Dealing with Sugar Cravings

“How do I stop the sugar cravings?” This is a question that we at Brook hear all the time. And we get it! Sugar is everywhere.

So, how can you improve your relationship with sugar? Check out our tips and take our quiz below to find out how to best deal with the sweet stuff in your daily routine.

Reduce Future Cravings – Avoid Blood Sugar Spikes and Crashes:
  • Get enough sleep. Lack of sleep causes sugar and refined carb cravings. The body wants quick energy to make up for feeling tired.

  • Build a balanced meal. A mix of protein, healthy fats, and complex carbs at a meal helps prevent blood sugar spikes, allowing for sustained energy without a crash later. Check out our Brook Healthy Plate for more info.

  • Eat regularly. Having small meals more often (5 small meals instead of 2 or 3 large ones) helps keep blood sugar in balance all day and has you snacking or eating BEFORE you’re overly hungry.

  • Avoid fake sweeteners. Studies show that diet drinks and products that contain artificial sweeteners can actually increase feelings of hunger and lead to overeating! What we once thought was a miracle product might be having the opposite effect than previously hoped.

Stop Current Cravings:
  • Have a handful of nuts and wait 15 minutes. Nuts may not be “what you want” to eat in the moment, but it really does help curb the craving.

  • Drink some hot or iced herbal tea. Certain teas, like hibiscus or cinnamon, taste sweet without containing sugar.

  • Try a glass of water and a walk. Sometimes when we feel hungry we are actually thirsty. If you still feel like you are having a craving after 20 minutes, try eating a balanced snack

Prevent Going Sugar Overboard: 

Which situation sounds more like you?

Situation A:
  • I can buy a carton of ice cream and have one scoop per week without craving more.

  • The idea of “never having chips again” scares me.

Situation B:
  • If it’s there, I have trouble not eating more ice cream than I planned to.

  • I don’t find myself craving chips as long as I don’t keep them in the house. Out of sight, out of mind!


If you said A, you are likely a Moderator.

If you said B, you are likely an Abstainer.

For Moderators:

You do best when you have the freedom to enjoy a small amount of a treat when you want it. Your strength is that you are able to savor a bit of dessert and then feel satisfied enough to put it down. It’s important to know this because moderators often feel deprived and therefore more likely to binge if they try to abstain from sweet completely.


  • Try creating a realistic goal for yourself, like “I will have a small sweet treat once per day.” Examples include a square of dark chocolate or a couple spoonfuls of ice cream or whipped cream with berries.

  • Only keep one type of treat in your home at a time. Having lots of options makes going overboard more likely.

  • Only order a dessert when you are out if others will share it with you.

For Abstainers:

You do best when you “just say no” to foods that are likely to trigger overeating. We are often told that “moderation is key,” but for you abstaining completely is often easier and less stressful. Out of sight, out of mind!


  • If you often share snacks or have items for everyone at work, bring in healthy items and ask your coworkers to do the same.

  • If you live with others, designate one drawer for their treats, and commit that this drawer simply does not contain food for you.

  • Have a grocery list and don’t shop hungry. Check if your store does curbside pickup for online orders if necessary.

Want some more tips and tricks for handling sugar cravings? Check in with us on your Brook app to chat and get personalized support.


Image of Brook Health Expert Kelsea
Reviewed by Kelsea Hoover, MS, RDN​

on June 10th, 2020. Kelsea is a Registered Dietitian with her Master's degree in Nutrition from Bastyr University in Kenmore, WA, and is one of our Health Coaches.