Top 5 Ways to Stop Sugar Cravings: Part 1

Last updated: November 2018

Sugar. It’s been referred to as a legal drug. And for good reason.

It gives you a high and is incredibly addicting. In fact, sugar lights up the same part of the brain that cocaine does. It’s also been suggested that sugar can be more addicting that cocaine. Wow! Those are some bold connections.

Truthfully, though, I’m not surprised. I know when I have a sugar craving, it can feel like the craving is bigger than me. It feels like my body will literally stop functioning if I don’t satisfy the craving right then and there. (Where’s the ice cream?)

So, how to stop sugar cravings:

Get enough sleep

Sugar (and carbohydrates) are the simplest form of food for our body to breakdown and use for energy. So, if you’re low on energy – even from a single night of poor sleep – you’re likely to have an increase in sugar cravings.

This was one of my first big ah-ha connections with food. While experiencing a strong sugar craving, I realized how exhausted I was and that my body needed rest more than I needed sugar. Prior to that, I just had a knee-jerk reaction to satisfy every sugar craving.

Once I realized the root of it, it changed my relationship with sugar. It doesn’t mean that you immediately stop reaching to satisfy the sugar-fix, but the increased awareness can bring great pause to start breaking the habit.

Sleep is key here. The ideal hours of sleep are 10 pm to 6 am, but that’s not realistic for everyone. Just make sure you’re prioritizing quality sleep and watch your sugar cravings be “put to bed” too.

If you struggle with sleep, make sure you’re set up for an optimal night sleep.

  • Dark room: Turn off all lights and give nightlights the boot. Room darkening shades can be a fantastic option to get the room completely dark.
  • Cool temperature: Setting the room at a cooler temperature will support your night sleep.
  • Comfortable bed: It sounds obvious, but it’s also easy to let “replacing the bed” slip to the bottom of your priority list. If your bed or sheets aren’t comfortable, time to make the change!
  • Act like a child: Children have structured nighttime routines that prep their body and mind for sleep. Create one for yourself!

Manage stress

Stress is a part of life. The goal is not to eliminate it, the goal is to manage it... so that it doesn’t manage you.

Many of us "stress eat", and we’re not reaching for the carrots and celery, we’re reaching for the chocolate, baked goods, and ice cream. Again, sugar is easy to breakdown, light up the brain, and give us a very short boost of energy (followed, of course, by a bigger slump in energy).

We need to manage our stress well. This will look differently for each person, but could include:

Do you find a connection between your quality of sleep or level of stress and your sugar cravings?

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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