhaps breakfast is a flavored yogurt, midafternoon a protein bar and after dinner chocolate. The more sugar you have, the more you’ll crave. Rather than attempting to go cold turkey, first isolate sugary items to once per day. Maybe you have the protein bar or the chocolate but not both.
Another tool to decrease sweet cravings is to add bitter tastes or bitters to your diet. We love these dandelion bitters, but you can also use lemon, arugula, vinegar or ginger.
Sweet cravings can be intense but with a few, key changes you’ll find they can also be tamed.