Craving sweets is something that happens to almost everyone at one time or another. You crave sweets for a variety of reasons, whether from habit, physiology or sugar addiction. Whatever the reason, there are ways to break the cycle and stop craving sweets.
The best way to cure the crave is to understand why we crave sweets in the first place. It’s natural to like the taste of something sweet; humans prefer the sweet taste from birth. We eat sugar because it tastes good.
When you eat sugar, your body releases endorphins and serotonin—the happy hormones—and it makes you feel content. One of the most common reasons we crave sweets is conditioning. When you eat a lot sugar, your body continually wants more and the more you eat, the more you need.
Whenever your blood glucose level drops, your body responds by telling you it needs more. When you eat candy, cookies or drink a sugary soft drink, the sugar enters your blood stream almost instantly. Your system responds by sending insulin to stabilize the sugar rush, but the sugar is expended quickly as energy, leaving the insulin behind to deal with glucose that is no longer there. Your pancreas stops or slows insulin production and with your system out of balance, your blood sugar drops and there you are—craving sugar again.
Substitute Bad Sweets with Good
When your sweet tooth is telling you to polish off that bag of candy, instead eat a sweet that will make your body work a little harder to break it down. This will balance your blood sugar and insulin levels and curb your cravings. Try eating some dried cherries. If your craving is really getting the best of you, eat an oatmeal cookie.
Get More Sleep
If you don’t get enough sleep, you could be setting your body up for a big sweet binge. Lack of sleep damages your body’s ability to produce leptin, a hormone that tells your system when to stop eating. Low leptin levels create sugar cravings.
If getting together for girl’s night includes polishing off a box of brownies, try doing something else. Get together for a walk and bring a bag of peanuts in the shell for snacking on later.
Eat the Sweet with Something Healthy
Try melting a square or two of semi-sweet chocolate and dip a handful of walnuts, almonds or dried cherries in it. In a pinch, eat a handful of dark chocolate-coated peanuts or almonds.
Understanding what triggers your cravings could be a first step to controlling them. Do you reach for a candy bar when you’re bored, feeling blue or lonely? Write it down and keep track.
Brush Your Teeth
French women have known this trick forever. Brushing your teeth with a dab of sweet-tasting toothpaste tricks your mouth into thinking it’s had dessert. Shocking your taste buds can curb a sweet craving.
Did you know that lack of proper nutrients could cause sugar cravings? Eating a healthy diet and taking a good vitamin/mineral supplement can actually help control your cravings for sweets.
Give It Time
It takes a couple of weeks for your body to regulate itself after you’ve started eating healthier. Hang in there! Once you break the cycle of feeding your sugar addiction, you’ll find your cravings begin to subside.