Do you find it hard to stop eating candy once you start? Many people are able to eat well if they stick to a strict and regimented plan, but if tempted by a forbidden food, eat way too much and find it difficult to stop. It is completely fine to indulge in your favorite treats occasionally. It’s a problem if one cheat day lasts a whole week or month. It’s important to know how to stop the treats and get back to a healthy diet.

The problem is, sugar and high carb foods can be addictive, and once you’ve started eating them again it can feel impossible to stop. This is a common problem among our patients; they feel like they can’t get back on track because each day an intense craving leads them to sabotage their efforts, and then they have to start all over again the next day.

If you’re feeling out of control with sugar and carb cravings, there are ways to make coming off them easier:

  • Make sure you get enough sleep. This is actually the most important strategy in getting hunger and cravings under control. If you don’t sleep well or get adequate sleep, you are far more prone to make emotional rather than rational decisions when it comes to eating. Lack of sleep also raises the hunger hormones in your body, so you will genuinely feel hungrier. So rather than getting out of bed at 5 am to exercise, you are better off staying in bed and getting more sleep. Exercise is important, but not at the expense of good quality sleep. If your sleep quality is not good enough; you may want to try a magnesium supplement. It can help you achieve a deeper sleep. People who have difficulties falling asleep usually improve with a melatonin supplement.
  • Get organized. Make a plan and stick to it. People who plan their meals ahead of time are more likely to stick to eating healthy foods. Impulsive decisions often lead to unhealthy meals and snacks that ruin your diet plans. There is a six-week eating plan in my syndrome X book that is flexible and full of variety, so you should not get bored with the foods.
  • Get some exercise. It doesn’t have to be structured exercise or lengthy exercise. Just as long as you aren’t sitting on your backside all day. You may like to take your dog for a walk, or take a walk with your partner after lunch on the weekends. Some people enjoy a yoga class, while others prefer dancing lessons. Find some kind of movement that you enjoy and that doesn’t feel like a chore. Exercise isn’t only about burning calories. It promotes your brain to produce feel-good chemicals called endorphins. People who exercise regularly are more likely to handle stress better, feel calmer, and more optimistic. Those characteristics make it easier to stick to a healthy diet.
  • Just eat real food. You don’t need to count calories, weigh, or measure your foods. Just eat natural, unprocessed foods and trust your appetite. No animal in the wild has the ability to count calories; they just eat when they are hungry and stop when they’re satisfied, and are able to maintain a healthy weight. Factory foods such as corn chips, pretzels, cookies and candy are specifically engineered to make you eat in an out of control manner, feeling like you can’t stop once you’ve started. If you are prone to binge eating or have a food addiction, it’s critical to stay away from those foods. Whereas if you cook your own meals from healthy basic ingredients, you are far more likely to achieve natural appetite control without the struggle.
  • Have a plan in place for battling cravings. You will get cravings. Expect them. You need to have a plan in place for what you’ll do when a craving hits. One of the best ways to reduce the risk of getting cravings in the first place is to stabilize your blood sugar level. Chromium, gymnema and bitter melon are all excellent for achieving this. These ingredients are found in Glicemic Balance capsules and work best if you take one capsule with each meal. It is also critical to eat adequate protein and healthy fats. They keep you feeling full and make it less likely you’ll overeat or binge on junk food between meals. Healthy sources of fat include coconut oil, avocados, olive oil, macadamia nut oil, pastured butter or ghee, cacao butter, oily fish, and raw nuts and seeds. Healthy sources of protein include poultry, eggs, seafood, and red meat (preferably pastured). Whey protein powder is also an excellent source of protein. You can use it to make delicious smoothies that are filling and convenient. It makes an excellent drink when cravings strike. Some people sip on water with some fresh lemon juice squeezed into it to help overcome cravings. Consuming a sour tasting drink can squash a sugar craving well.

No matter how far you’ve wandered off the healthy eating track, you can get back to feeling well and feeling good about yourself again.

The above statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease.