No, there is no magic pill to stop your sugar cravings. However, sugar cravings are easier to handle when you know what causes them in the first place, according to Lisa Moskovitz, RD, CEO and author of The Core 3 Healthy Eating Plan and member of our medical expert council.
“While a sugar craving is sometimes a sign that your body needs more energy and carbohydrates, it can also be triggered by stress and strong emotions,” Moskovitz says. “That said, the first step to managing sugar cravings is to learn about the why behind it.”
These are the methods Moskovitz recommends to eliminate a sugar craving before it takes over. Then, for even more healthy tips, check out our list of 9 Healthy Eating Habits to Live Over a Century.
“Journaling can be an effective method of exploring why you make certain food choices and whether you’re missing something from your diet that can trigger strong cravings,” Moskovitz says. “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 the particular triggers (like not getting enough of those satiating macronutrients, like protein and healthy fat), it can be easier to switch up some of your meals to help with sugar cravings on the go. long-term.
“For that reason, finding alternatives to satisfy a serious sweet tooth can help prevent excessive consumption of added sugars,” Moskovitz says. “Examples include fresh or dried fruit, salted nuts, light ice cream, low-sugar chocolate, chocolate-covered fruit or nuts, and high-fiber cereals or chips.”
If you’ve seen a health guru tell you to drink water to suppress your food cravings… well, they’re not entirely wrong. A study published in Physiology and Behavior found that hydration status changes a person’s food cravings. While the study participants ate similar amounts of food, their food cravings did change if they were properly hydrated. Researchers also found that water can help with feelings of satiety, which helps manage sugar cravings for the longer term.
Yes, your blood sugar and food cravings are definitely linked. Data published in nutrients in 2020 concluded that those on a low-carb diet (which doesn’t cause massive spikes and dips in blood sugar) had greater reductions in sugar cravings. A healthier diet high in protein, fiber, and healthy fats will help manage blood sugar spikes, which in turn helps with sugar cravings during blood sugar dips.
It may seem counterintuitive, but if you really want to stop a craving, many dietitians would say that eating a portion-sized size of the food you crave will help you feel full, rather than trying to fill the craving. satisfied with a healthier alternative.
“Some people take the path of complete sugar avoidance. While this may work for some, it can backfire for others,” Moskovitz says. “In that case, going for the real deal may be the only way to satisfy your craving 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 have desserts or something else. Sugary Flavor in Your Diet Having that dessert after dinner to look forward to can often be a helpful habit of following a more balanced, nutritious diet on a regular basis.
Another handy trick for eliminating sugar cravings is to pair that sweet treat with something nutritious and filling.
“If you find that allowing any kind of added sugar leads to more sugar cravings, combine what you crave with foods that are nutritious and filling, says Moskovitz. “For example, instead of just eating chocolate or eating just an apple, combine the two. Instead of just opting for ice cream or nuts, top your ice cream with fiber- and protein-rich almonds or walnuts.”
Kiersten Hickman is a freelance health and nutrition journalist. read more