Ask The Trainer #85 – Overcoming Sugar Cravings


My doctor says I need to lose weight.  To that end, I quit all alcohol and lost 10 lbs. fairly quickly.  However, now I have a ravenous appetite for sugar (any sweets).  Any tips on how to overcome specific cravings, especially sugar?



Hi, David! Great job on the weight loss so far. Giving up the alcohol was a great move. Certain types of carbohydrates will definitely cause you to crave more carbohydrates or sugar. Carbohydrates actually are sugars, starches, and fibers found in foods such as beans, milk products, cookies, and rice.

Carbohydrates break down into glucose, a sugar that fuels your body’s day-to-day functions. Some carbohydrates break down into glucose faster than others. Eating too many of these carbohydrates can lead to blood sugar instability—dips and spikes—which can cause short-term problems, such as mood swings and low energy. They can also lead to long-term problems, such as high body fat and type 2 diabetes.

Therefore, maintaining stable blood sugar levels will be the key to controlling those sugar cravings. 

A classification called the Glycemic Index ranks carbohydrates on a scale of 0 to 100 based on how fast and high they cause your blood sugar levels to rise in comparison with pure glucose.

Chad Shaw

Foods on the higher end of the scale—70 and higher—are foods that cause a high and rapid spike in your blood sugar. This makes you crave sugar.

Foods on the lower end are those that cause your blood sugar to increase less and at a more gradual pace. Examples of foods in the low 55 and under range are raw carrots, raw apples, kidney beans, green vegetables, and peaches. To keep your blood sugar levels stable, increase your intake of foods on the low end of the scale.

Be sure to limit your intake of foods that are in the 70+ range of the glycemic index. Examples are white rice, plain white bread, and watermelon. Foods such as cookies, candy, juices, soft drinks, ice cream, and cakes are the highest on the scale as they tend to be made with pure glucose or another fast sugar, such as high-fructose corn syrup.

Strictly limit your intake of these foods, and find foods sweetened with a sugar alternative whenever you can. Foods in the medium 56 to 69 range, such as bananas and sweet corn, are best eaten in moderation.

Also, getting several servings of protein during the day will help prevent your blood sugar levels from becoming unstable. Try to include a serving of quality protein within each of your main meals. You should also include a high protein snack or shake, such as EFX Sports whey or amino acids between your meals. This will help keep your blood sugar levels stable and maintain good energy throughout the day.

I wish you all the very best in achieving your goals! God bless!

Prove ‘Em Wrong,
Chad Shaw

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