The one thing I struggled the most on my fitness journey was sugar craving.
And I really believe that this is one of the main reasons why it’s so hard to stick to a healthy diet.
A fun fact is that cravings are actually driven by your brain’s need for a “reward” not your body’s need for food, which means they actually work as an addiction.
You can’t have only one bite and stop there, because the urge to finish that whole chocolate is just unbearable, right?
No worries, you are not alone here.
Most of us tend to binge and overeat as soon as you get a taste of sugary foods, and that’s the main reason why giving in to the cravings is the worst thing you can do.
But how? How can we stop those cravings ones they kick in, and how to prevent them from happening in the first place, once and for all?!
Well, no worries babes, I GOT YOU!
Follow my 10 steps to kick that sugar addiction and finally manage those frustrating cravings for good.
Let’s get started right away!
1. Eat more protein
Deficiency of protein can lead to sugar cravings.
This is mainly because the body looks for a quick energy source.
And protein is great for satiety, and it may help with your cravings as well. Plus, it will help you stay full for longer which also helps in the craving situation.
2. Reduce The Intake Of Artificial Sweeteners
The taste, whether artificial or real, will not help reduce future cravings.
It’s really important to realize that a craving is not the same as hunger.
It’s not your body calling for energy, it’s your brain calling for something that releases a lot of dopamine in the reward system.
We have to look at it as an addiction. Should you reach out for a cigarette if you are trying to quit smoking?
Of course not.
Not only artificial sweeteners will not help you crave sugar, but they may trigger your cravings even more.
So, the less, the better.
3. Always Have A Healthy Snack On Hand
Hunger is one of the biggest reasons why we experience cravings.
Especially those moments when we get extremely hungry, it’s more likely that reach out for a fast energy load up.
To avoid this, always have healthy snacks close at hand.
Rather it’s apple slices with almond butter or hummus with carrot sticks.
By being prepared, and avoiding long periods of hunger, you may be able to prevent the craving from showing up at all.
4. Stop Eating Processed foods
These often come with added sugars, even for foods that you wouldn’t expect.
In my nutrition guide, The Hungry Fit Girl, I dedicate a full chapter for processed foods and why you should stop eating them, alongside a list of the foods that contain hidden sugars and artificial sweeteners.
Starting from all kinds of dips, fruit yogurts, “healthy” labeled bread, energy bars and all kinds of packed foods with tons of ingredients.
They all contain fast digestive sugars and carbs, that won’t help you keep full.
Instead, they’ll just make you crave even more.
Toss them all aside and turn to raw foods, with simple ingredients.
5. Be More Active
I find myself craving mostly on Sundays. I used to find that a little bit weird, but after realizing a few things it all came clear to me.
This is actually that one day of the week I want to completely rest and recover to get ready for the week to come.
However, this is the day I feel the lazies and usually end up watching Netflix all day long.
And it’s a fact that a sedentary lifestyle can actually make you more tired and lethargic, which leads people to look for quick energy sources.
Staying active, exercising daily, doing yoga and taking long walks will feel amazing on your body and mind, lowering your cravings to a minimum.
6. Eat a Balanced Diet
A diet filled with clean proteins, lots of fibers, healthy fats to keep you full and complex carbs to help you get healthy energy without tapping into the cravings area.
Filled with flavors, colors, and diversity, because too much of one flavor, can lead to a low level of dopamine which brings out those sweet cravings.
And my Burn Baby Burn meal plan will take you there, so head on to check it out right now!
7. Be Careful With Fruits
Yes, fruits are natural, and yes they are healthy, but they contain a lot of fructose.
And, at the end of the day, fructose is still sugar. Not a healthy form of sugar, because sugar is simply sugar.
The only thing that makes fruits healthier than other forms of sugar, is the fact that they contain lots of fibers which makes them digest a bit more slowly.
However, that doesn’t change the amount of sugar you will intake.
So, you should be careful with fruits and avoid eating more than 2 pieces of fruit a day.
Also, always look for fruits that contain less water and less sugar.
8. Eat Sweet Veggies
Starting with carrots, sweet potatoes, podded peas, beets, and sweet bell peppers…
The varieties are endless.
These sweet veggies will provide a nice dose of sugar without spiking insulin, which means fewer cravings.
9. Shop Wisely
You’ll eat what’s in the fridge, so make sure to shop healthy.
That’s why in my meal plan Burn Baby Burn, I give you weekly shopping lists to shop by, to make sure you don’t buy a bunch of unhealthy foods and store them into your pantry.
Another tip, never EVER go to the supermarket hungry.
Grocery stores are probably the worst places to be when you are hungry or have cravings.
I found myself thousands of times reaching for an unhealthy snack or junk food I want to eat as fast as I get out of the store.
Supermarkets give you easy access to pretty much any food you could think of and they are usually the places where the unhealthiest foods are at eye level.
The best way to prevent cravings from happening at the store is to shop only when you’ve recently eaten.
10. Supplement with Glutamine
Glutamine has been found to help reduce and even eliminate cravings, by helping to steady blood sugar.
Add 500 mg three times a day with meals and an extra dose when a craving hits, and you’ll be all set.
Taking as little as a quarter teaspoon at the onset of a sugar craving should stop it in its tracks.