Q: I know how to satisfy a tingling sweet tooth without a cupcake binge, but is it possible to prevent sugar cravings before they happen?
A: Look, you’re never going to get to a place where you’ll be able to prevent sugar cravings all day every day. (I mean, what are you going to do, delete Instagram to avoid all mentions of Black Tap milkshakes?)
But there are plenty of simple ways to curb cravings so that they happen less often and aren’t nearly as overwhelming.
Ready to battle your brownie urges? Try these tactics.
4 Ways to Prevent Sugar Cravings
- Eat more. Yes, that’s what I said. If you’re dieting and feel deprived, sugar cravings may creep in. Calories are the only path to real energy, so eat them consistently, in the form of nutritious, whole foods.
- Cut salt. I know, we’re talking sweet, not salty, but the two are even more linked than you thought. Super salty foods like restaurant meals and processed, packaged foods make you crave cheesecake and creme brulee. Tame the salt intake; tame the sugar craving.
- Focus on protein. When your meals are all carbs (pasta party?), your body sucks up the starch and then wants sugar for fast energy. Protein (with a little bit of healthy fat and some fiber) will make you feel full, instead. And a satisfied eater doesn’t want for an eclair.
- Check your magnesium. A deficiency of this important mineral has been linked to sugar cravings. Eat a diet filled with magnesium-rich food like spinach, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. If that’s not enough, you may need to supplement.
Just think: if you can curb the cravings, you’ll be able to enjoy sugary treats as conscious indulgences when it’s worth it—rather than constantly fighting the urge.