Nearly every single one of us comes up against the sugar cravings every now and again. For some of us, it’s on a daily basis.
It's made all the more difficult because everywhere you go sugar is in your face.
You stop at the gas station and at the counter – sugar filled goodies. You go through the checkout at the grocery store – they try to snag you with a last minute sugary appeal.
Then, there's all the foods that contain sugar – which is LOTS of them!
We like sugar. In fact, we're born with a liking for it. And because sweets are associated with treats or being ‘good' since we're a kid, we feel like we need to eat sugar.
But…Sugar is addictive!!
Not just because we think it is, but because it really is addictive.
Dr Eric Stice, a neuroscientist, has done studies on the brain showing that the same ‘addiction’ receptors are activated when we consume sugar as they are if we consume cocaine.
So, it’s not just us thinking that it’s hard to fight sugar cravings and give up the sweet stuff – it really is very hard!
To help you out, use these 10 home remedies to stop sugar cravings. You'll be surprised at just how effective they are.
10 Easy Home Remedies to Stop Sugar Cravings
1. Drink more water
Believe it or not dehydration can cause us to crave sugar. Being well hydrated has a lot to do with our energy levels and when our energy levels drop, what do we feel like doing?
We feel like eating and we're often after the quick fix…in comes sugar.
Next time you get a craving, have a glass of water instead and see if that helps solve the problem. And try to maintain a healthy water intake throughout the day to ensure you don't get dehydrated.
Try adding the juice of 1/2 squeezed lemon or lime and 5 drops liquid stevia extract to 8 oz. (240 ml) water for a homemade lime or lemonade. You can also use soda water occasionally to get the real fizz of lemonade.
Or, try using fruit flavored, stevia sweetened water enhancers to get a range of different flavors.
2. Take a supplement
Supplements are great especially when making the initial transition into a new dietary habit or when eliminating processed sugars out of your diet. According to Dr Axe, one in particular that may benefit both blood sugar and sugar cravings is chromium.
Chromium is an essential mineral that we need in small amounts. It is well known for helping people control sugar cravings and this is likely because it helps enhance the action of insulin and boosts metabolism of nutrients.
Overall, for diabetes it helps improve insulin sensitivity and glucose control.
Dosage: (600 mcg daily)
3. Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth Naturally
If you're going to avoid sugar, that doesn't mean you have to forego sweets or delicious desserts.
Take these two delicious treats as an example (click on images for recipes).
There are other ways to satisfy your cravings without reaching for refined sugar that sends your blood glucose soaring!
4. Increase the Omega 3s
Increasing healthy fats in your diet helps on many different levels. And in particular, when you slash carbs, you need to ensure you eat lots of fiber rich vegetables and healthy fats to sustain your appetite.
Omega 3s in particular are best known for their anti inflammatory properties. When taken regularly they help to reduce sugar cravings.
5. Cinnamon powder
Cinnamon is a natural source of chromium, the supplement mentioned above.
Overall studies have shown several benefits of consuming cinnamon including:
- Decreased oxidative stress
- Improved blood lipids (cholesterol)
- Improved blood glucose
- Improved insulin sensitivity
- Directly targets insulin resistance
You can take a cinnamon supplement. But a cheaper and more convenient way to get cinnamon is to simply use ground cinnamon powder and eat it raw or add it to food, smoothies or tea.
Dosage: 1-2 teaspoons daily
Alternatively, you can make a cinnamon tea using whole cinnamon sticks – makes a deliciously sweet tea!
6. Eat more vegetables
We need fiber to maintain a healthy digestion, fills you up more, helps regulate blood sugar, promotes healthy gut bacteria, and improves metabolism. Not to mention, vegetables provide many valuable nutrients that help decrease sugar cravings.
Choose from non starchy vegetables and eat greens every day.
There are lots of veggies to choose from:
Artichoke, asparagus, celery, tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, leeks, kohlrabi, green onions, eggplant, cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus, cucumber, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, artichoke, okra, zucchini, yellow summer squash, Swiss chard, radish, snow peas, mushrooms, green beans, and so forth.
Or green leafy vegetables:
Lettuce, seaweeds, alfalfa, bean sprouts, spinach, collard greens, kale, beet greens, mustard greens, dandelion, fennel, swiss chard, watercress, turnip greens, rocket, endive, bok choy, chicory, radicchio, Chinese cabbage, and silverbeet.
7. Eat a piece of fruit
Fruit is natures natural sugar packed treat in a delicious parcel. And yes, you can still eat some fruits if you choose the right ones, the lower carb fruits – mainly, berries – strawberries, blueberries, raspberries.
The great thing about fruits is they come packed with added nutritional value – water, dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals, polyphenols, flavonoids and phytochemicals. So, eating a piece of fruit can really help satisfy sugar cravings, while giving you a nutrition boost, too.
Much better than empty refined sugar, wouldn't you say?!
8. Suck on coriander or fennel seeds
If you’re the kind of person that loves candy or chewing gum this method may work well for you.
I learned this off someone who used this simple method to slowly overcome her addiction to eating packets of jelly candies a day and chewing gum obsessively.
You can buy the whole coriander seeds and fennel seeds at most health food stores and supermarkets. Fennel seeds are particularly good with a mild licorice, refreshing flavor. Both seeds can also be used in cooking.
You can also try munching down on raw veggies like carrot sticks, bell pepper slices, sugar snap peas and things like that.
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9. Licorice tea
Licorice root tea has a wonderful sweet flavor, much like licorice candy, so you can see how it would be helpful with the sugar cravings.
Licorice root tea also has so many other great health benefits so it's certainly worth adding to your list of home remedies to stop sugar cravings.
10. Get active
Sometimes when we get cravings it’s not because we're hungry, it’s simply because we're bored and need a little distraction.
One of the best strategies to overcome this…is to engage in a bit of activity. Do some exercise, go for a walk, do some housework, get in the gym. When you’re distracted and busy you often don’t feel like reaching for the sugar, or more food either!
As you can see, there is no one way to deal with sugar cravings, it’s more a matter of having a bunch of home remedies up your sleeve that can help stop them in their tracks.
These may seem simple, but they do work. Just pick 3 tips to start and next time you have a sugar craving, try putting one of those tips into action.
Good luck and let us know how you go.
Please share this post with friends to help them deal with sugar, too. 🙂