Sugar. It’s everywhere. Of course, we can spot the obvious places– like ice cream and cookies, soft drinks and candy bars. But sugar also hides in less obvious places.
Did you realize that store-bought spaghetti sauce almost always contains sugar? How about crackers, bread, and barbeque sauce? Even your breakfast sausage likely contains a good amount of the sweet stuff that leaves you wanting more.
You see, food manufacturers are no dummies. They know exactly what will keep consumers buying their products.
Sugar is addictive.
In fact, scientists have now discovered that sugar is more addictive than cocaine or heroin!
So, if you find yourself craving a brownie after you’ve just eaten dinner—it’s not your fault. The sugar got you.
Unfortunately, when you eat that brownie you’re only going to get a little sugar buzz and then crash, just to begin the whole cycle over again. (Yep, that’s an addiction.)
When you eat processed white sugar (and starches—but that’s for another discussion), your body THINKS it’s getting the nourishment it needs. When it’s left lacking the essential nutrients it was expecting, it just begs for more.
This is the idea behind “empty calories.”
Wouldn’t you love to beat that sugar addiction—to stop it in its ugly tracks? You can.
I’ve got four solid health tricks that will teach your body to stop wanting sugar—and they don’t include “stop eating sugar.”
Instead of just telling you to go cold turkey with it (which would be great if you could—but let’s be realistic), these four tricks retrain your body and brain to actually stop wanting it.
Trick #1: Try Drinking A Green Smoothie Every Day
Smoothies are delicious—some veggies, protein, a bit of fruit, ice, throw it in the blender and yum-o! Then, if you start adding in handfuls of fresh leafy greens, you’ve got a recipe for sugar-bashing success.
Why does drinking a green smoothie a day help kick the sugar habit?
Here’s why: It’s a healthier choice.
The smoothie can pack in as much as 9 servings of vegetables and fruit, including all the filling fiber that goes with using the whole fruit.
That’s much healthier than the bowl of Frosted Flakes or cream cheese bagel you were having for breakfast, or the chocolate chip granola bar you enjoyed as an afternoon snack with your large mocha.
Your body starts craving the good stuff. You’ll soon find that you WANT a green smoothie.
Your body needs the phytochemicals in leafy greens to function properly—they are antioxidant and antibacterial, they can protect your cells and prevent the growth of cancer.
PLUS, they stimulate hormone production. I’d say phytochemicals are important— so when your body gets a taste, it wants more!
Once you replace the empty calories with the nutrient-packed ones, and you begin to crave the greens, your taste for the sugary stuff will start to fade away naturally.
Basic Green Smoothie Formula:
- Leafy Greens (a big handful or two): kale, spinach, arugula, chard, dandelion greens, beet greens, mustard greens, dark lettuces and more
- Fruits and Veggies (one or more): fresh or frozen strawberries, blueberries, cherries, peaches, apples, tomato, celery, beets, avocado, bell pepper, cucumber, small banana, lemon, orange, ginger, carrot. These are some suggestions, but there’s a rainbow of choices out there!
- Liquid: pure filtered water, unsweetened almond or coconut milk, unsweetened kefir, tea, and ice if you like it slushy.
- Add-ins: unsweetened protein powder, flax seed, chia seed, cinnamon, spirulina, chlorella, hulled hemp seeds, vitamin C powder, extra virgin olive oil
Blend it all together until it’s nice and smooth!
Adjust the flavors to meet your taste buds. You can add in a bit of pure, organic dried Stevia leaf until your taste buds adjust to having things a little less sweet.
There are a ton of recipe combinations out there, and of course you can access all our favorites in the Recipe Library when you try the Fat-Burning Tribe (free for your first 7 days!).
And checkout our Green Smoothie Blueprint right here.
Trick #2: Eat Huge Salads
Whatever you’re eating for a main course, eat it with a huge salad full of leafy greens and veggies, nuts, seeds, avocado, and maybe even some green apple.
Top it off with a simple squirt of lemon and pepper, or drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
The salad is going to give you that same healthy craving that came with the green smoothie, plus it will fill you up so your body is satisfied—there’s nothing left to crave if your body is fully nourished.
Eat the salad a bit before your dinner or main course for the added prebiotic benefit of producing healthy gut bacteria, which reduces inflammation and aids digestion!
Trick #3: Get Protein With Every Meal
Eating healthy proteins with your meal helps balance your blood sugar, so you don’t get the dips and spikes that cause sugar cravings.
Plus, healthy protein helps keep you feeling fuller longer—making that bag of M & M’s easier to resist later in the day.
Keep boiled eggs on hand for a good protein snack, or try rolling up asparagus or celery in a slice of roast beef with a little garlic mustard for a quick fix.
Always go with organic, grass-fed, free-range meat and eggs and wild-caught fish when possible. Add in extra nuts and legumes if you are exercising hard or need extra carbohydrates.
Trick #4: Sleep More (Or At Least Better)
We live in a nation of sleep-deprived zombies. Is it such a coincidence that we are also chronically overweight? No, it is not.
When you don’t get enough sleep, the hormones that regulate your appetite are suppressed, which means your body has a hard time reading hunger signals.
The biological process called your “circadian rhythm” is out of whack. You’re tired and feeling hungry (even when you’re not really hungry), so you grab something that’s going to give you an instant energy fix: sugar.
Then there goes that whole addiction cycle again.
When you’re trying to work late, exercise, enjoy your family and hobbies and catch up on social networking, you might be tempted to shout, “There’s not enough time to sleep!”
Make time, or make your sleep better. Or both.
You can do really well on 7 hours if they’re 7 hours of deep sleep.
Try these tricks to reset your circadian rhythm, get more z’s, and stop the sugar from taking over:
- Eat your biggest meal around sunset to kick into “rest and digest mode”
- Refrain from exercise for a few hours before bedtime
- Go to bed at the same time every night
- Use light-blocking shades on your bedroom windows, or use an eye mask to achieve optimal darkness
- Use earplugs to block out sound (if you don’t have small children you need to listen for)
- Try to get sunlight early in the day to reset your circadian rhythm
- Drink chamomile or kava tea after sundown
- Avoid alcohol. It prevents you from reaching deep restorative sleep
- This is a hard one, but if you can also avoid artificial light after sundown, that helps a lot. Especially the glowing screen of your tv, phone, tablet, and computer
If you’re trying to kick a sugar addiction, know that you’re not alone—and you can do it! Use these four easy tricks to stop your sugar cravings in their tracks and take charge of your body and your health.
What To Do When You Get A Sugar Craving
When craving hit hard, remind yourself that it’ll only stick around for a few days and try these things for immediately relief… Ask yourself:
- Am I thirsty? Drink a huge glass of purified water and the cravings may subside.
- Have I had my fill of greens and fiber today? Go for a salad, veggies, or a green smoothie. Add in some high-quality protein and a bit of healthy fat to help you feel satiated.
- Am I emotional or bored? Wait twenty minutes, go for a walk, or exercise.
- Did I drink alcohol recently? Your body is probably tricking you into thinking you’re craving sugar because your insulin is out of whack. Wait it out.
- Still craving sugar? Drink a seltzer with a slice of lemon, or a warm mug of herbal tea. Those are great for cutting the cravings.
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What are your favorite ways to stop sugar cravings? Leave a comment below to share what works best for you.
I’m already doing all this. Any tips for pre-menopausal women who only crave sugar during certain times of the month, but then it sets up the cravings for the rest of the month? Also, I tried the green smoothie and I gained weight. Can’t you get too much sugar that way? Thanks, Abel et al.
Joyce Kaiser says
PKADAMS – I am 44 and totally hear you on this issue … what works well for me is to blend ceylon cinnamon into coconut butter and eat that. Cinnamon is purported to help control blood glucose levels. Sometimes I add in a little ground ginger, nutmeg, all spice or cardamon to jazz it up a little. Give it a try and play with the combos. I’m in Michigan so the warming effect (and smell) of some of those spices also serves as a mode booster.
The one or two days when my body screams that it needs chocolate, I toss in a little cacao (sans sugar) instead. I’m not as fond of this, but it serves the purpose of soothing that craving.
Joyce-I have the same craving issues as PKADAMS, but eating coconut butter? Is that the same as coconut oil? If not where would you find butter? And you just eat it with the cinnamon, not on anything?
Susan Del Pino Rodriguez says
Coconut butter is also known as mana or manna it’s not coconut oil it’s sweet an taste delicious
Maybe you’re using too much fruit in your smoothie! Try making the smoothie with mostly greens (I’m talking like a blender FULL of greens), unsweetened almond milk, and maybe just a handful of frozen berries (berries ONLY– not other sugary fruit).
No artificial light after sundown? That would be about 5 pm here in winter ;-). To the poster above: I was gaining weight too with smooties until I rigourously cut down the fruits and starchy veggies! Half an apple or one carot or half a mug of berries is the maximum for me.
These “hacks” are just symptom relief. Even if they work, they wouldn’t be attacking the issue at the root cause, which is usually emotional/psychological. People use addictive substances to numb and mask emotional or psychological issues/trauma
i agree with Michael. but something we must do and keeping the amount of sugar low or very low helps to balance the mood/mind
Robert Diffin says
Great article! So hard to get off the sugar train.
L J Mack says
#Banning [zero amount] myself from any food seems to make it more difficult to consistently, continually not consume it. The three variables I manipulate are; what I eat, when I eat and how much I eat. Of course there are some things I stay clear of more often then others BUT I keep all foods/edible products “on the table” when it comes to my choices – sugar included. Of course this approach may change over time…Just my US$0.02 worth.
Elizabeth Resnick says
I just posted some similar tips on my website and Instagram. Totally agree about the leafy greens. I make a green drink with just greens and lemon in the am…really helps. Protein and fat are both so important to keep you satiated. My biggest motivator…in addition to all the other problems sugar is associated with, it causes wrinkles through a process called glycation. That’s pretty much all I needed to know!
This article is really very helpful for all the people who suffer from diabetes. Thanks for sharing it.
Agree With You.. Nice & Helpful article.
Thanks for healthy tips..these are some very useful tips.
thanks for nice health tips, very informative .
This article is really very helpful for all.Thanq for sharing it
Charlene Rountree says
Love this one! I am into low carb and no sugar diet this is very helpful thank you so much for sharing!
Pamela Flanigan says
I have had sugar and chocolate additions for years. After adding green superfood powder to my green tea and drinking just one glass in every morning, I noticed that all the sugar and chocolate cravings have disappeared! It works!
This is amazing. Thank you so much.
Wes Belew says
Great tips! That glass of water really helps the snacking and cravings!
Thanks for these amazing hacks. Water does actually helps with cravings.
Oh my god, just recalled how sugar craving made me gain too much. I followed the smoothie recipe and yes successfully dealt with my flabby belly after c-section. I hope not to ever crave for it.
I have been drinking a lot of carbonated drinks and my sugar intake is too much can you please help me how to get rid of it ?