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Get excited about nutrition, and learn as you go with these information-packed resources on a wide variety of nutrition-centric topics! Our bistroMD experts review the importance of the macronutrients protein, fat, and carbohydrates, as well as how to make them work most efficiently for you.

How to Stop Your Sugar Addiction

With sugar so deeply embedded into the food supply and displaying addictive properties, there really is no surprise cravings towards it continue to intensify. But with these tips and tricks, defeat your sweet teeth and overcome that pesky sugar addiction once and for all!

How to Stop Your Sugar Addiction

The American Heart Association (AHA) proposes males should consume no more than 38 grams of added sugar per day while women are limited to 25 grams. The AHA also estimates Americans consume an astonishing average of 80 grams per day, making it apparent the U.S is not abiding to the recommendations, or maybe not even realizing it at all.

How to Stop Sugar Addictions

Give in A Little
The desire for a sweet treat can be magnified if firm restrictions are set into place, subsequently increasing the likelihood of a binge in the near future. Rather than completely placing sugar off-limits, give in a little and practice quality over quantity. For instance, sensibly enjoy a small slice of homemade chocolate cake over mindlessly eating a large candy bar on the way home from the grocery store.

Know Your Limits
Although it is okay to give in a little, knowing your limits can not be stressed enough. If a specific trigger food completely pushes you towards a downward spiral, limiting the size or keeping it out of your kitchen may be in your best interest. So if a trip to the freezer for a small scoop of ice cream turns into consuming the entire pint, purchase an individual size or keep it out altogether as necessary.

Distract Yourself
Cravings are largely fed into once a temptation overbears any other stimuli. Overcome a sugar craving by distracting the mind from the desired food, including heading away from the kitchen and traveling towards another direction, along with turning on music, taking a walk, calling a friend, or reading a book.

Keep Well-Rested
Sleep can play a large impact on cravings, as an inadequate night's rest tends to heighten cravings for sugary and fat-laden foods. Keeping well-rested can in turn lessen the desire for such foods, along with sufficient energy to tackle a workout instead of heading towards the pantry. Obtain the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep each night by implementing a regular sleep schedule, turning off electronics, and building a dark, comfortable environment conducive to relaxation.

Control Emotions
Primarily known as "emotional eating," cravings tend to surface and become fueled by emotions. But rather than letting reactions dictate food preferences, squash those temptations by controlling emotions. Health experts encourage regular exercise and activity to release endorphins, also known as that "feel good" hormone, to naturally boost the mood and lessen the risk of emotional eating in the kitchen.

Go Natural
Instead of feeding that sweet tooth with candies and pastries filled with refined sugars, opt for a naturally sweetened piece of fruit. Starting to wean off sugary products can start lessening its appeal, primarily in hopes to lessen its convincing invitation. In addition to enjoying a piece of fruit, beat food and sugar cravings with these foods.

Acquire Social Support
Find strength in numbers by acquiring social support, as doing so is valuable in triumphing obstacles, including when trying to overcome sugar addiction. Whether entrusting in a personal connection or seeking out professional guidance from a counselor or dietitian, feeling supported is essential in both physical and psychological health.

Sydney Lappe's Photo
Written By Sydney Lappe, MS, RDN. Published on October 05, 2017. Updated on April 26, 2019.


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