How to Curb Sugar Cravings

by JJ Virgin on July 2, 2010

How to Curb Sugar Cravings
By JJ Virgin

It’s time for a reality check.  According to recent stats from the American Heart Association’s statement on Dietary Sugars and Cardiovascular Health, American’s sugar consumption has jumped 20% over the last 35 years. Most Americans consume a whopping 22 to 30 teaspoons a day, which translates to an extra 350 to 475 empty, worthless, fat-inducing calories per day. Just one regular soda consumed daily means an extra 30 pounds of sugar over the course of the year.

Here’s the problem: the hormone leptin signals your brain when you’ve had enough to eat, but over time, a high-fructose diet trains your brain to block those signals, causing you to overeat. It’s the ultimate Catch-22, because the more sugary foods you eat, the more you’ll crave and the more you’ll pack on the pounds.

The good news is that it’s totally possible to retrain your taste buds to appreciate spicy, savory foods and skip the sweets. I knew someone who swore she couldn’t live without Diet Coke and regularly downed a six-pack a day (don’t try this part at home!). After she went off Diet Coke for three months, she accidentally drank someone else’s soda and found herself revolted by the taste.

How can you break the vicious cycle of sweets?

Treat yourself to fresh berries for dessert, and add a little xylitol or stevia if you absolutely must have some sweetness. Skip the chocolate cake, the soda cans, and other sources of sugar. With time, you’ll stop craving sweets and will actually find them unpalatable should you decide to indulge. Once you flip that switch, you won’t be tempted to slide down the slippery slope back to Candy Land.

©2010 JJ Virgin & Associates, Inc. Celebrity nutrition and wellness expert JJVirgin is a media personality, in-demand public speaker and best-selling author of Six Weeks to Sleeveless and Sexy, The 5-Step Plan to Sleek, Strong and Sculpted Arms.  Get her biweekly LEANzine chock full of tips to get you slim and sexy fast at