Sugar is a source of so much heartache and pain in our world, from weight gain to diabetes, acne to cancer.
As important as I believe it is to curb your sugar cravings – and end your sugar addiction if you have one – this article is absolutely NOT going to tell you to quit sugar.
Why? Quitting cold turkey doesn’t work. If you’ve tried this tactic before, you know what I’m talking about. And you’ve probably felt guilty about your inability to quit one of the most addictive substances on earth.
Quitting like that doesn’t last, and it’s not sustainable. There’s no need to feel guilty.
It never worked for me and that’s certainly NOT how I overcame my lifelong addiction to sugar. I was trapped in a vicious cycle. If you’ve been addicted to sugar, you know what I’m talking about.
One week I was devouring sugar, and the next week I was swearing off sugar.
Summoning that kind of will power is enough to get you motivated, but it’s not enough to keep it going. Deprivation never works.
Especially when you’re surrounded by it each and every day, both in tempting treats and in everyday foods you don’t even think of as sweet like salad dressings and store-bought bread. That’s why Americans eat DOUBLE or even TRIPLE the daily recommended limit of sugar 365 days a year.
And we wonder why it’s so hard to quit sugar!
But here’s the good news… It IS possible to overcome your sugar cravings. I did it, many of my patients here in my wellness clinic did it, and you can do it too.
The key to saying sayonara to sugar is to cut the desire for it off at the source.
When you no longer crave sugar in the first place, it’s easy to stop eating it without even missing it.
So how do you get to the root of the problem so you can kiss your sugar cravings goodbye? Here’s the 3-part strategy that works…
Part 1: Eat Craving-Fighting Foods
This is the #1 most important key to stopping your cravings.
When you crave sugar, or grains, bread, pasta, or any other carb, it is a sign that you have a mineral deficiency, especially magnesium.
Some foods encourage cravings, and some foods fight cravings. When you think of foods that encourage cravings, think greasy, salty, fatty foods like fast food and junk food.
When you think of foods that fight cravings, think foods that are high in minerals like:
- Dark, leafy greens like watercress, kale, and spinach
- Broccoli and cauliflower
- Brussels sprouts
- Red bell peppers
- Lentils and beans
- Chickpeas and hummus
- Almonds and macadamia nuts
In addition to the much-needed mineral magnesium, you are likely also deficient in the minerals chromium and zinc. Chromium regulates blood sugar and cholesterol levels, and helps to reduce sugar cravings. So chow down on broccoli, sweet potatoes, apples, and seeds like quinoa.
Zinc is abundant in whole grains, pumpkin seeds, and Brazil nuts. Zinc is needed for insulin and glucose utilization, and a deficiency can lead to sugar cravings.
Simply eating more of those foods is a huge start. When I got rid of sugar in my diet, I kick-started it by ADDING a great mineral supplement and a great greens supplement, and just by making that one change, my cravings dissipated very quickly (within weeks, and we’re talking about a life-long addiction here).
By the way, I’m not recommending magnesium tablets or capsules, as they don’t work well and can actually irritate your stomach. I recommend a mineral powder you add to water that contains your 4 most crucial alkaline minerals – magnesium, calcium, potassium, and sodium bicarbonate.
You definitely want to make sure the supplement you choose has both magnesium and calcium (at a ratio of 1:1) in order to prevent a deficiency in either mineral.
By ending your day with Acid-Kicking Minerals every night, you’re ensuring that you get plenty of high-quality magnesium, as well as the right balance of calcium, potassium, and sodium bicarbonate, all from quality sources unlike most other supplements – plus you’ll sleep better too.
You can also supplement foods rich in magnesium by taking Alkamind Acid-Kicking Greens. It has 5 full servings of mineral-rich vegetables in every scoop!
You’ll also want to eat plenty of healthy fats. This will help boost your metabolism, nourish the brain, keep your blood sugar stable, and reduce sugar cravings.
You can add coconut oil to your smoothies, dressings, sauces, soups, and stir-fries. Top salads or bowls with chia, flax seeds. And eat the occasional high-omega-3, low-mercury fish like wild salmon, mackerel, or anchovies.
Overall, go for about 10 servings daily of healthy fats. And don’t forget to supplement with a good quality fish oil supplement like our Alkamind Acid-Kicking Omega-3. It’s the ONLY fish oil on the planet with the ideal 2:1 ratio of EPA to DHA in a highly concentrated form. So you can take less and get more benefit from it.
Another quick tip to curb cravings with healthy foods is spice up your meals!
These spices will not only naturally sweeten your food, but also will help balance your blood sugar and reduce sugar cravings:
Part 2: Use Natural Sweeteners When Cravings Happen
This is the part of my sugar-busting strategy that makes it really easy. You don’t have to deprive yourself!
You can actually eat sweets whenever you want, even for breakfast. IF and only if you know how to do it.
And if you think I’m talking about putting Splenda in your baked goods or coffee drinks, think again! It might seem like it’s a good idea to replace sugar with alternatives, but artificial sweeteners are the #1 worst “food” you can eat on the planet!
And believe it or not, they’ll actually increase your craving for sweets. They fool the body into thinking it’s eating something sweet, so your insulin spikes, which makes your blood sugar plummet, leading to you craving sugar even more.
What I’m talking about is using a couple of natural sweeteners. I don’t recommend these choices, which I get asked about all the time:
- Agave – this might even be worse than high fructose corn syrup, because it is 80 to 90% fructose, the worst sugar of them all.
- Coconut nectar/coconut sugar – 40% fructose, so use this sparingly, if at all.
- Manuka honey – this is good if you have a scratchy throat or want to add to tea, but not on a regular basis.
- Maple syrup – also 40% fructose so I suggest if you want maple flavor you use ChocZero sugar free maple syrup, which has only 1 net carb.
- Molasses – this does have trace minerals, but it also has the same ratio of fructose and glucose that regular sugar has so again use sparingly.
Here’s what I recommend instead… First, natural stevia extract in the organic
liquid dropper. It’s 100 times sweeter than sugar, so a little goes a long way. We use an unbitterized form of stevia in our Acid-Kicking Coffee Alkalizer products and it’s delicious.
And second, lo han, otherwise known as monk fruit. It’s what we use in our Organic Daily Protein powder, Daily Greens, and Daily Minerals. It’s very sweet with no bitter taste, but has a zero glycemic index. It’s a little harder to find in stores, but worth it.
Here’s another quick tip… Do you crave sugar in the form of chocolate? Use 85% or higher dark chocolate to ease the cravings. It doesn’t actually contain much sugar and once your body has adjusted to an overall lower carbohydrate level, it will taste plenty sweet.
Part 3: Stay Hydrated and Satiated
The final part of the puzzle is not letting yourself get hungry or dehydrated, as that’s when sugar cravings are bound to strike.
Dehydration can mask itself as food cravings, and sugar cravings in particular. And it’s not just in your head – when you’re dehydrated, your liver can’t release glycogen, a necessary hormone for energy. As glycogen drops, it sends a signal to crave water and sugar.
So drink lots of water and herbal teas when you are wishing for a sweet beverage. Add a slice of lemon or lime to your water to improve the taste and make it more alkaline-forming. Your water has to be filtered, ideally with a pH of 8 to 9.5.
If you’re like most of us, cravings happen when your blood sugar falls to its lowest point, which is in between meals. These moments are most likely to happen:
- In the morning if you haven’t eaten any breakfast
- In mid-afternoon about halfway between lunch and dinner
- Late at night a few hours after eating dinner
So aim to eat 3 good meals per day, consisting of 80% mix of healthy fats (mentioned above) and dark green leafy veggies, cruciferous veggies, and sulfur-based veggies. 10-15% plant-based protein or fish protein, and 5-10% from vegetable carbohydrates.
By eating this way and starting your day off with a good breakfast (I love an alkaline smoothie or avocado with lime, sea salt, cumin, black pepper, and extra virgin olive oil), you’ll keep your blood sugar better regulated and prevent the crashes that lead to cravings. Plan ahead so you have:
- Something to eat within an hour of waking up
- A small snack or smoothie mid-morning in case you get hungry prior to lunch – this is when it’s a great idea to keep a stash of raw almonds or macadamia nuts at your desk. Avoid grazing but keep your blood sugar stable.
- A nourishing mid-afternoon snack with plenty of fiber, protein, and fat instead of sugar
Here are a few snack ideas:
- Sweet Pumpkin Breakfast Bars
- Avocado French Fries
- Alkaline Sesame Sweet Treats
- Spicy, Crunchy Moroccan Chickpeas
Our Acid-Kicking Omega-3 is the best quality supplement on the planet. It’s the ONLY one with the ideal 2:1 ratio of EPA to DHA in a highly concentrated form. So you can take less and get more benefit from it. Plus it’s heavy metal free and guaranteed for potency and freshness, so no fishy taste.
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GET OFF YOUR ACID!