Sugar cravings

In the beginning of Sept I went and had my blood work done and it was awesome. All my numbers were great. I started eating better and going to the gym more often and it all paid off. But for the last week or so I have been craving sugar in any form. And I must admit that I have been giving in to those cravings, I’ll even pop a few glucose tabs to give me that sugar fix. I’m a little embarrassed about it but was wondering if this is normal. I’m still going to the gym quite often but my eating habits have changed this last week. I have been eating more carbs and less veggies. Is this normal, do other people struggle with this? I want to eat healthily but lately I can’t seem to do it like I was before my labs. It is like I lost my motivation and having a hard time getting it back. Any info would be great.

I think as long as your bg doesn't go completely crazy and you don't go into a terrible carb binge it is ok to eat sugar etc. I wouldn't eliminate the veggies though, keep all of that good stuff too. I personally would just eat what you crave instead of glucose tabs, but that is just me! Always denying yourself could lead to a binge eventually for many people. Have you checked to see if you're taking too much insulin? Because low bg can cause those cravings too.

Thanks for the reply. I haven’t been running too low, no more than I normally would. At 161 right now.

Sugar and the sweet flavor are highly addicting. I think many of us struggle. Have you thought about working to satisfy your cravings using something that is not sweet? I always keep a bunch of snack foods around that work that way. Beef jerky, pickles, olives, cheese. Often I find that it isn't really sweet or sugar that I crave, but just something to eat or drink.

Sugar and carbs are both physically and psychologically/emotionally addictive. For some of us more than others. I hear you talking about "cravings" and feeling like you can't control it, and not being happy with the situation. This is not the same as the person who has an occasional treat. I haven't eaten sugar for 20 years and people ask me how I did that. I answer that 20 years isn't hard but 20 days was. That's because of the addictive quality.

If you are unable to control your cravings you might find that you need to totally cut out sugar and then the physical cravings will go away in about 30 days. Psychologically and emotionally you might have to dig deeper to find out how you are using the sugar. One thought I have is to wonder during the period of "eating better and going to the gym more often" if you weren't going to extremes and feeling deprived. It's easy to do that and get into what I call the "twinkie/granola syndrome" - doing really well for awhile "being good" then feeling deprived and "being bad". It isn't about good and bad it's about finding a balance. For me, I need to enjoy what I eat so I don't feel deprived. Even if it's a salad it will be a salad with about 12 yummy ingredients. I also balance my life by being sure I'm doing enough things that "nurture" me so I'm not looking to food (usually bad food) to fulfill non-food needs. Just some thoughts.

I loved surgery treats...but after more than 2 decades I just gave up on food, it's just not worth the trouble it gets me into. Not saying I would not eat a good piece of pie...just saying I can just as easily skip and watch my wife eat it. When my kids where little they ate all kinds of junk while I watched them enjoy it. You will eventually adapt to a new diet that works for you in spite of whats going on around you...I suspect your motivated to keep your BG in Check...

I crave sugar too. I never ate sugary things before diagnosis, but I reckon I miss the glucose hit you get with carbs. Sometimes it does not bother me, but other times it is intolerable. I don't keep carby or sweet foods at home or I would just tear into them and demolish everything in sight LOL

Hey John:

I completely empathize, and what you're going through is not abnormal. As others have stated, sugar is highly addictive in all its forms - from table sugar to fast acting carbs like bread and other starches. Research has shown it lights up the same areas of the brain as opiates and nicotine. The good thing, however, is that if you go cold turkey you can shake those cravings in several weeks. Not to say they won't reoccur every so often, as this seems to be the case in what you're describing. For example, I haven't eaten a slice of bread in almost three years, but I will absolutely have a Pavlovian response anytime I smell freshly baked breads or pastries.

I address my cravings in two ways: sugar substitutes and by not creating taboo foods. Under sugar substitutes I'll enjoy the occasional diet soda or diet sweetened iced tea, and I take my coffee with a couple of stevia drops every morning ( I'll also enjoy full fat, unsweetened yoghurt where I'll mix in some DaVinci sugar free syrup ( Sometimes my strongest cravings occur before bed, and there I'll address it with a cup of South African Rooibos tea with two drops of Stevia liquid ( I find this does a phenomenal job defusing my craving, and the tea helps me sleep.

Taboo foods are those you say you'll never eat again and eating them is "bad." By doing this I only set myself up for failure, and they will loom bigger and become more desirable the longer I deny them. So I enjoy them occasionally and carefully. Every so often I'll enjoy a slice of pizza and be reminded that it really doesn't taste as great as I thought it would. Ice cream is another one for me, but plain flavored premium brands (i.e., Haagen Dazs, Ben and Jerry's, etc.) actually have a very mild glycemic effect due to the high fat content and I can dose very accurately for them. If I pre-bolus by 15mins and measure out 100g (which is a pretty standard portion), I can cover it with 3 units of Humalog with little to no rise in BG. I've also found that Lindt dark or milk chocolate squares have a very mild effect on my BG if eaten in small portions. I would strongly recommend against trying to treat your cravings with glucose tabs, as they are designed to hit your bloodstream as quickly as possible.

Lastly, remember that this disease is a marathon, not a sprint. We all fall down once in a while and there is no sense in beating yourself up over it. Stand up, dust yourself off, move on and think how you might address it better next time around. In the long run, you'll be fine.

All the best!


Thanks everyone, I really appreciate the tips and I will use them. I is something I can over come. I have to make it a goal of mine and stay focused. I tend to travel a lot for my job and that makes it a little harder but I do have will power. Sometimes I come on here to help get some support and that is great feature of this site, one of many. Thanks for the responses.