It may seem impossible to keep your sugar cravings under control, but it turns out there are methods to control that sweet tooth. You’ll often see sugar cravings in women over men, in those with a health issue that’s increasing the cravings, or those that don’t have enough sleep or energy. It’s also so easy to access with our grocery store shelves being stocked with easy-to-grab sweet treats that are much quicker than preparing a healthy snack. If you want to keep the sugar cravings at bay, take a look at the “why” behind cravings and methods to control this going forward.

Who craves sugar the most?

It’s believed that it’s more common for women to crave sweets more so than men but it’s actually been studied and found that this does happen because women experience the hormone estradiol. While you can’t avoid nature and the fact that women are likely to have sugar cravings during their period or menopause from this hormone related to reproductive function, understanding this ahead of time will help you to better prepare for these cravings.

In addition to women experiencing that time of the month or the time around menopause, you’ll also find sugar cravings in unhealthy people that are experiencing underactive thyroid issues, adrenal fatigue, yeast infections, and having the gut bacteria imbalanced.  If you’ve been sluggish or stressed, you’ll similarly be more likely to want more sweets. The good news is that a healthy diet can combat most of these issues and get your body functioning normal again.

Methods for controlling cravings

There are a few tried and true methods for controlling your sugar cravings. The first is to avoid processed foods all together in order to get the sugar out of your life and start teaching your body to stop craving them. When you do eat processed foods, your brain learns that you are getting a food reward and it’s going to want more. When you give it sugar, it’s going to crave more just like it would with a drug or alcohol addiction. Since processed foods are full of sugar, it’s best to cut them out complete while you retrain your body.

Another method is to increase your fermented foods and probiotics in your diet. When you add more probiotics and fermented foods, you’ll be able to reduce the sugar cravings. Foods like pickles, miso soup, sauerkraut, live cultured yogurt, and Kefir are great sources of these fermented foods that will help to restore your body’s healthy gut bacteria. Having bad gut bacteria will influence your cravings with the nerves between your brain and stomach. Choose fermented foods, liquids, or probiotics in your diet or through supplements to control the sugar cravings.

Lastly, try a visualization exercise in which you pretend that the thing you are craving has had salt poured all over it. Since people tend to dislike overly salted items, pretending that slice of pie has had salt poured all over it will turn off your cravings. This trick is called the salty sweet visualization exercise.

When you feel like your sugar cravings are out of control, using these methods to regain control is essential. Keeping your blood sugar stable, your gut bacteria balanced, and your diet in check will be the biggest tools at your disposal for keeping sugar cravings at bay. Make sure you are getting enough sleep, exercising, and avoiding processed foods in order to avoid sugar cravings from sluggishness or because your brain is craving more reward-foods.