Conquering Your Cravings: The Sweet Tooth

cravings1Your body is a lead weight.

Your mind goes fuzzy.

You become antsy and irritable.

All you can think about is your next fix.

I’m not talking about drugs…  I’m talking about food cravings.

Fighting a food craving can be a tough obstacle impeding your ability to lose weight and eat healthy.  Take heart!  All is not lost.  Today we are going to discuss some techniques to conquer your food cravings.

First, a little about my situation.  I’m used to have a huge sweet tooth and my vice of choice was chocolate, namely in the form of Reece’s PB Cups.  I could eat a family pack of those in one sitting and still crave more.  I justified it by telling myself I only eat them once a week at most, or I don’t drink sodas, so this is my little indulgence.  Well this little indulgence was causing me to gain massive weight.

Here’s what I did to conquer my sweet tooth:

1. Stop drinking Your calories

This includes sodas, fruit juices, sports drinks, Red Bulls, fruity alcoholic drinks, and anything else I didn’t list.  I actually found this the easiest step as I haven’t drank sodas regularly in years, I drink my coffee black, and my typical alcoholic preferences are a dark beer or whiskey on the rocks.  However, if you are trying to beat a sugar craving (or any craving for that matter), you’ll be better off abstaining from alcohol period.  Alcohol lowers your inhibition and will increase your odds of caving in and ordering that chocolate cake that’s been tantalizing you on the dessert menu.

2. Don’t eat junk food (duh!)

This one should come as no surprise.  Don’t feed the beast.

3. Avoid anything with hfcs

High Fructose Corn Syrup does a lot of nasty things in our bodies and will prolong the craving duration.  HFCS is essentially sugar on steroids.  Unfortunately so much of the processed foods nowadays has HCFS in them.  Be sure to read the labels to make sure you’re not inadvertently sabotaging yourself.

4. avoid artificial sweeteners

Foods cravings are both physical and mental.  Even using a no calorie sweetener is going to reinforce the craving mentally.  No calorie sweeteners also cause the body to produce insulin in preparation to handle the anticipated glucose spike even though none is inbound.

5. Minimize fruit consumption

I typically don’t eat too many fruits so again, this isn’t a big issue.  You definitely need to avoid starchy fruits like bananas.  If you do eat fruits, stick to fruits with less sugar and more fiber like berries and apples.

6. Experiment with intermittent fasting

This gives your body a chance to cleanse the palate, so to speak.  Setting aside time to IF daily or weekly will make you less likely to snack on goodies people bring into the office and it will allow your body to revert over to burning fat instead of glucose.  Less dependence on glucose means less cravings for sugar.

My results

My cravings have significantly changed.  In fact, the way I taste the same foods has changed.  Reece’s cups simply don’t taste as good.  They’re still tasty, but they don’t induce the eating frenzy like they used to.  If the craving for something sweet does emerge, a small snack size pack is more than enough to satisfy my craving.  In fact, I usually have to force myself to finish off one of the small packs.

I rarely crave sweets anymore and when I do, I trust my body more that it’s telling me I’m deficient in something as opposed to just blindly wanting sugar.

To recap
  1. Don’t drink calories
  2. Don’t eat junk foods
  3. Avoid HFCS
  4. Avoid artificial sweeteners
  5. Eat fruits sparingly
  6. Try IF

In return, your cravings will be more manageable, the sweets you crave will appeal to you less, and it will take less to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Doing all these at once is a lot to keep up with.  I would suggest tackling one or 2 steps at a time and adding on extra steps when you have a solid grasp on the existing steps.

Steps 1 and 2 are the two big ones and will provide the greatest benefit so definitely start with them first.  After that, add in the other steps according to your own preference/needs.

One last note

You don’t need to follow these steps for the rest of your life.  This is just a guide to overcoming your cravings for sweets.  Once your body has adjusted you can ease up off the steps.  Have a soda every now and then.  Eat a Snickers.  Add some sugar into your coffee.  Just keep in mind that these are sweet indulgences to have sparingly, not everyday.


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