Have you ever tried a low-calorie or sugar-free diet, only to be foiled by sugar cravings? See if this sounds familiar.
You swear to stop eating all sugar (or chips, or fast food, or whatever). You stick to it for a few days, or maybe even a few weeks. But before long you’re feeling deprived, which makes the food you’ve sworn to give up all the more tantalizing. Pretty soon you’re bingeing. You work your way through a whole box of whatever it is you’ve been dying to eat, and maybe even a second box. When it’s over, you feel like crap physically. Even worse, you’ve failed to stay on your diet, which makes you feel like a bad person. Why can’t you get it together? Guilt sets in, eventually followed by fresh determination. You’re going to start again, and be extra strict this time around.
This is the psychological trap a lot of diets create. You set unrealistic expectations for yourself, don’t meet them, swear next time will be different, and start the cycle over. Sugar cravings are constantly in the background of your mind, and sometimes in the foreground. You may feel like you’ve lost control of your body, or like you have to fight constantly to keep it in shape.
With the right approach, it’s easy to silence those sugar cravings. It doesn’t have to take up all your willpower, either – in fact, once you start fueling your body well, you’ll have more energy than ever, and you won’t have to spend it on resisting cookies. This guide will show you how to kick carb and sugar cravings for good.
Stop sugar cravings with high fat meals
Carbs in general (not just sugar) cause a glucose spike and crash that leaves you with cravings a short while later. High-quality fat, on the other hand, will give you steady energy and keep you full for hours, which makes it much easier to avoid sugar. Your body will adapt to a high-fat, low-carb, anti-inflammatory diet over a couple weeks, at which point your carb cravings will virtually disappear. You’ll probably find your pants are a little looser and you feel better than ever, too.
Clean out your kitchen (and fill it back up with quality snacks)
Toss anything sugary or carb-heavy. When you don’t have anything in the house, you’re far less likely to drive to the supermarket to satisfy a craving. Then replace those low-quality snacks with better ones. There are plenty of high-fat, low-carb goodies at Whole Foods and similar stores. Keep a few favorites in your cabinet for when the odd craving hits hard enough that you don’t want to cook.
Remove other stressors from your life
If you’re working long days and pushing yourself in the gym, all on a few hours of sleep a night, you’re going to have a hell of a time kicking sugar. Whenever you’re making a major lifestyle change, ramp down all the other stressors in your life and add in things like yoga, meditation, sleep hacks, trees bathing, and other stress relievers. Take it as easy as possible on yourself until your cravings disappear.
Curb sugar cravings with supplements
Supplements on their own probably won’t end your cravings, but they can help a bit by taking the edge off. No affiliate links here (except the Bulletproof products, of course); these are just reputable brands.
- Chromium stabilizes blood sugar and curbs carbohydrate cravings, according to a 2006 study . Take 200 mg before meals.
- L-glutamine doesn’t have clinical trials showing that it decreases sugar cravings, but many people say it helps. That would make sense, because glutamine regulates gluconeogensis (the conversion of proteins to sugar when you aren’t getting many carbs) in your kidneys and small intestine. In theory, that would prevent dips in blood sugar, and therefore cravings. Take 500-1000 mg before meals.