Most of us understand why sugar is so enticing. It gives the body a very powerful and predictable experience of pleasure. It tastes good, it can feel good, it can give us energy, it can boost our mood, and it can remind us that life really is worth living.

But by now, most of us have also heard that sugar is highly challenging for the body. Despite its short term benefits, the near term and long term drawbacks are clear: It can make us groggy. It can impact our mood. It spikes our blood sugar and wreaks havoc on our pancreas, eventually contributing significantly to diabetes. And it makes it difficult to lose weight, maintain immune strength, and feel vibrant.

If you find yourself challenged by sugar cravings, it’s time to take a deeper look at your relationship with the sweet stuff.

Here are 5 ways to break your ties with sugar:

1. Eat More Healthy Protein.

One way to prime your body to crave less sugar is to eat more healthy protein. Eating protein at each meal and at snack time slows your digestion, stabilizing your blood sugar and insulin to help you eliminate cravings throughout the day. Consuming more quality protein is a great strategy to help curb the desire for sweets. This means fish, high quality meats, nuts and seeds, organic protein powders, high quality diary and others.

2. Eat More Healthy Fat.

The thought of eating more dietary fat goes against the grain for many of us trained in the school of thought that “fat causes fat.” But new research disproves this theory. It’s time to get current with how the body works. Researchers have found that sugar is a main culprit in increasing body fat, while healthy dietary fat actually helps keep us trim and lean. Eating high quality fats at meals helps satiate you and therefore prevents cravings for less quality foods throughout the day. So consider consuming more healthy fats along with those clean proteins.

Food sources include cold-water fish, such as salmon or herring, as well as vegetarian choices such as flax, walnut, hemp, pumpkin seed, coconut and olive oils.

3. Drink Bone Broth (or a Mineral Rich Vegetable Broth, If You Are a Vegetarian).

Another great way to curb sugar cravings is to drink a broth.

No, not the type of broths found in a can or made from a bouillon cube. The kind of broth that can reduce sugar cravings is made from simmering high quality ingredients for hours on the stove until you have extracted all their nutrient-dense goodness. Let’s look at the benefits:

Bone broth or nutrient-rich vegetable broth can balance blood sugar and improve digestion, immune health, bone and joint pain, autoimmune conditions and leaky gut, just to name a few. It’s rich in microminerals, macrominerals and other nutrients which can positively impact blood sugar levels. Generally, broth helps as a digestive aid. By boosting our digestion we may find bone broth to be another powerful tool in our arsenal to curb sugar cravings. Not only do you get the benefit of reduced cravings, but also get the great nutrition found in the broth.

4. Create More Pleasure in Your Life.

Once you’ve addressed your food intake and increased healthy fats and proteins – and perhaps given bone broth or vegetable broth a try – you may need to dig deeper to fully address your emotional attachment to sugar.

Here at the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, we view our relationship with food as an opportunity to grow. As the fields of Dynamic Eating Psychology and Mind Body Nutrition teach us, our food choices and eating behaviors are often windows into the deeper desires and unmet needs in our lives.

If you have a hard time letting go of sugar, you may be using it as a symbolic substitute for something that’s missing. Perhaps sugar is the sweetness you crave or need – human touch, fun, lightness or pleasure. Look at your days as a whole. Do you have moments of joy? Do you have fun with friends? Light moments with your loved ones or pets? Periods of time when you let go of worries or insecurities?

It is important to address your nutritional needs, but also consider that deep down, your consumption of sugar represents a bigger type of life craving. Focus on ways to create more pleasure in your life to release the need to use sweets as a crutch. It may be scary to consider that perhaps you’re resisting deeper desires, but allow yourself time to let your needs unfold and you may find yourself feeling more energy and peace.

5. Enjoy “Non-Sugar” Rewards.

Sometimes we turn to sugar to reward ourselves for a job well done, to distract ourselves at work, to find relief from a stressful situation or to soothe a broken heart. These are just a few examples of how we might use sugar as a reward.

Instead, consider “non-sugar” rewards as a way to treat or soothe yourself. Here are examples of non-sugar rewards:

  • A gentle walk
  • A manicure or pedicure
  • A movie with a friend
  • A candle-lit warm bath
  • Reading on the porch on a warm summer night
  • A cup of tea with a loved one
  • Spending time with the family pet
  • Or anything that YOU enjoy!

Here at The Institute for the Psychology of Eating, we advocate addressing cravings on both a metabolic and emotional level for the best chances of breaking your ties to sugar. In the process of letting go of a sugar habit, you just might find yourself feeling even more pleasure in your life than you ever thought possible!

Warm Regards,

The Institute for the Psychology of Eating
© Institute For The Psychology of Eating, All Rights Reserved, 2014


The Slow Down Diet: Eating for Pleasure, Energy, and Weight Loss

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P.S. If you haven’t had a chance to check out our FREE information-packed video series, The Dynamic Eating Psychology Breakthrough, you can sign up for it HERE. It’s a great way to get a better sense of the work we do here at the Institute for the Psychology of Eating. If you’re inspired by this work and want to learn about how you can become certified as an Eating Psychology Coach, please go HERE to learn more. And if you’re interested in working on your own personal relationship with food, check out our breakthrough 8-week program designed for the public, Transform Your Relationship with Food, HERE.

  • Stella Chiu

    Hi Emily
    I don’t have sugar craving but i do enjoy piece of cake or pie once in a while. I concur the information in the post. I also add to my meal with more beans and nut which contain complex carbohydrates. They require longer time for body to convert into sugar. The continued release of sugar in the body will help the reduction of my craving (may be)for sugar .
    Have a nice week end. – Stella

  • Thanks for sharing, Stella! I’m so glad you liked the video. 🙂 Warmly, Emily

  • rose-Moraine

    Very interesting! like the idea of bone broth, did not know to link it to sugar cravings. I found that sometimes the body send us confused signals so when having sweets cravings I would first go and drink a glass of water then most of the time the craving will subside.

    • Thank you, Rose-Moraine! Glad that you were able to learn another method to help with sugar cravings. Warmly, Emily 🙂

About The Author
Emily Rosen

Emily Rosen is the Director of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, where she oversees business development strategies, student affairs, marketing and public relations in addition to her role as Senior Teacher. With an extensive and varied background in nutritional science, counseling, natural foods, the culinary arts, conscious sex education, mind body practices, business management and marketing, Emily brings a unique skill-set to her role at the Institute. She has also been a long-term director and administrator for Weight Loss Camps and Programs serving teens and adults and has held the position of Executive Chef at various retreat centers. Her passion for health and transformation has provided her the opportunity to teach, counsel, manage, and be at the forefront of the new wave of professionals who are changing the way we understand the science and psychology of eating and sexuality. Emily is also co -founder of the Institute for Conscious Sexuality and Relationship.