How to Stop Sugar Cravings

How to Stop Sugar-Cravings Long-Term

  • Make sure that you eat enough protein. Vegetarians especially are likely to crave sugar if they don't ensure an adequate protein intake (this was my problem). Protein helps to balance blood sugar and ensures that you stay full without indulging in too many carbohydrates.

    Include healthy protein sources, e.g. quinoa, spirulina, nuts and seeds - especially seeds like hemp and chia - in your daily diet and on every meal. If you are not a raw foodist or a vegan, you can also include organic meat, eggs, fish and game, although there are reports that the protein may get damaged by cooking.

    The exact quantity of protein needed can vary from a person to person and is also under debate by scientists and nutritionists. Some people thrive on vegan protein sources and others thrive on a paleo diet. The solution is a matter of personal experimentation and research into the different viewpoints.
  • Don't let yourself go hungry. Sugar cravings become impossible to resist when you are hungry. Make sure that you have healthy food choices available constantly, and plan your shopping and meals ahead. Snack often, especially protein-rich snacks, for example sugar-free peanut butter with apple slices; healthy pizza with starch-free base; healthy protein-rich pancakes; paleo bread; almonds and goji berries; dessert of pears, cashew nuts, cinnamon, and banana slices; or cucumber pieces dipped in sugar-free hummus.
  • Drink plenty of water, best possible quality. Cravings can get a lot worse if you are dehydrated. Dehydration hinders every aspect of your body: it harms you on a cellular level, stops your hormones from being able to get to where they need to go, hinders your lymph flow, causes stagnation and constipation, worsens any mucus problem and stresses the liver and other organs which then can't do their job of detoxifying you properly anymore. Dehydration clogs you up in every possible way as it stops everything flowing properly in your body. Anytime you are detoxifying you should be drinking plenty of water.
  • Eat often. Ensure you have healthy snacks, such as fruit or nuts, available and make sure to eat often. This will help you stabilise your blood sugar and reduce sugar cravings.
  • Rest. Tiredness is one of the worst things to bring on sugar cravings, because sugar gives you a quick energy fix, a sugar rush. But in the long term it saps your energy and can cause health problems, such as candida, anxiety, alcohol addiction, dehydration, adrenal fatigue, obesity, etc. Sugar has in recent research even been linked to high blood pressure, heart disease, dementia, and many other diseases, even cancer.
  • Eat fibre-rich foods. White rice is definitely out of the picture if you are trying to maximise the benefits of sugar detox. Anything which is starchy and has no fibre is likely to spike your blood sugar. They will also keep you addicted to the quick blood sugar high.

    Fibre, on the other hand, slows down the release of sugar and makes it a lower glycemic index food, keeping the blood sugar more balanced. That is why sugar in fruit is fine to eat for most people, because of the fibre.

    Even bananas and melons have fibre, it's just different kind of fibre from, say, celery. I find that eating bananas is fine with me but some people find that they don't work for them and are too sugary. If you can get wild bananas (smaller and with bigger seeds) you should be safe eating them.
  • Breakfast is very important when it comes to sugar cravings. If you start your day with processed carbohydrates, starchy foods or sugary foods, you will crave these things all day. Also some chemicals in foods cause sugar cravings. So ensure a healthy breakfast which is ideally protein and fibre-rich with plenty of micronutrients as well (e.g. green juice). In addition, include a healthy form of fat in your breakfast and eat enough to keep you going for a while.
  • Cut out alcohol. Alcohol is a form of sugar. If you absolutely cannot quit alcohol right now, concentrate on low-sugar options, such as tequila with freshly squeezed lime and fruit juice (similar to margarita cocktail) or gin and sparkling water. Even tonic water has sugar in it and canned beers are some of the worst since in many countries they don't have to list ingredients on the label. Some of the less-sugary wines often have many chemicals, including dyes and perfumes. I personally find that alcohol gets me off-track every time, as I get cravings for heavy foods and sugar the next day and can't resist them. If you are sugar intolerant (insulin resistant) like I am - and many people are without knowing - alcohol will affect you very badly. For inspiration in reducing/ quitting alcohol, read: Long-Term Alcohol Detox Benefits
  • Eat coconut oil (ideally raw). Add some for example in your breakfast smoothie. It helps to reduce all food cravings, including sugar cravings, and it also helps to curb hunger in general. It can be difficult to find a good-tasting coconut oil, however.
  • Consider supplements to help balance your blood sugar. Research, for example, B-vitamin complex (can help moods and blood sugar balance), chromium (can help control cravings and reduce hunger), zinc (needed for blood sugar balance), magnesium (can help balance blood sugar and calm anxiety), L-cysteine (can reduce stress and cravings for alcohol) and omega 3s (can help with the correct functioning of insulin).

    Also ensuring plenty of antioxidants from foods, superfoods and/or supplements helps with any detox. Some of the best of these are: broccoli sprouts, chaga mushroom tea and turmeric, as well as vegetables and fruit with the strongest colours, e.g. berries. C-vitamin can also help with detoxification and is an antioxidant. But supplements should only be used as support to the more important lifestyle changes discussed above and will probably not be enough as the only way to curb sugar cravings. If you are on a low budget, don't worry about the supplements. When supplementing, however, it is best also to work with a good nutritionist since everyone's deficiencies are different.
  • Eat blood-sugar-balancing foods and superfoods. For example, cinnamon, cacao, licorice, chillies, schizandra berry and aloe vera can help but this, again, should only be a supporting method and not the only method to help you stop sugar cravings.
  • Fasting. Many people say that fasting on water or green juices for a day or more can lessen food cravings and make transitioning into a new diet easier. It has been said to 'reset the system'. Although I have fasted before many times, I have not tried it specifically as a cure for cravings.
  • Enemas and colonics can help your body detoxify and to clean your system quicker. Coffee enemas when done correctly can help to cleanse the liver, one of the main organs which will have to work hard during a detox.
  • Address any nutritional imbalances that may be contributing to your addiction, like unstable blood sugar, candida, parasites, dehydration, mineral and vitamin deficiencies, fatigue from a weak endocrine system, heavy metal toxicities, etc. Candida and parasites cause sugar cravings because that is what they need for their survival. Reading Nutritional View on Sugar Addiction may be a good start.
  • stop sugar cravings, sugar withdrawal, carbohydrate addiction
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  • Stay away from artificial sweeteners and sugar substitutes. Artificial sweeteners have been shown to cause more obesity than sugar, to be addictive, to affect your moods and to cause diseases. To find out more, study 'excitotoxins'. If you want to train your taste buds to taste the natural sweetness of wholefoods, you will also have to stay away from healthier, natural sweeteners, such as stevia. On the other hand, stevia might be a 'life-safer' for many people who want to be able to enjoy some extra sweetness here and there.
  • Watch out for sugar in food labels. Sugar can hide under many names, such as: cane juice, dextrin, maltodextrin, dextran, barley malt, caramel, molasses, diatase, diatastic malt, fruit juice, fruit juice concentrate, turbinado, ethyl maltol, etc.

    Anything with the word 'syrup' is also sugar: e.g. malt syrup, corn syrup, buttered syrup, carob syrup, golden syrup, maple syrup, sorghum syrup, refiner's syrup, etc.

    Most terms ending in -ose are sugar, for example: sucrose, maltose, dextrose, fructose, glucose, galactose, lactose, high fructose corn syrup, glucose solids.

    Also, obviously, anything that includes the word 'sugar' should be left on the shelf: beet sugar, invert sugar, brown sugar, date sugar, yellow sugar, etc.

    To save you from reading the labels, and to be super-healthy, you could cut out processed foods altogether and concentrate on wholefoods that are unpackaged or foods that have very few ingredients, all of which sound like foods, not chemicals. Many chemicals can be also be addictive - and affect your moods and brain function - and thus hinder your progress.

    Note that low-fat and gluten-free products can be some of the highest in sugar content. For the majority of people sugar is more fattening than fat so the low-fat label can be in many ways very misleading.
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How to Stop Craving Sugar Immediately
How to Stop Sugar-Cravings Long-Term
How to Overcome Mental Sugar Cravings
How to Fight Fatigue Without a Sugar Rush

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Natural remedies for conditions which may partly be linked to sugar: tiredness, thirst, diabetes, alcoholism, candida, hypoglycaemia, bloated belly, anxiety, ADHD, anger, blood sugar imbalance, cancer, burnout, carbohydrate sensitivity, chronic fatigue syndrome, addictions, depression, dehydration, food intolerance, heart palpitations, hot flashes, hypoglycaemia, inflammation, insulin resistance, ibs, metabolic syndrome, nervousness, overweight and restless leg syndrome.

How it feels to quit sugar and why we have cravings in the first place:
The Nature of Sugar Addiction.

To be safe, please consult your health-care provider before attempting self-treatment for health issues.

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