Sugar cravings are a real thing.
We have all been there. You make the decision to eat healthy and workout to drop a few pounds.
You hit the gym on a regular basis, and you clean up your diet by cutting out all the best things - alcohol, sugary treats, processed carbs, etc...
Then it hits you. The dreaded sugar craving!
And on top of it, you are hungry all the time from all the exercising.
So what do you do?
How do you prevent the sugar cravings from happening in the first place?
And, if they do happen, how to you give in to them without falling completely off the wagon!?
We go over all of this below.
But, before we jump into how to prevent or satisfy sugar cravings, it helps to understand what causes them in the first place.
Reasons you crave sugar
High stress levels (family, financial, job, relationship,etc...)
Leptin resistance (the "I'm full" hormone doesn't work correctly)
Low levels of serotonin (the "feel good" hormone)
Low energy or lack of sleep
Hormone changes (e.g. during the premenstrual period)
Sight, sound and smell (think of these as habitual triggers)
Now that you know what causes sugar cravings, lets dive into ways to prevent them in the first place!
Natural Ways to Prevent Sugar Cravings
- Self-care is so important for your health as well as avoiding sugar cravings. Try meditation, a relaxing walk in nature, a hot bath or shower, or anything that helps you calm down and unwind.
Get enough Sleep
- When you are tired you naturally turn to stimulants and sugary treats to keep your energy high. Getting 8 hours of restful sleep will prevent this from ever happening.
Avoid triggers & remove temptation
- We are creatures of habit. Certain sights, sounds, and smells will bring us right back to past, positive experiences. To avoid this when it comes to sugary treats, it is best to avoid them and remove them from the house.
Don't skip Meals
- It happens - you miss a meal, skip a snack, get super hungry and then make poor decisions with your food. To avoid this, make sure to be prepared with healthy snacks, and make eating a priority. This is where "failing to plan is planning to fail."
Eat a Healthy Balanced Diet
- When you eat a balanced diet of whole foods you will get the right macro and micro nutrients. When you do this, you eliminate any cravings associated to nutrient deficiencies. Specifically, magnesium, chromium, and zinc have been tied to sugar cravings. Making sure you get enough of these micro nutrients will help avoid sugar cravings.
Now that you know how to prevent them, what do you do if you still get those cravings?
4 Healthy Ways to Satisfy Sugar Cravings
Turn to Whole Fruit
- Eating the entire fruit is a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth while getting the nutritional benefits, fiber, and water of a whole fruit. Great examples of fruits to turn to are berries, apples, and dark cherries. If you can, moderate your consumption of bananas, pineapple, grapes, and other higher glycemic options. If the craving still won't go away, try a date. Dates are loaded with sugar (I use them right after my workout for recovery purposes), but they are also loaded with nutrients such as fiber, potassium, iron and beneficial plant compounds. Because they are so sugary, stick to one serving (about 3 dates)
Substitute A Healthier Option
- Dark Chocolate vs Milk Chocolate: Instead of turning to your favorite candy bar or milk chocolate, try a 70% or greater dark chocolate. It will satisfy your sweet tooth, but will be a lower sugar option and also contains anti-inflammatory polyphenols.
- We also provide some great healthier dessert options on our Healthy Recipes Blog.
Substitute your sugary drinks for our Rejuvenating Aminos or Energy + Focus!
- Soda, Sweet Teas, Sugary Coffee drinks, juices, and other drinks we routinely turn too are loaded with sugar (or artificial sweeteners). A better option is to turn to our Rejuvenating Aminos or Energy + Focus for your sweet cravings and energy boost needs. We sell samples so you can try before you buy the whole container!
Have your dessert; Just less of it!
- Depriving yourself of something can just make you want it more. It's not the end of the world to give in every once in a while! The last option to beat a sugar craving is to just have a little bit of what you're craving. Have one bite of your favorite dessert, share a scoop of ice cream with your friend or loved one, or have one cookie instead of four are all better ways to react to sugar cravings then to give in and eat an entire pint of ice cream. Eat it, enjoy it, and get right back on track when you're done.
Everyone gets sugar cravings. You just have to figure out what works for you, and it might be something different each time.
And remember, long-term success is about Moderation; Not Deprivation. You've got this!
Check out our other blogs, healthy recipes, and natural supplements: