How to Stop Carb and Sugar Cravings for Good

Dear Carbs,

I thought you were sweet, but you’re a tricky SOB. 

You’re hard to say no to, but I’m one step ahead of you this time.

We need to make some serious changes to our relationship.


My New-And-Improved Self

Breaking up with carbs can be tough, but so are you. With this guide on hand, you’ll be able to wave goodbye to the vicious cycle of carb and sugar cravings for good. 

The breakup takes two steps: 

  1. Outsmart sugary carbs and their tricks.
  2. Take 4 action steps to keep carb cravings from controlling your dietary decisions.

To begin, let’s look at the truth about carbs and stop sugar-coating their effects on our bodies.

Step One: Outsmart Sugar and Carbs

Carbohydrates are one of the essential macronutrients that our bodies need daily to thrive—like protein and fat. 

If carbs are critical to our health, why do they get such a bad rep? 

The answer lies in a crucial distinction between two types of carbs: Simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates.

Understanding the difference between simple and complex carbs is your key to outsmarting those cravings.

Skip The Simple Carbs

Simple carbs are made from very short sugar molecule chains. Your body converts these sugar molecules into glucose, which it uses for energy. Shorter chains of molecules are quick and easy to digest. Simple carbs often cause a spike in blood glucose with a short burst of energy before an energy crash.

Some simple carbohydrates are present in whole foods, like milk and fruit. But many of our most nutritionally-empty foods, like white bread, pasta, cake, candy, and soda, are packed with simple carbs.

As you’ll learn later, carbs don’t do well alone on stage. They need a whole team of backup singers and a band of other nutrients (like protein and fiber) to perform well. Packaged and processed foods are typically packed with simple carbs but offer no nutritional value—a double whammy to our blood sugar levels, weight, energy levels, and overall health. 

Create Room for Complex Carbs

Complex carbohydrates, on the other hand, are made of longer sugar molecule chains. Longer chains take longer to digest, providing you with lasting energy. 

Complex carbs are found in whole foods that tend to be highly nutritious. Think brown rice, oats, wild rice, and spelt. Veggies, legumes, and nuts also provide complex carbohydrates alongside many important minerals, vitamins, and nutrients. 

So, when you’re writing that breakup letter to carbs, make sure you send it to the simple ones that never gave you any nutritional value. 

Now that you’ve outsmarted carbs, let’s take action with four simple lifestyle switches to stop carb and sugar cravings in their tracks. 

Step Two: Cut Down Carb and Sugar Cravings

Simple carbs are largely to blame for those nagging carb and sugar cravings.

Consuming sugary foods releases our “feel-good” hormone—serotonin. Our bodies quickly associate specific food with feeling good, so eating sugary carbs can actually make you want more and more.

Cutting sugary carbs doesn’t mean you have to wave your “feel-good” hormone goodbye. Guess what else boosts serotonin? Going for a run, having sex with your partner, meditating, and eating healthy food like salmon, nuts, seeds, turkey, eggs, and pineapple!

So, ditch sugar and simple carbs and move on with these four action steps—you’ll feel happier and healthier in no time. 

Don’t start your morning with lots of carbs

Starting the day with carbs can trigger carb cravings for the remainder of the day. Munching on muffins, bagels, granola, and sugary beverages first thing is like rolling out of bed and straight onto a rollercoaster for your blood sugar levels. 

So, bin that high-carb breakfast. Try intermittent fasting and skip breakfast altogether. Or eat a high-protein breakfast like a veggie omelet, hard-boiled eggs, or one of my favorite low-carb protein shakes.

Stop snacking and grazing

Eating a bunch of small meals a day was one of the first “dietary guidelines” I had to ditch when I found out my cholesterol was through the roof. I learned how to eat more like a lioness, and less like livestock, and my health is so much better for it.

Snacking and grazing is setting you back in your health and weight loss goals. Instead of grazing throughout the day, aim for 3 satiating meals within an 8-12 hour window. 

Avoid eating carbs by themselves

You already know the difference between good carbs and bad carbs, but even the good guys have certain criteria if they’re going to benefit our bodies. When you do eat carbs, keep them on a team—they don’t perform well on their own.

Always pair high-carb food with protein, fats, and fiber. (Think peanut butter with your apple, chicken with your rice, and eggs with your toast). You can also improve your blood sugar response to carbs by eating a few bites of protein, fiber, or fat first before crunching on those complex carbs. 

Optimize your magnesium levels

Magnesium is a mineral with incredible health benefits that is critical for our bodies. Nearly 80% of Americans are magnesium deficient, so unless you’re one of the few, you’re missing this magnificent mineral too. 

People with low magnesium levels tend to crave more carbs and sugars. Make sure to test your levels (ask your doctor for a total serum magnesium test) before you take a supplement. If your levels are below 6.5-7 mg/dL, a magnesium supplement could be beneficial. 

Take Back Control Over Your Health

Carbs aren’t the enemy, but some are certainly not your friends. Outsmarting carbs and sugars and making these four simple lifestyle switches can help you kick bad carbs to the curb.

Health tips aren’t helpful unless they work for real people living real lives. That’s why LEAN has helped thousands of everyday people make long-lasting changes, feel healthier, and lose weight. Want to get real results too? Join the next LEAN session today.

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