How to Curb Sugar Cravings

Josh Bezoni- How to Curb Sugar Cravings

When sugar cravings hit, they can be nearly impossible to suppress. How many times have you tried to stick to a diet, only to be met with an an insatiable desire for something sweet, and found yourself scarfing down a Reese’s peanut butter cup you found in your child’s Halloween candy while they’re at school? If this sounds like you, you’re not alone.

Why we crave sugar

Depriving yourself of something makes you want it even more; this idea has been proven by scientists, but it’s also common sense. One of the main reasons people become addicted to sugar is because refined sugar depletes the body of chromium, magnesium, zinc, B vitamins, and manganese, leading to increased cravings. Another reason people crave sugar, Dr. Mark Hyman explains, is biochemical in nature. Sugar has an addictive quality; when you consume sugar, it impairs your dopamine receptors, causing you to build up a “tolerance,” to sugar, so to speak, and making you crave it more each time.

Why too much sugar is bad for you

The human body needs sugar to function; it regulates your blood sugar levels and is converted into energy that the body needs to survive. However, too much sugar is a bad thing. Natural sugar, glucose, can be found in many foods, such as fruit, but it is added sugar that you need to look out for, which serves no real purpose other than excess energy, and can be detrimental to your health. In addition to causing cavities and weight gain, a buildup of glucose in the pancreas causes a “sugar rush,” followed by a “sugar crash.” The brain responds to too much glucose by producing the chemical serotonin, which makes you tired, and the pancreas responds by producing insulin. Too much insulin will dull the hunger hormone, leptin, causing you to feel hungry and crave more sugar . Essentially, it tricks your body into thinking it’s hungry even if it’s not.

How to stop craving sugar

Although it can be very difficult to stop craving sugar, it is not impossible. The first thing you can do in transitioning to a low-sugar diet is to substitute other foods to satisfy your cravings. For instance, when you’re craving something sweet, reach for fruit instead, which contains healthy levels of natural glucose and can help combat deficiencies such as carbon, chromium, and sulfur linked with sugar cravings. Next, gradually remove all sugary foods from your house, or (if other household members are not adopting the same diet), make sure they’re stored in a place you will not be tempted to raid during the day.

Curbing your sugar cravings will take some hard work and dedication on your part, but your body will thank you for it, making it all worth it in the end!

Artificial Sweeteners Are Harmful

Here’s a frightening fact: a University of Texas-San Antonio study discovered that increased consumption of artificially sweetened diet soda can lead to obesity. According to Sharon Fowler, MPH, a faculty associate in clinical epidemiology, “on average, for each diet soft drink our participants drank per day, they were 65 percent more likely to become overweight during the next seven to eight years and 41 percent more likely to become obese.”

The harsh reality that for a long time the chemical sweetener industry did not want you to know is that artificial sweeteners like Splenda, NutraSweet, Sunette, and Sweet ‘N Low may have serious health consequences, one of them being that they can cause you to gain weight despite the fact that they are marketed as food products that can help you lose weight.

Artificial sweeteners can lead you to gain weight in a variety of ways. For example, the consumption of artificial sweeteners can prompt you to just eat more. A study published in the International Journal of Obesity documents how when researchers fed a liquid sweetened with real sugar to one group of rats and then fed a liquid mixed with artificial sweeteners to another group, the rats that consumed the artificial sweetener ate more. One of the reasons why it is believed that artificial sweeteners ironically lead you to eat more is because they act as a kind of short circuit in your brain, thus preventing your body from sensing how much it has eaten, so you just keep eating. It is also thought that when people consume diet products like Splenda, for example, you feel subconsciously entitled to overeat. The mentality is simple, “I’m already being good by not consuming real sugar, let me have one more cookie.” No! This is not true! You will not only gain weight, but you are potentially harming your body.

Here’s the breakdown: Splenda contains sucralose, NutraSweet has aspartame, Sunette is all about acesulfame K, and Sweet ‘N Low is saccharin. So far, the Center For Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) included aspartame, saccharin, and acesulfame K in their “avoid” list of food additives due to the health risks associated with these artificial sweeteners that have been unveiled over time. Just to give you an idea, aspartame (NutraSweet) has been linked to tumors. Sucralose (Splenda) contains chlorine atoms, and yes that is the same chemical used to kill microorganisms in swimming pools! These chlorine atoms can kill off the gut flora lining your intestines, which is obviously not good for you at all.

So if artificial sweeteners are not a good alternative and sugar isn’t either, what is? My recommendation: zero or low-calorie sweeteners like Truvia, Z-Sweet, and Sun Crystals. These sweeteners are made with natural sources like erythritol and stevia. Erythritol is an all-natural product, with zero calories, no glycemic impact, it’s found in many fruits and vegetables, and most importantly it’s recognized as safe by the FDA. Sun Crystals are a mixture of erythritol and raw cane sugar, so not zero-calorie, but it will still be a lower calorie intake than real sugar. And Truvia is a mix between erythritol and stevia, which is a natural sweetener derived from a leaf. Stevia is also sold in products like PureVia and SweetLeaf.


Regardless of whether you are consuming healthy natural sweeteners or sugar, the most important thing to keep in mind is to use them with caution. Train your body and your brain that is doesn’t need too many sweets in order to be satisfied.


11 Beverages You Should Stop Drinking, Now


Labels can be tricky, often intentionally. If people really understood what ingredients and how much were going into their food, they would probably think twice before consuming. That’s why it’s so important to educate yourself about how to read a food label, what your daily intake should be, and how these ingredients effect your body, metabolism, and mood.

Here are 11 beverages I’ve already vetted for you. If you’re ready to be healthy and achieve/maintain a healthy weight, it’s time to stop drinking these beverages right now.

  1. Vitamin Water. On the label it says it has 13 grams (g) of sugar, BUT there are 2.5 servings per container. That means this little 20 oz. bottle of “water” comes with 32g of sugar.
  2. Welch’s 100% Grape Juice. The label says there is no added sugar but 8 oz. contains a whopping 39g of sugar. Even worse, it’s fructose, which is a kind of sugar that is more easily converted into belly fat.
  3. Coca Cola. The second ingredient in Coca Cola is high fructose corn syrup. Just 8 oz. has 27g of sugar. Of course this isn’t just Coke. All soft drinks contain about the same. It’s time to put down the plastic cup and pick up some fresh water.
  4. Amp Energy Elevate. The labels says it contains 29g of sugar per 8 oz. That means when you pick up a 16 oz. can you’re actually getting nearly 60g of sugar.
  5. Sobe Cranberry Grapefruit. This Sobe drink has 26g of sugar per 8 oz.. With 2.5 servings per bottle, you’re getting over 60g of sugar in one drink. That’s 15 teaspoons! Would you sit and scoop 15 spoonfuls of sugar into your coffee in the morning and then drink it? I hope not!
  6. Rockstar Energy Drink. Each can of Rockstar Energy Drink contains 62g of sugar. Enough said.
  7. Gatorade. Some might be surprised but this one, but Gatorade contains high fructose corn syrup as its second ingredient. That’s hardly what any athlete needs to replenish.
  8. Tropicana’s Cranberry Juice. This “juice” contains high fructose corn syrup and 32g of sugar per 8 fluid ounces.
  9. Starbucks Doubleshot Energy plus Coffee. At two servings per container, this “coffee” drink contains 28g of sugar.
  10. Jose Cuervo Margarita Mix. This mixer is loaded with high fructose corn syrup. Plus, the average margarita is 400 calories.

It might seem tough at first to cut out your favorite energy drink or juice beverage at first, but once you break the addiction to the sugar and caffeine, you’ll actually find that you have more energy, better overall health, and you’ll spend less time feeling the “crash” after all that sugar and caffein wears off.

Fighting Belly Fat: Beverages

Spoonful of Sugar
Sugar is often the culprit that makes beverages the enemy of a flat belly.

Many of us struggle with weight loss, particularly when it comes to the tricky belly area.  In his piece, 37 Foods that Fight Belly Fat, fitness professional and Belly Fat Free author Josh Bezoni discusses some of the foods that may help promote fat burning and prevent weight gain.  This series highlights some of the salient points from the 37 Foods report, and this installment deals specifically with the beverages that can both hinder and help fat burning.

Beverages to Avoid

  • Sugary Sports Drinks: This is one category of beverages to generally steer clear of.  These types of drinks can be a wolf in sheep’s clothing because they are often associated with exercise.  Unfortunately, drinking them can undo the progress you might make with your workout because of their high sugar content. If you’re working out, make sure to replace those sports drinks with plenty of water and nutrient-rich foods.
  • Soda: This probably isn’t news to anyone at this point, but most of the most popular sodas contain high levels of high-fructose corn syrup, which is arguably the “worst carb” EVER.
  • Energy Drinks: Energy drinks can be a common pitfall for those trying to burn fat because they can provide an easy jolt of energy for a late-night workout or after a long day of work.  Again, these are often loaded with sugar, and the caffeine content may lead to a “crash” shortly after, leaving you reaching for more sugar for a pick up.

Belly-Flattening Beverages

  • Water: This is an easy one.  No one working on losing weight can go wrong by replacing sugary beverages with pure and clean water.  Athletes will benefit by making sure they are regularly hydrated.  If plain water doesn’t strike your fancy, feel free to add a twist of lime or lemon or a small splash of fruit juice to liven it up.
  • Unsweetened, Caffeine-Free Teas: Naturally flavorful and containing zero calories, herbal teas are a great way to add delicious beverages into your day without bulging your belly.

These are just a few tips on how to choose the best beverages to support your health and body transformation goals.  Check out the full piece for more information on belly-flattening foods, sources, and continued reading.

The information provided on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging. You should not use the information on this site for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem or for prescription of any medication or other treatment. Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem. You should not stop taking any medication without first consulting your physician.