How To Stop Sugar Cravings For Good
Have you ever tried a low-calorie or sugar-free diet, only to be foiled by sugar cravings? See if this sounds familiar.
You swear to stop eating all sugar (or chips, or fast food, or whatever). You stick to it for a few days, or maybe even a few weeks. But before long you’re feeling deprived, which makes the food you’ve sworn to give up all the more tantalizing. Pretty soon you’re bingeing. You work your way through a whole box of whatever it is you’ve been dying to eat, and maybe even a second box. When it’s over, you feel like crap physically. Even worse, you’ve failed to stay on your diet, which makes you feel like a bad person. Why can’t you get it together? Guilt sets in, eventually followed by fresh determination. You’re going to start again, and be extra strict this time around.
This is the psychological trap a lot of diets create. You set unrealistic expectations for yourself, don’t meet them, swear next time will be different, and start the cycle over. Sugar cravings are constantly in the background of your mind, and sometimes in the foreground. You may feel like you’ve lost control of your body, or like you have to fight constantly to keep it in shape.
With the right approach, it’s easy to silence those sugar cravings. It doesn’t have to take up all your willpower, either – in fact, once you start fueling your body well, you’ll have more energy than ever, and you won’t have to spend it on resisting cookies. This guide will show you how to kick carb and sugar cravings for good.
Aim for progress, not perfection
And as far as guilt, keep in mind that sugar is like a drug – it lights up the reward and craving centers in your brain , and you fall into withdrawal when you start to cut it from your diet . You’re not a weak person if you slip up now and then. You’re rewiring your brain to be stronger. It’s a process. Be patient with yourself.
Stop sugar cravings with healthy fats
Healthy fats give you steady energy and keep you full for hours, which makes it much easier to avoid sugar. Your body will adapt to a higher, fat anti-inflammatory diet over a couple weeks, at which point your sugar cravings will virtually disappear. You’ll probably find your pants are a little looser and you feel better than ever, too. Eat especially decadent, flavourful foods when you’re first getting off sugar. Reach for your top-shelf favorites. It may cost you a bit more, but meals that get you excited will curb your cravings better, especially when you’re starting out.
Clean out your kitchen (and fill it back up with quality snacks)
Toss anything sugary or carb-heavy. When you don’t have anything in the house, you’re far less likely to drive to the supermarket to satisfy a craving. Then replace those low-quality snacks with better ones. There are plenty of high-fat, low-carb goodies at Whole Foods and similar stores. Keep a few favorites in your cabinet for when the odd craving hits hard enough that you don’t want to cook. Some ideas:
- Dark chocolate (85% or darker), or lighter chocolate sweetened with a quality sweetener
- Nuts, preferably raw. Roasting nuts oxidizes the fats, which makes them more inflammatory.
- We have heaps of sugar free goodies here or here
Keep your pantry well-stocked to set yourself up for success.
Remove other stressors from your life
If you’re working long days and pushing yourself in the gym, all on a few hours of sleep a night, you’re going to have a hell of a time kicking sugar. Whenever you’re making a major lifestyle change, ramp down all the other stressors in your life and add in things like yoga, meditation, epsom salt baths and other stress relievers. Take it as easy as possible on yourself until your cravings disappear.