I recently had an old client reach out to me with the same issue, and I was reminded of how common sugar cravings and being addicted to sugar truly is.
You can outsmart those pesky sugar cravings, and I've spent a good portion of my life learning and discovering how.
Here are my best tips to kick those cravings for good and honour yourself once again:
We are a society chronically deficient in minerals, as our soils have less than 10% from one hundred years ago. Minerals such as calcium, magnesium, zinc, vanadium, and chromium are all imperative for blood sugar regulation and feeling satisfied. Do about 2-3 caps of a multi mineral that is high in chromium with lunch and dinner.
Fresh celery juice is also incredibly high in bioavailable mineral salts as well. I find if I do 16 ounces in the AM I am barely hungry all day.
Juice 2 fresh lemons, add to a litre of water, stir in 1 tbsp of chiaseeds, a few drops of stevia and ceylon cinnamon and you have a lovely blood sugar balancing, hydrating, detoxifying beverage you can sip on in the afternoon.
Sour and bitter tastes such as lemon, various types of pickled and fermented vegetables, black coffee, celery and mustards balance out the palette and reduce the craving for sweet tastes
You will have to eat less crap if you set this as your daily intention. My votes are broccoli, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, green beans, leafy greens such as chard, kale, spinach, and herbs like parsley and cilantro. Sautee, stirfry, bake, and braise these beauties with herbs, spices, coconut oil or grass fed butter and good sea salts.
Having healthy gut flora is important for stable blood sugar levels and balanced brain neurotransmitters responsible for a healthy mood sans cravings. Opt for a probiotic high in the Bifidus strains, as these are the one that reside in the large intestine and most important for gut health. Take morning and night for good gut support. Below is a great one:
Stress is one of the number one killers and disease creators in our culture and affects everything from gut function, hormones, sleep, cravings, to gene expression. Reducing chronic stress should be #1 if you find you are in a constant state of overwhelm and self sabotage.
My favourite way is a walk in nature with deep breathing, through the nose only, pumping air deep into the bottom of my belly, listing all the things I'm grateful for. Nose breathing, nature, and a daily dose of intentional gratitude drops cortisol and turns off the sympathetic nervous system responsible for fight or flight stress response. I do this religiously, every AM for 20-30 mins, it is my non-negotiable as it is my medicine.
Add this type of cinnamon to your diet and aim for 2 tsp a day. Ceylon cinnamon has been proven to regulate insulin and increase sensitivity, which means more stable blood sugar levels and increase fat burning ability. I put it in my paleo and keto baking, my lemon chia water, and my shakes and smoothies. It is the most impactful when used for at least 2 months.
When you just want to tear into a candy bar or a bag of cookies, get some fruit and have a fruit feast instead. Opt for wild blueberries found in the frozen section, pears, oranges, plums and fresh figs: they clear out bad bacteria and viruses from the digestive tract and are nutrient dense.
Low magnesium levels can be single handedly responsible for sugar cravings and 80% or more fall into having this deficiency. Magnesium is best absorbed transdermally so this is why I suggest a bath, but if this isn't possible try out an oil or gel you can apply to your skin morning and night.
The average daily limit is 4700mg (minimum) but most of us get perhaps a third of that. Potassium and magnesium balance our blood sugar and insulin and can take away all cravings. The highest foods in potassium are avocado, chard, sweet potato, squash, spinach, green beans, coconut water, fresh celery juice. I add Vega hydrator to my water as my requirements are quite high.
Once again, the importance of minerals cannot be understated. Good quality salt mined from ancient sea beds are very high in trace minerals and can assist in reducing cravings. My vote is "Rea Salt"
Fats satiate hunger, slow digestion, and assist in satiety. Upping fats while you drop your carbs has been proven to help reset your insulin levels, hence why ketogenic diets work. Resetting your insulin "set point" is important as you can't burn fat in the presence of insulin, so keeping it low and stable throughout your day is critical if you want your waistline to budge and those last 10lbs gone ( or any weight really). Opt for avocado, goat butter, ghee, grass fed butter, coconut oil, avocado oil, MCT oil in particular Bulletproofs Brain Octane, as it feeds mitochondria to burn fat, stabilize blood glucose as well as kills candida, a yeast that can cause sugar cravings and gut dysbiosis.
During the day eat higher fat, protein, and low carb veggie meals, then eat carbs at night. Eating this way will keep dopamine levels high and insulin low, resulting in more fat loss, fat burn, motivation, mental acuity and suppressed hunger.
Eating carbs at night spikes insulin and serotonin, which will facilitate a restful sleep.
This is only a good idea if you are eating like the above, as doing IF on a high carb diet is a great way to destroy your metabolism.
There are quite a few ways to try this, but to start a 16 hour fast followed by an 8 hour eating period is enough to start resetting your insulin and blood glucose levels.
To do this, skip breakfast and have a later lunch as your first meal, then a second meal about 4-6 hours after, no snacks.
The first week it may be rough, but once you get through this you will have an amazing amount of energy as IF up-regulates dopamine, testosterone, HGH, hunger suppressing hormones like leptin and increases insulin sensitivity. It also triggers cellular autophagy, allowing the body to clear out dead and damaged cells and repair more efficiently.
You don't have to worry about calories in your meals, you eat until you're satisfied choosing proteins, fats and lots of veggies. If you're like me and you love eating big meals, you will enjoy this as much as I do! Food quality is very important, don't be reckless with this one.
Apple pectin is a great complex carb that pulls out toxic materials and fats from the digestive tract, aiding in weight loss, detoxing, blood glucose balance, liver health, increases energy and lowers insulin response. You can take mid-day or at night as a fibre supplement.
When I get a craving I bake keto or paleo cookies, breads and desserts. When I crave pasta I use konjac noodles or rice.
There are a million recipes out there that can satisfy any craving, choose ones that are low sugar, low carbs and be mindful of food quality. There are even some on my site here;)
Vitamin D is responsible for healthy happy neurotransmitters such as serotonin as well as regulating hormones. The less serotonin you have, the more you are likely to reach for the sweets to feel good and activate your brain's nucleus accumbens – an area associated with motivation, novelty, and reward.
You can take an optimal dose of 5000IU's a day, or get checked first. Keep in mind the body does make 10,000IU with proper healthy sun exposure. Make sure your levels are higher than "normal" for optimal health and happiness. A good score is 80-100, anything less, even though a doctor may say it's normal, can still cause problems.
Studies show that people who drink black coffee in the AM reduce hunger and caloric intake by up to 40%.
Lifting weights keeps your muscles alive and your metabolism working. It's also great for reducing stress, focusing your mind, creating new neuro-pathways with presence and focused intent.
I lift because it's my medicine, without it, I am just not the same. It challenges me to allow myself to "be with the pain" from a place of compassion and curiosity, which I accept each breath as it is. I use it as a powerful practice to let go of my "not enough" story.
I access a higher mind within my lifting practice and create faster results, and I see a need for this with so many women who do too much yoga and cardio, destroying their body's ability to burn fat and stay lean.
Will power alone won't cut it, access the power of your spirit if you really want to break a powerful addiction such as sugar, proven to be more addictive than heroine or cocaine.
Thump your thymus gland and command your spirit to assist you with this:
" Spirit I want to be free of this addiction now, give me the strength, personal power and access to be free now"
Build your connection to your spirit, build it strong by doing this several times a day for all the things you desire assistance with. You must ask and invite spirit in to be supported by a source greater than your will or ego alone
What are you really hungry for? What sort of passions, desires, inspirations are calling to your heart, soul and being that you keep shelving to a "one day when I have my ducks in a row".
I have found that passion turned inwards leads to addiction and using food as a heavy reward to sublimate everything.
I find I overeat and choose bad foods when I have nothing going on, no new life force and mojo flowing into my life, just stagnation of the same old same old.
If you found yourself going "mmhmm I can relate" then I invite you to take some honest inventory and see what is it you are denying yourself? What passions, desires, inspirations have you softly promised yourself you will do more of "one day"? What is your heart longing for you to do but you just don't have time? Where can you create more fun, joy, play, human connection, love, creativity, self expression, excitement and a new learning curve?
If you had no fear and nothing to lose, where would you go and what would you choose?