1. Eat Regularly– Don’t skip meals or go longer than six hours without eating. When you don’t eat, blood sugar drops and the body goes into crisis mode. To avoid blood sugar lows which lead to craving more sugar, eat a minimum of three times a day. Four to six small meals per day is optimal
2. Eat Protein– Every time you eat have a little bit of protein (approximately the size of your palm). This helps stabilize blood sugar, when blood sugar is balanced you are less likely to crave sugar. Examples of protein are; meat, poultry, fish, peanut butter, eggs, dairy, nuts.
3. Supplement with L-Glutamine– L-Glutamine is an amino acid and it is notorious for these two things. Heals leaky gut– L-Glutamine helps to repair the intestinal lining (gut permeability) in food allergy patients, candida, antibiotic use, parasite issues AND sugar use. Sugar makes the gut more permeable (not a good thing) this can contribute to cravings because the body isn’t absorbing what you are eating. Limits Cravings– L-Glutamine is supplemented specifically to reduce alcohol and sugar cravings. You can find L-Glutamine in capsules and powder form in any health food store, but I like this pharmaceutical-grade company, Vital Nutrients Glutamine 1000mg 100 Capsules
4. Take a Multi-Mineral– When we eat alot of sugar it strips the body of all minerals, especially chromium (which plays a role in insulin/blood sugar metabolism) and magnesium. Chocolate is high in magnesium, sometimes people crave chocolate when their body is just seeking more magnesium.
5. Read Labels– Always look at the nutrition facts to see how many sugar grams are in the product. In general anything over 10 grams of sugar per serving is ALOT of sugar! Regular soda has approximately 34 grams of sugar per 8 oz can. When you eat sugar, eat the real thing! For example eat REAL ice cream, instead of sugar free ice cream with aspartame. The Journal of Obesity found that nutra-sweet/aspartame promotes cravings. Eat REAL dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate candy bars with high fructose corn syrup (much sweeter than regular sugar). Eat homemade baked goods instead of packaged highly sweetened desserts. Often the more sugar we ingest the more sugar we crave.
6. Replace Electrolytes– Sugar disrupts the body’s electrolyte balance, the body may be trying to bring electrolytes back into balance, but we think we’re craving sugar instead. I’m a fan electrolytes. You can take them in a liquid or powder form to help alkalize and add minerals. Two things sugar depletes.
7. Eat Fat! Fat will slow the absorption of sugar into the blood stream, it gives the body a feeling of satiety, and it feeds the neurotransmitters in the brain that fire off the craving signals. Examples of fats are: butter, olive oil, nuts and seeds, vegetable oils, fish oils, dairy products.
8. Boost Serotonin and Dopamine– According to Eric Braverman M.D. one of the first symptoms of a Dopamine (neurotransmitter) deficiency is binging on sweets and caffeine. Serotonin (another major neurotransmitter) controls cravings. Braverman’s book, The Edge Effect: Achieve Total Health and Longevity with the Balanced Brain Advantage is an excellent resource for diet, vitamins and supplements, lifestyle and environmental factors to balance brain chemistry. The brain is the master switch that turns cravings on and off.
9. Sleep & Stay Hydrated – Often we want something sweet when we’re tired or dehydrated. Drink adequate water throughout the day and get deep rejuvenating sleep at night (7-9 hours).
10. Maximize Sweet Experiences Not Sweet Food– Sometimes a sweet craving has nothing to do with a candy bar and has everything to do with needing more “sweetness” in our relationships, environments, work lives, or play. It might be necessary to ask yourself, “what am I craving in my life, that has nothing to do with food?” For example, love, appreciation, touch, fun.