How to Quit Your Sugar Addiction and Stop Craving Sweets
Here’s how you can fight your sugar addiction and win. Check the 9 scientifically proven steps that make it possible to overcome sugar addiction and stop craving sweets for good.
Are you one of those people who, even after a filling meal, order a dessert? Do you reach for the cookie jar just because it’s there? Or maybe you fantasize about cupcakes piled mile high with buttercream frosting at the 3:00 slump every day?
If any of these scenarios sound familiar, it could be that you have a full-blown sugar addiction!
If you feel your craving for sweets is overwhelming, there could be medical science behind the urges. Everything from adrenal fatigue, magnesium deficiency, allergies and hormonal fluctuations can make that jar of jelly beans look irresistible. At your next visit to your general practitioner, you can discuss being tested for the various medical reasons that could be affecting your overwhelming sugar cravings.
In the meantime, there are many ways you can help yourself and get started on a healthier, addiction free life.
Steps to Overcome Sugar Addiction
- The first thing you want to do is develop a better relationship with your bed. That’s right! A good night’s sleep is the first line of defense against sugar cravings. That candy bar calling your name at 3 p.m. every day is impossible to resist when you’re too tired.
- Keep some healthy snacks close by. Sometimes we mindlessly aim for that tempting donut, but if we plan ahead and keep some air popped popcorn or a bag of healthy trail mix within easy reach, we can stave off the sugar demon more easily.
- For some people the simple act of chewing gum, especially in those afternoon hours when cravings seem the strongest, can help ward off the urge for sweets.
- Keep a journal and learn to identify your triggers. Figure out when and where your cravings are the strongest and always have a plan of action. If your worst time for cravings is after dinner, then instead of ordering that piece of cake, take a walk or call a friend or find a new hobby that you look forward to.
- Find your motivation. Maybe it’s that you want to be healthy enough to enjoy sports with your children or run that marathon or fit into that new outfit.
- Remember all of the negative things that overdoing it on sugar is related to: obesity, depression, cancer, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, liver disease, autoimmune disease.
- Cut out the sugary drinks. Every can of sugary soda you drink contains almost 10 teaspoons of sugar! Even diet drinks can lead to sugar cravings. Replace sugary drinks with water with added lemon or mint leaves.
- Start reading labels. Look for the hidden sugars: corn sugar, brown sugar, maltose, dextrose, fructose, sucrose, agave syrup, dextran, molasses. One is just as bad as the next and all should be avoided.
- Find a plan that is good for you. You might be the kind of person who has to go cold turkey and others have more success slowly weaning themselves off the sugar train. Whatever path you choose, if you make reasonable goals, you can be sure that soon you will be able to quit your sugar addiction and pass that cake for that sweet, delicious, juicy apple every time!
About the Author: Arun Villivalam, MD is a family physician and primary care doctor at Los Gatos, CA. Dr. Villivalam attended Thomas Jefferson University, where he received his medical degree, and completed his residency in family medicine at Cook County Hospital. Dr. Villivalam provides a variety of services including stress management, chronic care management, urgent care, and more.