5 Ways To Stop Sugar Cravings Before They Start, Says Dietitian – Eat This, Not That

No, there is no magic pill to stop your sugar cravings. However, sugar cravings are easier to manage when you know what’s causing them in the first place, according to Lisa Moskovitz, RD, CEO and author of The Core 3 Healthy Eating Plan and member of our advice from medical experts.

“While sometimes a sugar craving is a sign that your body needs more energy and carbohydrates, it can also be brought on by stress and strong emotions,” says Moskovitz. “That said, the first step to managing sugar cravings is to learn more about the why behind them.”

Here are Moskovitz’s recommended methods for eliminating a sugar craving before it takes over. Afterwards, for even more wholesome advice, check out our list of 9 healthy eating habits to live for a century.


“Journaling can be an effective modality for exploring why you make certain food choices and whether you’re missing something in your diet that may be triggering strong food cravings,” says Moskovitz. “If you can identify the cause, or even if you can’t, it can still be difficult to turn it off.”

Once you’re aware of certain triggers (like not getting enough of these satiating macronutrients, like protein and healthy fats), it may be easier to modify your meals to help. long term sugar cravings.

“For this reason, finding alternatives to satisfy a sweet tooth can help prevent excessive consumption of added sugar,” says Moskovitz. “Examples include fresh or dried fruit, salted nuts, light ice cream, low-sugar chocolate, chocolate-covered fruit or nuts, and high-fiber cereal or crisps.”

sporty man drinking water outdoors on sunny summer day

If you’ve seen a health guru tell you to Drink water in order to suppress your cravings…well, they’re not completely wrong. A study published in Physiology and behavior found that hydration status alters the desire for food. While study participants ate similar amounts of food, their food cravings changed when properly hydrated. The researchers also found that water can help with feelings of fullness, which helps manage longer-term sugar cravings.

eat healthy liver

Yes-your blood sugar and your food cravings are definitely related. Data published in Nutrients in 2020 concluded that those who followed a low-carb diet (which would not cause massive spikes and drops in blood sugar) had a greater reduction in sugar cravings. A healthier diet rich in protein, fiber and healthy fats will help control blood sugar spikeswhich in turn helps reduce sugar cravings during low blood sugar levels.

eat dessert

It may seem counter-intuitive, but if you’re really looking to stop a craving in its tracksmany dietitians would say that simply eating a serving of the food you crave will help you feel full, instead of trying to satisfy the craving with a healthier alternative.

“Some people can take the path of complete sugar avoidance. While it might work for some, it can backfire for others,” Moskovitz says. “In that case, opting for the real deal might be the only way to satisfy your craving so you can move on. As long as your sweet treat isn’t replacing other nutritious foods in your diet, it’s perfectly healthy to eat. ‘incorporate desserts or anything else.’ having a sweet taste in your diet. Having that after-dinner dessert to look forward to can often be a useful habit for regularly consuming a more balanced and nutritious diet.

RELATED: The #1 Best Berry for High Blood Sugar

grilled dessert

Another tip for eliminate a sugar craving is to pair that sweet treat with something nutritious and filling.

If you notice that allowing any type of added sugar tends to lead to more sugar cravings, combine what you crave with nutritious, filling foods., says Moskovitz. “For example, instead of just eating chocolate or just eating an apple, combine the two. Instead of just opting for ice cream or nuts, top your ice cream with fiber-rich almonds or nuts and in protein.”

Kiersten Hickman

Kiersten Hickman is a freelance journalist specializing in health and nutrition. Read more

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