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How to stop sugar cravings

Sugar cravings are part of life for many people with diabetes. But what do you do to try and stop them? That was the question posed on Diabetic South Africans, and the advice was so helpful we had to share some of it here.


“Berries are natural sugar so it satisfies my sweet tooth! I find that as long as I have fruit in moderation then I don’t crave sweets… So much healthier to eat fruit.” Teresa B

“I bake strawberries for 30 minutes in the oven, and when I crave sugar I just eat one.” Sarah M

“Try some 90% dark chocolate. It’s so strong (and not sweet) but it might help wean you off.” Michael M

“Here’s a dirty trick but it requires discipline. I buy Oros. Mix a glass. Take a sip or a mouthful. Swig it around and then spit it out. Oddly satisfying without breaking the rules. But really requires discipline. Don’t swallow.” Maanda M


“Drink a half bottle of cool water and find something to do that’ll take your mind off it, or get into your garden!” Veronica E

“I’ve found that many of my cravings are tied to emotional eating. If I’m feeling like I need to eat something, I try to unpack what I’m feeling first. Am I reacting to something? Am I trying to swallow a feeling? This has helped me to cut down on comfort eating.” Steff H

Diet adjustments

“I found that once my sugar levels were stable, that all my cravings stopped. I am a Chef and a huge chocoholic and have not touched sweet stuff, since following a low GI diet from my Nutritionist.” Kerry-lea D

“Your body is craving more vegetables and protein. Stay away from sweet foods. Satisfaction will come from healthy portions of meat/fish and cooked veg.” Lynn A

“Will take around 2 weeks before the addiction stops. Same with carbs. Sometimes called Carb Flu… Just be strong, you won’t regret it.” Gaynor M

Cold turkey

“There’s a little invisible pill called ‘cold turkey’. Unfortunately the only thing that will stop cravings is to stop feeding them. Every bit of sugar you take when you’re craving only maintains the cravings.” Michael M

“You have to break your sugar addiction by simply stopping to eat it. It’s an addiction just like cigarettes or drugs. Stop buying the foods you are not allowed so there is no temptation in the house. But for the rest it is pure discipline and will power. You absolutely can do it and you will feel fantastic for it. Good luck!” Sarah T

“Yes agree, JUST STOP there is no other way. #coldturkey. The minute you put any sugar in your mouth you will want more. I even cut xylitol because it was making me want sweet stuff.” Jenny J

Do you have any advice or tips about sugar cravings to share?

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Sweet Life is a registered NPO/PBO (220-984) with a single goal: to improve diabetes in South Africa. We are funded by sponsorships and donations from aligned companies and organisations who believe in our work. We only share information that we believe benefits our community. While some of this information is linked to specific brands, it is not an official endorsement of that brand. We believe in empowering people with diabetes to make the best decisions they can, to live a healthy, happy life with diabetes.