Intermittent fasting is a great weight loss tool. But if fasting sugar cravings hold you back from completing your fast, then you’ll never experience the health benefits and fat loss that comes with intermittent fasting.
The good news is there are easy ways to crush cravings for sugary foods. That way, you can complete your fast with ease.
If you crave sweets while fasting, keep reading to learn how to stop craving sugar while fasting so you get results!
How Intermittent Fasting Effects Sugar Cravings
If you’re just getting started with an IF routine, then craving sugar while intermittent fasting is common. After decades of three squares per day, plus snacks, your body gets used to being in a constantly fed state.
Once you start an intermittent fasting routine (where you suddenly go a long time without eating), your well-fed body gets confused and cravings kick in. In fact, cravings are a mechanism your body uses to keep you safe.
The good news is a long term fasting routine can help break a sugar addiction. Once you learn how to ditch food cravings while fasting, then fasting for a longer period gets easier. Eventually your hormones heal, and sugar cravings become a thing of the past.
While healing hormones to regulate appetite is a great side effect of intermittent fasting, please understand this takes time.
That means when first starting intermittent fasting, you may experience more sugar cravings during the fasting window. Eventually leptin levels should normalize, which leads to a decrease in hunger and less sugar cravings.
Why Am I Craving Sweets?
While a strong desire to eat is natural when adapting to a new fasting routine, you may notice carb cravings are especially out of control.
Craving sugary sweets and other carbs is common since carbohydrates are the easiest macronutrient to break down. Sweet foods and simple carbohydrates give your body a quick energy boost. Whenever your body panics from a lack of food, it demands a quick fuel source so you don’t die.
Now we both understand that most people in the modern world aren’t at risk of starvation. But your primitive body that’s still pretending it’s the year 10,000 BC never got the memo. Since you’re built with the safety mechanism of not starving, your body sends signals in the form of cravings, until you eventually give in.
Poor Digestion Leads to Cravings
Another reason you could experience fasting sugar cravings is your body may not have the ability to break down what you eat. If that’s the case, then you’ll never feel satiated enough to make it through a longer fasting window.
Having the capability to digest what you eat is more important than most people realize. This is especially true if you pair intermittent fasting with keto. Whenever you go from eating mostly carbs to a diet filled with healthy fats and protein, digestion plays a huge role in how you feel, as well as what you crave.
The good news is intermittent fasting can help improve digestion. That’s because going longer periods without eating gives your body a break from digesting food. However, if constant sugar cravings are a problem, it’s imperative to work with your body to improve digestion.
Since this blog is focused on how to stop food cravings when fasting, you can enroll in the free digestion course to learn more.
Improving digestion was the number one thing I did to ditch yo-yo diets for good. I recommend the course if constant dieting has become a way of life for you as well.
How to Stop Craving Sugar While Intermittent Fasting
If you want to establish an effective intermittent fasting routine, it’s important to learn how to stop sugar cravings. After all, willpower only works so long before physiology takes over and you find yourself face first in a bag of Doritos.
Here’s a list of 10 tricks you can use to stop fasting sugar cravings. Combine any or all of these tips together into a routine that works for you.
Keep in mind, adding too many new habits at the same time is a recipe for disaster. Start wherever seems to be the biggest struggle with YOUR fasting sugar cravings. Then, work your way through the list until your fasting sweet tooth is a thing of the past.
Follow A Clean Fast
If you’re unsure if you fast clean or dirty, ask yourself this question: Do I consume anything with calories or a sweet taste during my fasting period? If you answer yes, then you’re a dirty, dirty girl (or boy).
Even though some experts recommend things like diet soda, a splash of cream, or even bone broth during the fasting window, please understand this makes sticking to a fast more difficult.
Fasting gets harder whenever the digestion process starts. And it doesn’t take much for your body to prepare for food, since even chewing gets digestion into action. Therefore anything with calories or a sweet taste results in an insulin spike.
Small cheats while fasting can also lead to intense sugar cravings. Your body will cry out for the quick energy fix you promised when you had something sweet to hold you over during the fast.
In order to keep fasting easy and avoid a blood sugar spike, stick to the following clean fasting rules:
- Avoid anything with a sweet taste, including drinks with artificial sweeteners
- Drink only black coffee – skip coffee creamer until it’s time to eat
- Don’t eat anything with calories (beyond black coffee and some teas)
- Don’t chew gum while fasting
Sticking to these rules may take a little getting used to, but they’re the easiest way to help you quit the vicious cycle of non-stop food cravings while fasting.
Unless you’ve worked your way into dry fasting, which is only recommended for experienced fasters, it’s important to stay hydrated during a fast.
Surely you’ve heard that thirst can disguise itself like hunger, or in the form of cravings. That’s also true while fasting.
In fact, this study shows 62% of people responded inappropriately to hunger and thirst cues. That means a whole lot of excess sugar intake when water could have done the trick.
When it comes to hydration, water isn’t the only important factor. Part of staying hydrated is keeping electrolytes in check. This is especially true when you pair a low carb diet with intermittent fasting.
A great trick to help with hydration while fasting is adding a pinch of sea salt under your tongue whenever a craving strikes. This can help balance electrolytes, which may resolve sugar cravings quickly.
Break Your Fast the Right Way
Even though some people view intermittent fasting as a way to eat less calories due to a smaller eating window, that’s not really where the magic lies.
Fasting works because it balances hormones. But how do you think your hormones will respond to white bread toast, pancakes with maple syrup, or a glass of fruit juice as soon as you break your fast? Not well.
Just like you should never eat a piece of cake for breakfast, eating a lot of sugar in any form first thing will send your blood sugar levels on an all day rollercoaster. And even though some health experts tout these low fat foods as healthy diet staples, they’re all turned straight into sugar as soon as they hit your bloodstream.
An early morning meal with low protein intake is bad news bears when it comes to food choices for the rest of the day. The same thing goes when it comes to getting enough fat first thing. Eating sugar-filled foods early in the day leads to eating too much sugar the rest of the day.
Healthy fats and satiating protein are the healthy foods you should start your day with, whether you’re fasting or not. When you break your fast with the appropriate foods, you’ll have far less sugar cravings throughout the day.
Eat Whole Foods
Once it’s time to break your fast, focus on eating real food that’s packed with nutrients. You also need to be sure to eat enough whole foods in order to fuel yourself during your fasted state.
Nutritional deficiencies are among the top reasons for cravings. When your body doesn’t get the nutrients it needs to function, it responds by crying out for more food until it gets what it needs. Only, most people mistake these cries for help as an excuse to eat more sugar.
When you focus on getting the right nutrients from whole foods, this leads to less fasting sugar cravings. Of course, you also need the ability to break down meals – so don’t forget to learn how to improve digestion of fats and protein.
While getting enough fats and proteins helps with less sugar cravings, don’t forget to eat more nutrient dense veggies too. And while whole fruits and whole grains can help some people, these foods could lead to weight gain for others – especially those with insulin resistance.
Figure out which foods work for your body, and then focus on meal plans using those foods. While a ketogenic diet is a great weight loss tool, it’s not always the best thing for everyone.
Ditch Added Sugar During Your Eating Window
Just because you spend a few extra hours in a fasted state, that’s not an excuse to eat anything you want once you break your fast. In fact, excess sugar consumption is another big reason for sugar cravings while fasting.
Whenever you eat foods filled with sugar, you end up on a blood sugar rollercoaster for the rest of the day. Consuming too much sugar can lead to a sugar crash, which leads to unstable blood glucose levels. Before you know it, low blood sugar sets in and your body is screaming for more sweet foods.
The mood swings, low energy levels, and other side effects that result from this eating pattern aren’t worth the momentary sweet hit you get. Therefore it’s a good idea to decrease the amount of sugar you eat to make sugar cravings while fasting disappear.
Quit Artificial Sweeteners
We already talked about ditching artificial sweeteners during the fasting window for less sugar cravings while fasting. It’s also a good idea to use less sweeteners like stevia or monk fruit sparingly, even while eating.
Did you know the artificial sweet stuff is between 200 – 13,000 times sweeter than natural sugar?
With so much added sweetness, tricking your taste buds with artificially sweetened foods is a surefire way to crave even more sweet foods. Plus, studies have shown artificial sweeteners lead to weight gain in obese individuals, and are more likely to result in metabolic syndrome.
Not only that, but artificial sweeteners can cause a spike in insulin that takes longer to go down. This is because your body expects something sweet to arrive. When there’s no release of sugar, it keeps insulin levels high until the sugar you promised arrives.
Longer insulin spikes means your body is in fat storing mode. Thus, artificial sweeteners can keep you storing fat for a longer period of time.
When you’re back on this constant rollercoaster of insulin spikes and crashes during your eating window, this can spill over into more sugar cravings during the fasting window.
Nothing causes a sugar craving quite like stress. While this is true in the fed state, it’s even more true while fasting.
That’s because intermittent fasting is a hormetic stressor. While some stress is required in order for positive changes, too much stress can lead to an unwanted cortisol spike.
When cortisol goes up, your ability to burn fat goes down. Plus, sugar cravings kick into high gear.
Sugar cravings happen while you’re stressed because your body’s natural reaction is to release another hormone called serotonin. This hormone is your body’s way of trying to be more calm and relaxed in order to help cortisol come down. Eating sugar helps your body raise serotonin.
Improve Sleep Quality
If you have a difficult time falling asleep, or staying asleep, this is something you need to work on if you want to kick sugar cravings while fasting to the curb.
No matter which form of fasting you follow, it won’t help if you’re not getting the sleep your body requires. And I’m talking about both the quality and quantity of sleep here.
Not getting proper rest puts your body in a stressed out state. Since you just learned it’s vital to keep stress at bay in order to keep cravings away, it’s important to do everything you can to get better sleep.
If sleeping is an issue, do your research to learn effective ways to get more ZZZs. Since improving digestion can go a long way towards helping insomnia, that free digestion course is a great place to start.
Work Up to Longer Fasts
Even though you hear about people fasting for 24 hours or more in the fasting groups, that doesn’t mean that approach is right for you. Treat fasting like a muscle you need to train. Just as it takes time and practice to build large muscles, working up to a longer fasting routine takes time too.
Jumping into long fasts your body isn’t ready for can throw sugar cravings into high gear. And you’ll over stress your body to boot.
Plus, when you’re panicked and your body is screaming for food, you probably won’t make the right choices. This whole process leads to overeating sugar, which leads to more fasting sugar cravings.
Remember – more is not always better when it comes to fasting. Start low and slow, and then work up to a shorter eating window only as you feel ready.
Fasting and Cravings: The Wrap Up
The first step when it comes to conquering sugar cravings while fasting is to figure out what’s leading to YOUR sugar cravings.
Is it a digestive system that could use some work, are you fasting for a long period before you’re ready, or maybe you’re eating too low calorie during your eating window.
Figure out what’s leading to your fasting sugar cravings and start there. You can then incorporate any of the other tips over time as you feel ready to step up your routine.
Make Weight Loss Easy
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Register for the course now. In less than 60 minutes, you’ll learn the only way I was able to lose 100 pounds and keep it off! Our Ready, Set, Keto method has since helped hundreds of other women finally lose weight with a lifestyle they love.
Fasting Sugar Cravings