Sugar Cravings – what can I do?

Craving sugar is something many people experience on a regular basis. When you ‘crave sugar’ often what you’re craving is refined sugars. The more we eat of these foods, the more we crave them.

They happen to be the foods that many people cite as their weaknesses: pizza, crisps, chocolate, pasta, chips and cake. Not only do these foods contain sugar, they also have a lot of added fats and tend to be high calorie and highly processed with additives and preservatives. Cravings for these foods can have as much to do with the additives and preservatives as with the sugar.

These kinds of foods used to be rare and not eaten that frequently, however now we can get hold of them in abundance and it has been normalised to eat them every day.


What Effect do These Foods have on Blood Sugar? 
Any food that we eat is broken down in the gut, the carbohydrate from foods are broken down into glucose and absorbed into our blood. This is the term commonly known as ‘blood sugar’, and it’s this process that gives us energy. When we eat the foods described above, they are broken down easily by the body and enter the bloodstream very quickly (known as fast releasing carbs). Our blood sugar (insulin) shoots up and then drops rapidly which causes an imbalance (and low energy). We can help to balance our blood sugar by eating complex carbohydrates found in foods such as peas, beans, whole grains, and vegetables and by eating protein with each meal (including snacks). These foods are broken down and absorbed into the bloodstream much more slowly (known as slow releasing carbs). This allows our blood sugar (and energy levels) to stay balanced.

In some respects, depending upon what we have got going on in our lives, hormonally or stress wise, craving high energy foods can be somewhat normal (my female readers may relate to this around the time of their period). In other cases it’s because you are eating too many of the fast releasing foods and then crave them.

The native: my energy is low, I must need sugar….hand reaches for chocolate or biscuits maybe even a coffee as well. Does this cycle sound familiar?

Either way the script needs to change about what we should eat when we get these cravings.

You can beat sugar cravings with the right guidance and eating the right foods. To further help, here’s some other tips which will help along the way.

Lack of good quality sleep can manifest itself over time as a form of stress, which only compounds all your other life stresses. When you’re sleep deprived and under a lot of stress, you’ll be more impulsive, specifically around those tasty sugary foods that are easy to overeat.

From the evolutionary perspective being impulsive in times of high stress was good for escaping life threatening situations (fight or flight). That same impulsivity doesn’t help much with the biscuits in the cupboard at 9pm though. Try to get 7-8 hours of sleep every night, and make sure you have some stress management strategies in place to use when stressful times appear.


By eating enough protein you will stay fuller for longer. This is relevant for every meal. In my experience people tend to under eat protein for breakfast and lunch and it can have a knock on effect for the rest of the day. I don’t mean start eating lots of meat throughout the day. Think about plant proteins and how you can increase these perhaps.


Mindset & Evil Carbs
Lastly, changing the mindset about carbohydrates has to be the most useful thing. Eating a well-balanced diet, and not being too restrictive with foods is the key. Carbohydrates are not ‘bad’, and they won’t make you automatically put on weight unless you eat them in excess.

Heavily restricting carbs for a long time can make you crave them and sugar even more. If you enjoy carbohydrates and want to eat them while losing body fat you can absolutely do so – you just need to eat the right kinds.

If you’re tired of feeling frustrated and being lead down the wrong path about your own nutrition, and how to sustainably lose fat and feel your best get in touch with me. We can have a no obligation chat about your goals and how I can help you.