No, there is no magic pill to take to stop your condition sugar cravings. But sugar cravings are easier to deal with when you know what’s causing them Lisa Moskovitz, RD, CEO and the author Basic 3 Healthy Eating Plan and our member college of medical experts.
“While sometimes sugar cravings are a sign that your body needs more energy and carbohydrates, they can also be triggered by stress and strong emotions,” says Moskovitz. “However, the first step to managing sugar cravings is to learn more about their causes.
Here are the techniques Moskovitz recommends to kick sugar cravings before they take hold. After that, check out our list for even more healthy tips 9 Healthy Eating Habits to Live Over a Century.
“Journaling can be an effective way to find out why you choose certain foods and if there’s something missing from your diet that might be causing your cravings,” says Moskovitz. “If you can pinpoint the cause, or even if you can’t, it can still be difficult to turn it off.”
Once you’re aware of certain factors (such as not getting enough of those satiating macronutrients like protein and healthy fats), it can be easier to make food changes to help long-term sugar cravings.
“For this reason, finding alternatives to satisfy a serious sweet tooth can help prevent excessive added sugar consumption,” says Moskovitz. “Examples include fresh or dried fruit, salted nuts, light ice cream, low-sugar chocolate, chocolate-covered fruit or nuts, and high-fiber cereal or chips.”
If you’ve seen any health gurus, say so drink water to curb your food cravings…well, they’re not entirely wrong. One study published in Physiology and behavior found that hydration status changes a person’s desire to eat. Although study participants ate similar amounts of food, their food cravings changed when they were properly hydrated. The researchers also found that water can help you feel fuller, which helps control sugar cravings for longer.
yes –blood sugar and your food cravings are definitely related. Data published in Nutrients in 2020 concluded that those who followed a lower-carb diet (which wouldn’t cause huge spikes and drops in blood sugar) had a greater reduction in sugar cravings. A healthier diet rich in protein, fiber and healthy fats will help control blood sugarwhich in turn helps reduce sugar cravings during low blood sugar.
This may seem counterintuitive, but if you really want to stop cravingsmany nutritionists would say that simply eating portions of the food you crave will help you feel satisfied rather than trying to satisfy your cravings with a healthier alternative.
“Some people may choose to avoid sugar altogether. For some it may work, for others it may backfire,” says Moskovitz. “In that case, anticipation may actually be the only way to satisfy your cravings so you can move on. As long as your sweet treat doesn’t replace other nutritious foods in your diet, it’s perfectly healthy to add desserts or anything sweet-tasting to your diet. After dinner, dessert, you’re looking forward to, it can often be helpful to get into the habit of eating a more balanced, nutritious diet on a regular basis.
Another great trick eliminates sugar cravings is to pair this sweet treat with something nutritious and filling.
“If you find that consuming any type of added sugar leads to more sugar cravings, pair your cravings with nutritious and filling foods.Moskovitz says. “For example, instead of eating chocolate or just eating an apple, combine the two. Instead of choosing just ice cream or nuts, add almonds or walnuts, which are high in fiber and protein, to your ice cream.”
Kiersten Hickman is a freelance health and nutrition journalist. read more