10 Ways to Completely Banish Sugar Cravings Forever (& Replace Sugar Dips With Energy Hits)
Sugar is at the root-cause of pretty much every health battle, every condition, every ache, pain and waistline.
Proven to be more addictive than cocaine, it is a craving that some people never kick their whole life.
And as time goes on and society ‘develops’ and food manufacturers get better and better at making us addicted to their foods we are consuming more and more sugar.
We know it is bad for us (even if not everyone knows quite how much), and yet we succumb to it every day.
In this new guide, I give you seven easy ways to help you completely banish sugar cravings forever and move you a HUGE step closer to ditching the sugar.
Why it’s so important to break the addiction…
Giving up sugar cold-turkey will be very hard.
IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT!
Research has proven that sugar is more addictive to the body than cocaine (source), so simply deciding to ditch it is going to be hard.
Plus it’s everywhere. Hidden in sauces, cereals, dairy and dairy-alternative products, juices & smoothies… in fact, pretty much anything preprepared or shop-bought contains more sugar than we ever realized.
In 1820, we consumed under 10lbs of sugar per year, per person.
As at 2013, that figure stands at 150lbs of sugar per year, per person. (based on US-statistics)
That’s pretty shocking. But not surprising…
It’s added to everything. It’s combined with fats and salts and specific chemicals in such a way to make certain foods (quite literally) addictive.
The food manufacturers have gotten pretty smart at this…
Let’s Break the Habit Now!
[See Also: 10 Delicious Gluten-Free Breakfasts to Kick the Toast, Cereal & Breads for Good!]
TEN Powerful Tips to Completely Banish Sugar Cravings Forever
Here are my top ten tips for naturally and automatically reducing or removing the need for sugar in your life:
Kick Sugar Tip #1: Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is incredible at destroying sugar cravings. And all you have to do is have one tablespoon of this delicious oil and you’re set!
Coconut oil is made up of medium-chain fatty acids, or medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs).
As soon as you consume them your body sends them straight to your liver to use as energy.
In doing this, coconut oil gives you an energy hit that is exactly like sugar and other carbs.
However, and this is the best bit, it doesn’t cause an insulin spike in your bloodstream, meaning that it doesn’t put you into that blood-sugar spiral!
Kick Sugar Tip #2: Don’t Be Afraid of Salt!
Salt? Yes, salt.
It’s not always the bad guy it’s cracked up to be.
Remember when we thought all fat was bad? And then researchers started showing us that there were ‘good fats’ and ‘bad fats’, and the same is now happening with salt.
According to Robert Young of the pH Miracle Research Centre, what seems like a sugar craving could often be your body’s cry for healthy salts.
Remember, healthy mineral salts such as magnesium, potassium, calcium, and sodium bicarbonates are vital to the body’s functioning. Without them, we suffer.
Put this to the test, it’s really easy: next time you have a craving for sugar or carbs, simply have half a teaspoon of pure sodium bicarbonate in 300ml of water.
See how the sugar craving simply evaporates. It’s magic!
Kick Sugar Tip #3: Bigger Brekkie
And on the subject of the blood sugar spiral…
One of the reasons why most people struggle with sugar cravings throughout the day (think mid-morning, mid-afternoon…after big meals…etc) is because they start the day wrong!
Not having a solid breakfast instantly puts you in a blood sugar catastrophe!
Sugar cravings are way more in control and easy to avoid if you don’t let your blood sugar spike and then dip too low.
Having a breakfast containing fats and protein is a great idea.
Here are some ideas:
Alkaline Antioxidant Smoothie
Scrambled Tofu Mega Brekkie
Almost-Alkaline Quinoa & Apple Breakfast Warmer
Alkalizing Baked-Bean Salsa Brekkie
Chai Infused Quinoa Breakfast Porridge
Kick Sugar Tip #4: Use Cinnamon to Sweeten
This one is especially useful with breakfasts, and especially if you’re creating your own health and alkaline ‘cereals’ or having breakfasts like quinoa or organic oats.
In fact, even if you’re just having a nice glass of almond milk this one is a winner.
Use cinnamon to sweeten!
Numerous show that cinnamon regulates blood sugar, meaning it’s perfect for maintaining stable energy levels and moods.
PLUS it’s alkaline, anti-viral, fantastic for colon health, helps prevent blood clotting and is great for controlling cholesterol.
Whenever you’d think of needing a sweetener of some sort, try cinnamon instead!
Kick Sugar Tip #5: Have Healthy Snacks Available
I have a full series on healthy snacks coming up, with loads of recipes, ideas and the like…but for now…
Having blood-sugar dips and spikes, sudden hunger, feeling tired, irritable and famished – these are all symptoms of sugar addiction and all lead to high sugar intake.
While you’re working on the sugar habit, a key ally is having healthy snacks available.
When you have healthy snacks within reach, 24/7, your chances of beating the sugar addiction go up massively.
Just think about the last 5 snacks you bought from the shops when you were running on empty.
Shop bought snacks are almost ALWAYS filled with sugar.
And as you’ll see below, you don’t necessarily want to over-consume fruit either.
So, here is my guide from a couple of years ago on the Ultimate List of Alkaline Snacks (plus recipes)
And here are a few more recipes I’ve posted just lately too:
Quick Delicious Kale Chips
Cauliflower ‘Buffalo Wings’!
Alkaline Wrapless Wraps
Coconut Chia Cream Pot
Kick Sugar Tip #6: Get Enough Sleep!
Sleep deprivation severely affects your appetite hormones. Fact. According to the amazing Dr Mark Hyman “You literally can sleep your cravings and your weight away.”
In human studies, depriving college students of just two hours of the recommended eight hours of sleep led to a rise in hunger hormones, a decrease in appetite-suppressing hormones and big cravings for sugar and refined carbs.
It makes sense. If you don’t sleep your body defaults to it’s easiest most frequently known energy sources i.e. quickly absorbed sugars.
An additional study found that when subjects were sleep-deprived, their reward activation centers in the brain were actually greater, thereby making it more difficult to say no to sugary treats.
The bottom line? Get more sleep 🙂
Kick Sugar Tip #7: Exercise
I know, I know. You didn’t want me to bring this one up.
Getting more sleep? Easy! Thanks Ross!
Getting more exercise?! Noooo.
The fact of it is, it can be simple, easy exercise – it doesn’t have to be 60-minutes of CrossFit every day (although it can be if you like!).
Just getting moving and getting the blood pumping, oxygen flowing and lymph stimulated is what’s important.
If you’re starting from scratch, it can be something really simple like walking or light jogging (or rebounding if you have a rebounder!) – but make it something you can do every day – even if only for ten minutes.
Anyone who exercises on a regular basis will know that cardiovascular exercise is one of the best “cures” for food cravings.
It always amazes me how my appetite, especially for sweets, dramatically decreases after a good workout.
After exercise, there is a dramatic reduction in insulin levels and raised insulin levels are a big contributor to sugar and carb cravings.
So get moving, get breathing and get sweating – it will ward off the cravings and make you look and feel amazing!
Kick Sugar Tip #8: Stay Hydrated
Dehydration is a leading cause of both sugar and carb cravings.
When you’re dehydrated your body gets depleted of necessary minerals and nutrients and your body will start to crave anything and everything to replenish them.
This often leads to sugary snack binging.
As you’ll know if you’re a regular reader of my blog: you should be aiming for between 2-4 liters of good quality (preferably alkaline water).
While that might sound like a lot, to begin with, start small. Just aim for 2 liters, to begin with and build up from there.
Of course, black tea (with or without milk), coffee, alcohol, etc are dehydrating and juices, cola etc…well, we’ll get onto that in just a minute.
Try swapping your black tea and coffee for herbal tea (here are some of my favorite alkaline herbal teas) and this will easily contribute a litre or more of your hydration intake (if you have 3 cups per day).
And if you want some yummy ways to make your water tastier, here is my guide to Making Water Delicious (contains five or six delicious recipes).
Kick Sugar Tip #9: Get Rid of Liquid Sugars
Any form of liquid sugar is worse than from solid food.
Sugar without the fiber and bulk is far more detrimental to the body, hits harder and more directly on your liver and it turns off the fat-storing process in your liver, leading directly to fat gain.
When you drink sugars (including fructose, in fact, fructose is absolutely the very worst type of sugar you can consume, especially when you drink it) without the fiber, your brain is not sent the message that the calories have been consumed.
Your body literally does not register those calories. As a result of this, you stay hungry and crave more sugar.
This includes sodas, juices (ANY juice containing ANY fruit), alcohol, sports drinks, sweetened tea, and coffee, etc.
This is why I am so adamant about having NO fruit in my green juices or smoothies.
When you consume liquid sugars (and more on fructose below) you don’t feel full, so you eat more all day and you crave more sugar and carbs.
I could spend all day talking about the dangers of consuming soda, but that’s for another day.
Put simply – you have to cut soda and liquid sugars (and sweeteners) from your life if you ever want to get to your true health potential.
Kick Sugar Tip #10: Don’t O.D. on Fruit
I know there is a lot of debate about fruit, fructose and how much fruit is healthy.
I’m going to very briefly give you my beliefs here and an explanation, but ultimately you have to do what works for you.
Fruit is not alkaline-forming (generally). There are some exceptions, and these are all of the very, very low sugar fruits (lemons, limes, avocado, tomato, grapefruit, etc).
The reason why these are alkaline-forming is that they contain all of the alkaline minerals that most fruits do, but almost no fructose.
(Explanation as to why lemons and limes are alkaline forming here).
As mentioned above, when you consume fructose without the fiber (i.e. when you juice it or drink a shop-bought juice) it goes straight to the liver, causes massive blood-sugar spiking and turns on the fat-storing mechanism in the liver.
Without the fiber, the brain does not register the calories from this as being consumed and therefore you still remain just as hungry as before and still have the sugar craving.
Fructose has been manipulated by the food industry over many years to be seen as the ‘healthy’ sugar, but in reality, it simply isn’t.
However, fructose in a fresh, in-season piece of fruit is different from fructose in juices (fresh or bought) and is certainly different from High-Fructose-Corn-Syrup.
BUT, I personally recommend keeping fruit intake down to one piece of in-season fruit per day (maximum two).
Mercola (who has done more research on fruit and fructose than perhaps anyone!) recommends keeping fructose intake under 15g per day as an absolute maximum.
And considering 1 medium banana on average would have around 7-8g of fructose, you can see how you can easily overdose!
If you’re struggling with sugar cravings, but eating a lot of fruit, I recommend looking into this.
Mercola has a fructose per fruit chart here which you might find useful (note: you have to scroll about halfway down the page).
Bonus Kick Sugar Tip #11: Just Start Over Whenever Your Slip Up (right away…)
If you ever slip up, have a sugar binge, or even just something you know is a bit naughty, it’s not the end of the world. Or even the end of the day. Just get back up, dust yourself off and carry on where you left off!
So many people slip up and then think “oh well, that’s it, may as well start again tomorrow/next week/after my holiday/next year” and it’s just wasted time!
There is no benefit from writing off the rest of the day, week, month or year!
Just stop for a moment, think about what led you to make the mistake, what emotions you felt, what physically happened and swear to learn from this. See it as a positive learning experience.
And as ever…
If you liked my guide please do hit the share button below, and feel free to ask me any questions either below here or on Facebook!
It’s always my pleasure to serve and I look forward to hearing your story or tips below!
Scientific Research & References:
Added Sugar Intake and Cardiovascular Diseases Mortality Among US Adults ; Yang Q, Zhang Z, Gregg EW, et al. JAMA Internal Medicine. Published online Febraury 3 2014 (Link to research)
Opposing effects of fructokinase C and A isoforms on fructose-induced metabolic syndrome in mice.; Takuji Ishimoto, Miguel A. Lanaspa, MyPhuong T. Le, et al; Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, February 27, 2012; (Link to research)
Greater Fructose Consumption Is Associated with Cardiometabolic Risk Markers and Visceral Adiposity in Adolescents; N. K. Pollock, V. Bundy, W. Kanto, C. L. Davis, P. J. Bernard, H. Zhu, B. Gutin, Y. Dong; Journal of Nutrition, 2011; 142 (2): 251 (Link to research)
The internal circadian clock increases hunger and appetite in the evening independent of food intake and other behaviors; Frank A.J.L. Scheer, Christopher J. Morris and Steven A. Shea; Obesity Journal; Volume 21, Issue 3, pages 421–423, March 2013; (Link to research)
Effect of ground cinnamon on postprandial blood glucose concentration in normal-weight and obese adults; Magistrelli A, Chezem JC.; Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics; 2012 Nov;112(11):1806-9.; (Link to research)
Effect of cocaine and sucrose withdrawal period on extinction behavior, cue-induced reinstatement, and protein levels of the dopamine transporter and tyrosine hydroxylase in limbic and cortical areas in rats; Grimm, J.W., et al.; Behavioral Pharmacology 2002 Sep 13(5-6):379-88; (Link to research)
Carrots n Cake
Hi, I never ever hear anyone addressing anything on people who no longer have their gallbladder verses weight loss and fat consumption.
Does not having your gallbladder make it more difficult to lose weight? Thank you
Is it any harm to take xylitol instead of sugar
Hi, thank you for this post but shouldn’t it be just Sea Salt ?
Therefore, the answer to the question as to which of these two algae should you
take is that you should definitely have both of them in your diet.
Stone Age is long gone, but this simple example shows why
we have this mechanism. One Fruit tablet in the morning and one Vegetable
tablet in the evening will provide the antioxidant equivalent
of 8 servings of fruit and vegetables daily.
Ross, Great Guide! Thanks for taking the time to write down and share these tip! This is an Awesome guide and very informative! Thanks for sharing!
We start our day with a glass of water (not cold) with half a lemon then follow with a fruit smoothie made of, Blue berries, kiwi fruit, banana, water and spirulina powder. I have no cravings of wanting anything sweet throughout the day and feel full after the smoothie although I do follow it with muesli or toast a half an hour later. I’m surprised about your comment of not having fruit smoothies. Blue berries are an antioxidant, kiwi fruits have more vitamins and minerals per gram, and per calorie, than most other fruit. Bananas are loaded with potassium which is good for blood pressure and heart. Surely our bodies can handle some acidic food. We do have a veg drink in the afternoon which consists of Beetroot,Kale,Cucumber,Carrot and Ginger.
Thank you Ross for your passion to share this vital information it’s very much appreciated.
I tried unsuccessfully to go off sugar for about a year, I gradually reduced and got down to almost none during the day, but at night the cravings were impossible, then I started having a big green salad with lots of veggies, seeds, and beans for lunch and dinner each day. Within a week I was off sugar without even trying, I just realized that it had been four days… I was without cravings and stayed off sugar for about 6 months. For medical reasons I had to go off gluten about the same time. Gluten free made a much more noticeable difference and sugar free didn’t make me feel much different, so I lost my motivation, but I know I need to try to get rid of it again. Thanks for the reminder.
Being an oncology nurse your statement about salt being ok is not ok. Salt is a potentiator of carcinogens and I would rather my patients were addicted to sugar instead of salt. My pediatric patients live on a diet of salt consisting of cheetos, doritos, raman, cups of soup and macaroni and cheese. Stick to the vegetables and be safe.
I think you’re missing my point. It’s very very important to distinguish between good salts (sodium bicarbonate, magnesium bicarbonate etc) and bad salts (sodium chloride i.e. refined table salt).
It’s much like good and bad fats.
Sodium chloride is like trans fat and sodium bicarbonate is like omega 3.
Patients with kidney disease and gout are prescribed a medical grade 100% sodium bicarbonate.
All of the foods you list, cheetos, doritos, ramen, mac and cheese – CLEARLY these are not the salts I’d be talking about in those foods!
I hope this makes more sense – I’m talking mineral salts, the types of salts naturally found in vegetables.
Oncology and you would rather them eat sugar??????????????
Sugar feeds cancer! Getting people off sodium chloride is a good thing, but that is not real salt. I have seen amazing results adding REAL salt to a person’s diet.
Do some reading on this subject you can help cancer patients a lot more when you are informed.
I know right!?
But I am becoming more and more aware that people in the healthcare profession are BLINDED by false information which is incredibly harmful to their health and their patients.
(But I am super aware that they are all coming from a meaningful place).
But please read up.
It’s the kind of salt your patients are getting that is bad. You do some research, and properly educate your peeps on food and they might not need you any more! Yikes! Very scary thought.
I am very happy with your food habit’s advise.
Thank you so much
Thank you so much for your generosity – for caring about the health of so many people you don’t even know. Thanks for this latest tips sheet – what a valuable tool this will be for so many including my husband and me!! God bless you.
Would also like to know if honey is a good or bad thing.? Know that it is acidic, but how different than sugar is it.
Keep up the good work
I have been making avocado,honey & unsweetened cocao,whip it up,its a delicious pudding,I put 2tbs. of it with the Fage plain 2% yogurt 4Tbs. What do you think about this ? Thanks,Nancy
Really helpful tips . The advice reinforces what i try to do. My own weak points are berries which i like although i have reduced my fruit intake. And wine ( I am trying to cut down). Then there are the other people : Sometimes i cook for a lot of grandchildren plus I have a very slim husband who likes a biscuit or slice of cake ( not a lot). Some of my super healthy attempts with chia seeds and stevia are not appreciated.
What are your views on honey, agave syrup etc. Thank you.
What about Agave Syrup and Stevia. I use both which is why I ask as I use it in my tea, baked goods and for sweetening purposes.
Good tips! I really need this. I was not aware how addicted to sugar I was until my husband started eating a sugar-free meal plan. I tried to join him and only eat naturally sugared foods like fruit, but I did not last very long. I thought I was going to go mad. Lol… I love eating veggies and whole organic foods, but I often follow up a plate of asparagus with an ice cream sandwhich. 🙁 …I can’t wait to try the coconut oil!
Thanks Ross ~
Would honey, molasses, agave be considered liquid sweeteners ? What do you think about these tips applied to quelling the cravings of alcohol ? Great and helpful articles.
Great suggestions and good article. I will send to my friends who still think sugar is harmless.
Along the same lines as Frankie’s question above, what about Stevia, Brown Rice sweeteners, and Agave?
Just read the whola article and was wondering (cause you mention liquid sugar as being really bad sugar) how bad is honey? Cause I make my own breakfast every morning and use a tablespoon of honey because I like the taste of it. Is that bad or is honey different?
Raw honey is a superfood and contains so many beneficial enzymes! That is the best kind of honey to get and use daily, you can find it on amazon. Normal honey is better than sugar though. When he says liquid sugar, I he meant the kind you get in drinks like coca cola.
Hope this was helpful 🙂
I am not entirely sure what raw honey is. Is it like cold extracted honey? (I am not sure if this is the right term in English).
Because I don’t use amazon, I really like to know and then I can find out where to buy it in Holland. 🙂
Frankie – I believe that “RAW” honey is the honey taken from the bees that has NOT BEEN PROCESSED in any way……no heat to kill the live enzymes. The culprit with most foods that reduces their nutritional quality is PROCESSING! Evidently LOCAL RAW honey is a bit better for us in that the enzymes in it are helpful to us for reducing allergic responses we might have to LOCAL IRRITANTS such as pollens, etc. But any RAW honey is better than a processed honey. However, I have taken to keeping a less expensive jar of processed honey in my cabinet that I use in my HOT TEA at night. I figured that the hot water would be killing any live enzymes anyway, and hopefully this saves a bit of $ and my stash of RAW honey lasts a bit longer. Now, that might be faulty thinking on my part, but it is what I do because my local, raw honey isn’t available as readily as processed honey at the grocery store. Hope this helps a little.