Here’s a familiar story for anyone who’s tried to cut back on sugar: One day you decide: no more sugar. For a couple of days, you’re on fire. You’re eating healthy; you’re feeling great. Then come the cravings. Maybe it’s chocolate, maybe ice cream, you crave some treat, and the need just won’t give up.
Why Sugar Cravings?
So why? When we have such good reasons and such firm determination to leave sugar behind, why do we just keep coming back? Figuring out how to stop sugar cravings means figuring out why they happen at all. The reaction we have to sugar is mostly chemical – as with many cravings and addictions, dopamine is the culprit here. When we eat sugary treats, our brain rewards us with a hit of dopamine. And since dopamine makes us feel good, sugar makes us feel good, for a short time, anyway.
Out of Sight, Out of Mind
Turns out, when we just see sweets, our brain starts to release dopamine. A glimpse of that ice cream you’ve got tucked away in the back of the freezer can get those chemicals going. It might seem obvious, but it’s a simple little how-to: stop sugar cravings by avoiding even the sight of sweets. Even the anticipation of a sweet treat feels good when we’re trying to avoid sweets. We want to feel better, so we tend to eat whatever has triggered the craving in the first place.
Getting Your Fix
We crave that dopamine release for lots of reasons. When we’re depressed or feeling down, our brain wants that quick fix. Pause, and remember how to stop sugar cravings by doing other things that can lift our mood. Healthier foods—like fruit, milk, or yogurt—contain natural sugars that can give us a boost. Exercise releases endorphins that elevate mood. So does laughter. A hug or a cuddle (when available) can boost our mood as well. Getting the right amount of sleep can keep us from feeling like we need a boost in the first place.
There isn’t one simple, silver-bullet answer when it comes to quitting sugar. So, if you’re asking yourself how to stop sugar cravings, remember that there are a few steps you can take to accomplish your no-sugar goals.
- Avoid seeing or thinking about sugary treats as much as you can.
- Do something else to make yourself happy or content. Take a walk, talk to someone you love, watch a movie that makes you laugh.
- Eat something healthier than a sugary treat.
Explore the possibilities for finding happiness outside junk food, and you just might find life is better without all that sugar.
Sugar-Zen also offers an all-natural supplement to help you stop sugar cravings, as well proven daily online support program.