woman trying to fight sugar food cravings with a salad

How to Fight Sugar Food Cravings

June 17, 2019

Many of us get sugar food cravings now and again, but regularly turning to sweet stuff isn't good for you. Whether it's munching on pastries or tucking in to chocolate in the evening, relying on sugar is a vicious cycle. The more you have, the more you want. Most of us would like to cut down our sugar intake but it can be difficult to fight sugar foods cravings.

However, there are some little things that can help you. Try these tips to fight sugar food cravings and reduce your sugar intake.

Ways to Fight Sugar Food Cravings

Looking to curb your sugar intake? Fight sugar food cravings with these practical tips. 

1.  Eat Plenty of Fibre

Fibre makes your body fill up quicker during meals, and keeps you feeling full for longer. Replace refined sugars with fruit and switch white bread for whole wheat choices. Add extra vegetables to your meals every day too.

2.  Sleep at least eight hours each night

Make sure you're getting a decent night's sleep. Not getting enough sleep may make you crave sugary foods and drain your energy during the day, making you burn fewer calories.

3. Eat several small meals a day

Opt for breakfast, lunch, dinner and two snacks rather than three big meals. Don’t skip any meals during the day. Skipping meals may cause you to overeat at your next meal. Your body compensates for the skipped meal earlier in the day.

4. Snack on finger foods between meals and avoid foods that are high in carbohydrates

Sugar causes mood swings and quick changes to your energy level. Your energy levels peak after eating a high carbohydrate meal, but dips shortly afterwards, leaving you hungry before your next mealtime. Try carrot and celery sticks as a healthy snack.

5. Avoid eating when you are angry or emotional

It can be so easy to reach for the biccies or head to the fridge when you're angry or emotional. But it's best to find other ways to relieve stress such as going for a walk or attending a yoga class.

6. Participate in regular exercise or play a sport that you love

This will get you over that ‘couldn’t be bothered’ attitude. Your body produces endorphins when you exercise, releasing serotonin, the feel-good hormone, into your bloodstream. These hormones also inhibit food cravings and burn extra calories throughout the day, making it easier to compensate for a mistake when you slip into a food craving.

Sugar alternatives

Another way to fight sugar food cravings is by switching sugar for a healthier substitute. Sugar raises your blood sugar quickly, leading to the inevitable ‘sugar highs’ followed by a crash. So what are the alternatives?

Xylitol is an unrefined plant sweetener with a very low glycemic load and can be used in cooking and baking.

Coconut palm sugar is as sweet as sugar with the same amount of calories, but raises blood sugar more gently. It also contains B vitamins and minerals.

Stevia is a herb that is much sweeter than sugar, with insignificant calories.

Maple syrup is delicious and sweet, with just over half the calories of sugar. It is made from the sap of maple trees and contains small amounts of vitamins and minerals.

Honey has fewer calories than sugar but is almost as sweet. It is often antibiotic, especially raw local honey.

Blackstrap molasses is a by-product of sugar refining. It’s very high in iron and has fewer calories than sugar. However, its sweetness is due to the same molecules as sugar.

Fruit concentrates are lower in calories than sugar and raise the blood sugar more gently. You can get fruit concentrates as liquids or spreads, often organically grown.

Fructose is marketed as a natural alternative to sugar, but it’s actually manufactured from industrial glucose. It has the same amount of calories as sugar, but does raise blood sugar very slowly.

Please note, this blog is for informational purposes only and should not replace medical advice.

It’s always best to consult your doctor before taking any new supplements, treatments or remedies if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or on medication.

Checked and updated: 3 September 2021