Last week on the TT Facebook page a friend cried out for help to overcome her sugar binges…so I came up with 5 tips, but more importantly, we had over 33 amazing TT readers give their secrets on saying “Goodbye to Sugar Cravings”.
I know that you’ll get a lot of fat burning ideas from these secrets…
First, let’s start with my simple suggestions:
1) Choose fruit in place of sweets and processed foods.
2) Keep the sweets out of the house.
This is really the #1 diet secret – if its not in your house, you simply can’t eat it. Do your best to keep the junk out. Also, do NOT live in a Gingerbread house.
3) Put in routines…
…to replace sweets binging (i.e. go for a walk instead, chew sugar-free gum, brush your teeth, etc.).
4) Change your mindset…
…so that you are no longer… “the kind the person that binges on sweets”. Read the book, “Psycho-Cybernetics” for more details on making a permanent change in your mindset and behaviors.
5) Get out of “fat gaining” situations as quickly as possible.
Don’t put yourself in situations where temptation will be too great for your willpower. Cut your losses. Don’t feel bad about trashing junk food (it is “junk” after all).
If you really, truly want to lose fat, you won’t let others make you feel guilty for your decisions. Surround yourself with positive people. Get rid of the toxic ones in your life.
Whew, that last one was pretty heavy…so let’s see what the TT readers suggested as well…
Noel J. said to just take it, “One day/ one meal at a time”.
(I think that’s a great idea, and don’t get too worried if you make a mistake…don’t beat yourself up and just get right back on track.)
Jonny S. said, “Also make the effort to find healthy dessert recipes..protein pancakes, flapjacks etc.. Just takes a little effort and preparation!!”
Christine H. said, “No diet drinks: they trigger sugar cravings.”
Linda U. made a suggestion I’d never heard before, “L-Glutamine is wonderful for cravings – open up a 500 mg cap – hold under tongue. – From Julia Ross – The Diet Cure.”
Check out www.EatStopEat.com for more info on fasting. It’s a Turbulence Training-approved partner-program for fat loss.
Matt L. said, “one thing that works well for people I work with is to add prunes (or dried plums as they call them in the market) to their diet. They have that sweet taste but are low GI and high fiber.”
Stephen T. said, “5 days straight on a low GI eating plan. Sugar just doesn’t feel right after that.”
Another great Turbulence Training-approved partner nutrition program is from Isabel De Los Rios – The Diet Solution Program. Isabel shows you how to eat whole, natural food for fat loss.
Natasha P. said, “learn moderation in your sweet choices. If you are going to have something make a conscious decision and pick carefully and take the time to appreciate it fully.”
Tony K. said, “I have a book on macrobiotics and it says that the more animal meat you eat, the more you crave sweets. I thought that was bull when I read it, but I went without animal protein for a couple of days and it was true (for me, anyway). I guess they could give it a shot.”
Rachiel C. said, “Deal with the emotional issues that are causing you to crave sugar. Almost everything we do has an emotional cause or root.”
Ryan McK. said, “One trick that works is brush your teeth or chew gum after you eat, there have been studies that say the reason we want dessert after we eat is to get rid of the flavor in our mouths. And the harder choice is just avoiding situations and habits that trigger bad eating.”
(I think that is great advice from Ryan – I know it works for me.)
Luis B. said, “Mindset is everything and simple strategies work. My wife’s grandma used to have a sticker in the fridge that said:”nothing tastes as good as thin feels”.
Theresa L. said, “I read the packages and try to make myself aware of the sugars in what I eat. I bought a food scale and have begun writing EVERYTHING down that I put in my mouth. I have also enlisted a workout friend who is doing the same thing and we are accountable to one another now!! I try to not let myself get ravenous. I keep almonds in my purse for a snack if needed. I also use stevia in the raw for my coffee or tea. I think avoiding sugar begets the constant craving for it!”
(Look at how awesome Tabitha looks! =>)
Annamaria R. said, “When you feel you cannot hold it back any more tell yourself that you will eat it, only with some delay, a bit later, the a bit later, then tomorrow. Try to keep putting off eating sweets for longer and longer periods. They are not enemy, only you don’t need them :)”
Sheila D. said, “Try adding or sprinkling cinnamon on to your food. It gradually releases glucose to the bloodstream.”
Mehul P. said, “Meditation has helped me start to undo some of the patterns I have embedded into my mind and body over the span of my life. It’s taught me that it’s OK to enjoy the cookie, but not to crave it. It’s the craving that leads to imbalance.”
Rae McG. said, “It’s kind of like making any kind of change…when you’re reaching for that chocolate in the candy bowl, you have to tell yourself, “If I don’t change this habit right here, right now, then I’m never going to change.” All of the above suggestions are great, but ultimately you have to look within yourself as to “why” you’re doing it, and it’s time to make a change by not doing it anymore. Ask yourself (Do I REALLY need this? What will this do for me? What will I gain from this?)”
(Great advice Rae, that’s how you make LIFE-long changes. Same with Holly’s tip here…)
Holly B. said, “I encourage gum chewing, brushing teeth and encourage moderation instead of deprivation – one cheat day per week. This keeps my clients from the small “cheats” that would ordinarily happen throughout their program. It’s all done in one day and then they can get back to business without feeling like they’ve totally blew their program. It really works!”
Carolyn J. said, “Eating a nice, juicy apple (usually!) works for me. Also sugar-free gum, or just letting myself get distracted – and away from the temptation. Brushing my teeth at night after my last meal really does the trick to stop wanting to nosh!”
Ryan N. said, “Green tea with stevia or a small touch of agave nectar (low glycemic index sweetener). I’ve been drinking a ton of green tea (get decaf for for subsequent cups) to curb carb cravings.”
Tara S. said, “When I gave up dairy and gluten my desire for sweets declined dramatically. Additionally the amount of it I could eat declined.”
Debbie R. said, “Take vitamin B, vitamin C, chromium and zinc. You can also take amino L-glutamine to help curb sugar cravings too! You also have to learn how to trick your taste buds. If you increase the amount of oil in your diet just slightly and also decrease white carbs ( flour,potatoes) you will lose your cravings for sweets within 10 to 12 days. Vinegar will also decrease your sweet tooth as well. Sprinkle a bit of apple cider vinegar on your salads, and you will tend to eat less sugar. One of the best appetite suppressants is mint which is why chewing gum or brushing your teeth works so well!”
Dori W. said, “I have a horrible sweet tooth and this works for me when I am jonesing for sugar. Sounds strange but I pop a menthol cough drop. Something about the menthol cuts my cravings long enough to get myself out of the state of mind that tells me I should jump in a vat of chocolate.”
And finally, Andrea W. – our friend who asked for help in the first place – said, “Everyone, thank you all for the comments and thank you Craig for getting this going for me! I will definitely take and think on at least some of these! I think also not drinking a lot of water some days really contributes!”
I hope that gives you a lot of tips on cutting out excess sugar from your diet over the holidays, so that you continue to burn fat and get lean.
I also want you to “Be loud and proud of the healthy changes you are making in your life”.
There are many more folks secretly wishing someone will take charge and be a healthy role model for them. It might not happen overnight, but if you continue to lead by healthy example – without preaching or being condescending – you can build an entourage of social support and people who want to be healthy like you.
Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
Author, Turbulence Training for Fat Loss
PS – The top 3 fat loss, sugar-busting nutrition programs that…
…I have partnered with and recommend are:
I promise each of these will help you – you just need to find the one that best suits your personality and lifestyle.
If you have any questions for these experts, please let me know and I’ll ask them! Thank you!