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drClaw's avatar

How do I get control of my sweet tooth?

Asked by drClaw (4437points) June 1st, 2009

I have cravings for sugar all the time, I have no idea how to control them beyond sheer will power and good habits. Even when I successfully control my sweet tooth for periods as long as 2 months at a time my cravings never seem to subside.

I’m hoping some diet or science experts can help me identify reasons why my sugar cravings never seem to lessen?

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20 Answers

wenn's avatar

self control

AstroChuck's avatar

Pull it out. That’ll show the little sonofabitch who’s in control.

hearkat's avatar

Drink some water with lemon or lime juice… chances are you’re actually thirsty, but your body gets the signals mixed up for some reason. It happens to me all the time.

rooeytoo's avatar

It is a huge problem for me too. I eat primarily healthy foods because I like them, but wow do I crave a coke or a sprite or a candy bar or anything full of sugar. Someone told me that the pancreas gets used to sugar hits and always wants more. I often wonder if it is mental, if I gave myself permission to eat all the sugar I wanted, maybe the “forbidden fruit” syndrome would not kick in??

I hope someone has a definitive answer for this one, cuz I sure don’t.

dalepetrie's avatar

Have you had your A1C tested for diabetes? I crave sweets all the time and am a type II diabetic…it’s hard to control, because I have what’s called insulin resistance, so the sugar never makes it to my muscles which is why I crave sugar all the time.

ru2bz46's avatar

Cravings are usually caused by the lack of something. A lack of iron may cause us to crave red meat or spinach. Sugar cravings are generally a need for soothing. When stressed (angry/upset, anything that causes us to get outside the flow), we tend to crave sweets. Even after we forget about the incident, which is often fairly minor, though it is enough to cause the emotion, our body remembers, and it wants succor.

drClaw's avatar

A1C, that’s scary, but I should probably check that if for no other reason but to remove it from my list of possible reasons. Thanks everyone for the helpful comments, if your comments weren’t helpful then thanks for the humor.

dalepetrie's avatar

Don’t be too scared, chances are it’s not “the big D” and even if it is, it’s very treatable with oral meds these days. It’s still serious, but not a death sentence.

Darwin's avatar

Actually, what helped me with my cravings for sweets and for alcohol was going on Zoloft. I went on it for depression and mood swings, but it also decreased cravings.

Sometimes you need to step back and see if you can figure out if there is a psychological factor to your cravings. Do you notice a pattern in when you want sweets? Could it be connected to a routine or a specific activity? Were you given sweets when you were a child to make you feel better about something so you associate sweets with improving how you feel? Do sugar-free sweets help as much as sugared sweets? If so then it is more likely a mental need than a physical one.

In any case, some people recommend displacement activities. Often a craving will go away after about 15 minutes if you have given yourself something to do, such as going for a walk.

jessnuss's avatar

i heard recently that sugar cravings are related to not getting enough protein. why don’t you monitor the level of your cravings and the amount of protein you are eating to see fit here is a correlation?

ahimsa16's avatar

The last response is closest to the mark. I could write a ton, but just know this…sugar is poison to your body. Ditch it. Go to Amazon and get a copy of “the food tree” by Dr. Ranveig Elvebakk. She’s a brilliant doctor I’ve been seeing for a few weeks and I’m down 12 lbs! It’s all about ditching sugar, upping protein and eating things low on the glycemic index.

After a few weeks, the cravings subside. Those insane cravings are proof that our bodies are literally “addicted” to sugar!

Kick the habit——by all means necessary!

ahimsa16's avatar

Her book will make you flip out and want to drop sugar immediately!!!! All sugar——that means all corn, wheat, flour, bread, tortillas, etc. It’s all metabolized as sugar and it’s ALL biochemically bad for us. No nutritional value is that stuff.

dalepetrie's avatar

@ahimsa16 – yes, but I’m not sure a life without hot, fresh, buttery bread could possibly be worth living!

Amurph's avatar

I have a serious sweet tooth sometimes, it seems to wax and wane throughout the year.

When I really need something sweet, I usually crave chocolate. Instead of going straight to the candy bar aisle I grab super-dark or rich chocolate and eat just a piece or two, and then wait a few moments. My usually goes away after that. Now I tend to avoid milk chocolate all together.

Another option that’s worked for me is getting fresh juices. I prefer apple / lemon (or orange) / ginger juice. It gets very sweet tasting and is super good for me, too! After going this route a few times I’ve noticed a huge improvement in my mood and physical comfort.

You need sugars in your diet – but there are healthy sugars from juices (and even some carbs), and you need these items in your body anyway (yes, even carbs). I still grab the occasional cookie and bag of M&Ms, but I never finish it / them in one sitting.

An important thing to remember is not to give up on trying, and if it’s difficult, well, that just means it’s worth it. Good luck!

rooeytoo's avatar

@ahimsa – I just ordered the book, it looks interesting. I think I eat enough protein but I’ll see what the book says

@drclaw – thanks for asking the question, I hope you got some ideas, I did!!!

Milladyret's avatar

Several of my friends has had good effect from taking Zink, ask a farmacist.

casheroo's avatar

@Milladyret what?

I’m no help. :( I have the worst sweet tooth. I just have to have self control…which isn’t always the easiest.

rooeytoo's avatar

@ahimsa16 – Just wanted to tell you, I have been on the Food Tree program now for about 4 weeks, I have lost a couple of kilos, painlessly I might add, and after the first week or so, the sugar cravings have truly diminished to almost nonexistent.

I have not completely given up on rice and potatoes but have cut back to once a week or so and have a can of coke when I have a long drive to make. One can doesn’t seem to reawaken the cravings though so I don’t fret about it.

I am amazed, I didn’t think it could happen. I also have a lot more energy and a sort of lift in my mental outlook. Guess it is true, you are what you eat!

Thanks for sharing.

drClaw's avatar

@rooeytoo Awesome news! I am glad to hear it’s working for you, in fact I am thinking about picking up a copy today.

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