I know. 🙄 I’ve already written about how to beat sugar cravings in other articles. However, because I often get asked about how to beat sugar cravings for good, I’d like to dig into this issue a bit deeper.
Sugar. Is it really the ‘devil incarnate’?
And why are there so many books, courses, and challenges aimed at beating sugar addiction?
The reason is that sugar, much like a drug, can be incredibly difficult to quit. It stimulates the reward centre in your brain, similar to heroin, cigarettes and alcohol.
I’m sure you’ve seen little kids at birthday parties go a bit crazy after eating all those lollies. They can also get quite badly affected by it. And if we eat it too often, it can become addictive, and cause tooth decay and weight gain. Plus it can seriously upset our health.
If you find yourself attracted to it, it’s understandable!
The thing is this: your brain uses a form of sugar for its fuel. And it can’t store it. It needs a constant supply. Already since cavemen roamed the earth, sweet things like honey, berries, and other fruit were considered a delicacy. The brain told them so.
The brain’s need for a regular supply of concentrated carbs makes us seek out foods that can be easily converted into brain fuel. It’s a natural, built-in drive.
Although there’s a complicated process where the body can switch to using fat for energy and brain food, the healthy natural way is to use carbs that can be converted to a fuel that the body likes.
And sugar is easy to convert to brain food, called glucose.
Therefore, that’s part of the reason why we can become so easily hooked on sugary food. So when you’re hungry and you often choose easy-to-digest digested foods like doughnuts, muffins, chocolate bars, etc., then your body gets used to this quick fix. This can lead to developing an addiction to the flavour.
When that occurs, your mind will constantly nag you to find the next quick hit. Just like with alcohol or drugs.
So, how can we beat sugar cravings for good?
Here are some helpful tips:
👉Don’t keep sugary junk food in the house or at work. Pretend it is ‘poison’ until you beat the sugar habit.
👉Don’t think that eating “healthy” sugars will assist you in beating sugar cravings for good. Using sweet foods such as coconut sugar, agave, maple syrup etc. will keep the problem going.
I’d stay right away from those, especially during your sugar detox period.
👉Train your brain
When it pushes you to indulge, and you really feel you wish to eat something, give it savoury food instead. That’s a bit of a shock to the taste buds, but can work well!
High-fibre crackers with hummus and cherry tomato,
- Plain soya yoghurt with seeds,
- Celery sticks with a little smear of peanut or seed butter,
- A slice of chickpea frittata with roasted veg,
- Spicy air-fried chickpeas
- A cornbread with sliced avocado and mashed cannelloni beans
- A vegetable soup
Can you think of other such savoury options you could use?
Eventually, your brain and taste buds will get the message that ‘sugary foods are off the menu for now’.
It takes about 4 – 5 weeks for this to occur. I’m talking from experience. 🤩
👉 Sleep more and reduce your stress levels.
Being sleep-deprived creates crazy cravings for sugar and carbs. It’s got to do with hormonal responses to lack of sleep.
👉 Maintaining a protein-rich diet is one of the key solutions for curbing sugar cravings.
Why? Protein stimulates the production of satiety hormones and reduces hunger hormones.
It’s helping you to manage both your appetite plus reduce the desire for sugary snacks. You can even use some protein shakes when a craving hits. They can keep you feeling fuller and more satisfied, therefore helping to curb those pesky sugar cravings.
👉 Here’s an interesting tip: Consuming healthy, whole foods rich in glutamine or chromium can reduce cravings. In rehab centres, they often give glutamine supplements or a combo with chromium to alcoholics.
But there’s no need to start supplementing with these nutrients in pill form.
Food can be thy medicine!
Ok, you’ll probably want to know the healthy foods that contain these two components.
Depending on your activity levels and lifestyle, the recommended intake is about 3-6 grams per day. By the way, heat will greatly reduce this nutrient. Therefore include plenty of raw veggies in your daily diet.
Good sources of Glutamine include:
🥬All green leafy vegetables, such as parsley, spinach, and cabbage.
For a good dose of this amino acid, add cabbage to your green juices.
Half a cup of cooked beans, lentils, or peas gives you about 1 to 1.5g of glutamine.
🥜 (this is supposed to be a peanut emoji) Nuts and Seeds:
Almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds are good sources.
🥣 (and this is supposedly a bowl of porridge) Whole Grains:
For example, half a cup of uncooked rolled oats provides approximately 3g of glutamine.
And half a cup of cooked whole wheat pasta contains approximately 1.5g of glutamine.
The good news is that a variety of plant foods contain this nutrient. The Viva website mentions “The best plant sources of chromium are: brewers’ yeast, onions, wholegrains (wholemeal and rye bread and oats), black pepper, cabbage, broccoli, romaine lettuce, tomatoes, peaches, celery, bananas and apples (especially the peel).”
Eating a variety of unprocessed, plant-based foods, having balanced meals that keep you full for at least 4 hours, and incorporating some protein shakes can make it much easier to reduce cravings. And after a while, sugar becomes just another nice flavour you can enjoy from time to time. Without it having a hold on you anymore.
And if you need extra help to beat sugar addiction, I’ve written a 7-day program for you. I will help you fall out of love with sugar. It’s my Sugar Cleanse solution…find it HERE
Questions? Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for info. I’d love to help.