How to Stop Sugar Cravings | How to Reduce Sugar Intake

11 Tips to Get Rid of Sugar Cravings for Good

Do you feel like you consume way too much sugar everyday? Do you want to cut down on your sugar intake to lose weight or have more energy? Here’s what I know about sugar- It causes fatigue, weight gain, slows down your metabolism and it just isn’t good to consume too much sugar.

I had a serious sugar addiction several years ago. I started to notice that I was tired after eating foods with a lot of sugars (even refined carbs like white breads and white rice). I started doing some research after having my first son and then it hit me. I needed to give up sugar in my diet to feel better.

What you will find in this post:

  • Tips to cut sugar addiction
  • How to figure out what will work the best for you
  • 11 Tips to Cut Sugar Addiction for Good

Keep a Food Diary for a Week

I love food diary’s because they help you get a handle on everything that you are eating. It is so easy to block little things out that we are eating like that tablespoon of peanut butter or that string cheese you grabbed. If you have to write it down, it makes it real that you are eating it. You then gain knowledge of what you are consuming day to day and my friend that is powerful.

I did this after my first son was born so I would have an idea of the amount of calories I was consuming and the general quality of the food I was consuming. I wanted to lose the baby weight and have more energy to keep up with the sleepless nights.

 

Create a Plan

Look at how much sugar you are consuming daily. This means look at what you put in your coffee, what you are eating for meals and snacks everyday, and learn how to read labels. Reading the labels will help you identify any hidden sources of sugar like corn syrup or high fructose corn syrup.

This will help give you an idea of how to cut out as much sugar as possible in your diet. You then look at all the sources of sugar in your diet and you figure out how to get rid of as much as possible.

How to Stop Sugar Cravings | How to Reduce Sugar Intake | How to Eat Healthy | Healthy Living

Eat More Fruit

If you have a good variety of fruit in your diet, this will help you still get healthy sugars in your diet and reduce the craving for high sugar foods like cake and cookies. The benefit to this is that you won’t get the same crash you get with high sugar foods like cakes and cookies.

You could start out by including a fruit at each meal. This is the meal plan I follow:

Breakfast: Protein and fruit or protein and complex carb

Snack: Fruit and protein (peanut butter and an apple is my favorite clean snack)

Lunch: Veggie, protein, healthy fat and fruit (if I am really hungry.  Sometimes I cut out the fruit here.  I used to eat it often when I was breaking the sugar habit before.)

Snack: Protein (like a string cheese or a handful of almonds)

Dinner: Veggie, protein, healthy fat, complex carb and fruit (if I am really hungry. Sometimes I cut out the fruit if I am not super hungry which is most of the time now.)

When you are new to breaking the sugar addiction cycle, you will probably want to include 3 servings of fruit per day to get the natural sugars in. It helped me so much in breaking the cycle.

Consider lower calorie/sugar foods to get over the sugar cravings

The other thing I did that really helped me break the cycle was include foods that were lower in calories but still offered something sweet for the end of the day. The foods were still something I enjoyed eating and I would crave for the end of the day. I knew they were lower in calories, usually around 150 calories and I included them in my diet plan instead of cutting out sweets cold turkey.
The benefit to doing this is to still have something sweet that you want so you don’t feel like you are depriving yourself.   You figure out which lower calorie sweet treats would safisfy your sweet tooth and you make it a point to include those in your diet a few times per week.

 

Eat More Protein

When you crave sugar, you are usually lacking protein in your diet.  I heard this at a conference once and then I read it in one of my Nutrition books when I was studying to be a Health Coach. I shared this with my patients and they tried it with good result.

Calculate how much protein you should be getting in a day. There are a lot of differing opinions on how much protein we actually need but this is the formula I go by:

 

Weight in kg x 0.8-1.8 gm/kg = Protein you need in grams

Take your Weight in pounds, divide it by 2.2 and that is how many kilograms you weigh. If you are active, times that by 1.8. If you aren’t very active, times that number by 0.8 and that gives you your target for how much protein you should be eating.

It really isn’t hard to get that amount of protein in a day for most people. If you consume a lot of sugar, make sure you are getting the amount of protein you need though as this could help you with the cravings.

 

Count Simple Carbohydrates as Sugar

Simple carbs are foods like crackers, white pasta, white bread, pretzels- things like that. These foods are all metabolized like sugar. Juice is another thing that will be metabolized as sugar. If you are trying to feel better, lose weight or have more energy, make sure to watch the amount of simple carbs you have in your diet. This will help you achieve your goals if you can cut some of these types of foods out of your diet.

How to Stop Sugar Cravings | How to Reduce Sugar Intake | How to Eat Healthy | Healthy Living

Look for Hidden Sugars

I mentioned this above, but it is worth mentioning again because it is that important. Read the food labels to look for hidden sugars like corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, or sugar. These all count toward how much sugar you are consuming.

It is important to figure out if any of these hidden sugars are in your diet because it will impede your weight loss.

Let me be clear on one thing. I have a cup of tea every morning and I do use regular sugar in my tea. I have tried sugar alternatives and I don’t particularly care for them. I use this in my tea, but I make sure to include this in my overall sugar count for the day.  This is about progress and not perfection and realize that there will be some things you are not willing to give up.  For me, that is sugar in my tea or coffee.

 

Consider Alternative Sweeteners

I often get the question “what sweetener is healthy to use if I can’t have sugar?” I usually recommend Stevia or Truvia. I have tried both and I don’t really care for either one so I stick to using regular sugar, honey or agave syrup.

I would consider trying these alternatives to see if you like them though. You may like one of them, but if you don’t, that’s ok too.  Just work on limiting your overall sugar intake.

Consider Natural Sugar Alternatives

If you like to bake, consider using things like honey, agave syrup or even maple syrup to sweeten your foods. You will not need as much to sweeten your foods and they are a healthier alternative. Yes, they are still sugar based so they do still count against how much sugar you are eating, but I tend to like these forms of sugar with baking because less is required in a batch of muffins or whatever you are baking.

Plan Out Exactly What You Will Eat

Meal planning was by far one of the biggest things that helped me when I was trying to lose the baby weight and have more energy.  I ate more often and ate smaller portions which helped me establish a steady energy level and kept me from feeling super hungry.

I recommend this type of eating pattern for everyone who will listen. Seriously, it works.

Plan out what sweet treats you will eat for the week just like you will plan your meals and snacks. You then create a controlled diet plan for each week and can be more successful in your eating patterns.

Plan for Special Occasions

I personally think it is unrealistic to deny yourself of sweets altogether. Maybe that’s because I still love sweets, but I find that if I completely deny myself of a food, then I want it that much more and I tend to indulge way too much.

I now plan my week ahead for any special occasions that may be coming up like birthdays, family meals, baby showers, etc. I factor in that I will probably have a piece of cake. Now here is the thing, I don’t take away sweets that week. I allow myself to eat sweets 3 times per week and the cake will just be one of those times for that week.

How to Make This Successful for You

This whole plan may not work for you and that is totally ok. I have found something that works for me and for a few other people who I have helped. The key is to find what works for you. My suggestion is to do an overall assessment of what you are eating and get rid of hidden sugars first.

For example, in some types of vanilla, you will find corn syrup. Look at the label and find a vanilla that doesn’t have corn syrup added. That seems simple enough, right? Then you are getting rid of sugar calories there.

Then, look at what your goals are. Do you want to lose weight? Have more energy? Detox from sugar? What are your goals?

Create a plan based on your goals. If you want to lose weight, start by doing a food diary, then remove as much sugar from your diet as you can (include getting rid of simple carbs too.)

Do this slowly as it can be a big adjustment. Consider taking one week at a time and one thing at a time. If you find that you are drinking pop, eating cookies every day, and you love white bread. Don’t tackle all these at once. Create one goal for one week, then the next, then the next. So maybe consider getting rid of pop first, then switching to whole wheat bread and then using a lower calorie sweet treat the following week.

This is just a suggestion.

Bottom line, if you are looking to get sugar out of your life or at least reduce the amount of sugar, you can do it. The key to being successful long term is knowing what you are eating, what makes sense for you to change and creating a plan that works for you that you can sustain. You got this Mama!

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