A number of people find it nearly impossible to overcome their cravings for sweets, even if ordered to do so for medical or dietary reasons. The sheer pleasure of eating sugar-laden treats and desserts can be very difficult to ignore, especially for those who have a sweet tooth: a natural affinity for candies and other sweets. Fortunately, it is possible to reduce or even eliminate these cravings for sweets, but a great deal of personal denial and sacrifice may be required.
Cravings for sweets often start in the earliest days of childhood, when form many children, candy and other sugary treats were more regularly available. Pre-sweetened breakfast cereals, ice cream treats, birthday cakes, and puddings are often a memorable part of a young child's diet. Overcoming these innate cravings for sweets as an adult may require an emotional separation from those childhood memories of unregulated sugar intake. One way to overcome sugar cravings is to realize you are an adult and have an obligation to eat healthier now. Consider those sweets and candies to be a part of a treasured past, but not part of your current adult diet.
Another way to curb your cravings for sweets is to wean yourself off sugary products slowly. Instead of buying soft drinks sweetened with sugar or high fructose corn syrup, substitute diet versions when available. Modern sugar-free colas and other beverages do not have the chemistry set taste of saccharine or other older sugar substitutes. Once your taste buds have adjusted to the lower sweetness level of a diet beverage, it becomes much easier to ratchet down to completely sweetener-free juices and pure drinking water.
The same philosophy holds true for sweet treats such as brownies or cookies. Instead of using pure sugar in recipes, try using a blend of sugar substitutes and sugar, then switch to a sugar substitute designed for baking. As you become accustomed to the taste of the sugar substitute, you may find treats made with real sugar to be almost too sweet to enjoy. Once you start viewing certain sugary foods as too sweet, such as cake frosting or cotton candy, then you're on your way to overcoming your cravings.
Some people who have been forced to cut back on their sugar intake for medical reasons find that a "cold turkey" approach works well in the long run. Remove all sweet products from your kitchen pantry and refrigerator and make a solemn vow not to replace them with more sweets. The cravings for sweets may come back daily for a while, but eventually the lack of opportunity to indulge may help you readjust your thinking. Many people who give up sweets do go through an unnerving withdrawal period, but eventually lose most of their sweet tooth after finding other types of food to enjoy.
Avoiding foods which tend to trigger cravings for sweets may also be helpful. Many people's palates develop around a perceived balance of flavors and textures, meaning that eating something salty or fried could trigger a craving for something sweet or creamy to balance it out. Some people who eat a spicy meal feel the need for a sweet or cold dessert to reduce the heat. By introducing more sweet flavors into the main meal, some people may feel less of a craving for a sugary dessert. Eating a less sweet product with the same texture may also satisfy a craving, such as substituting yogurt for pudding or ice cream.
It would be unrealistic to suggest that any craving can be completely overcome through sheer willpower alone. If you do find yourself in the grip of a sugar craving, you may want to satisfy it with a much smaller portion of the treat. Sometimes eating slowly enough to savor all the flavors of a sweet treat can help you to eat less of it before feeling satisfied.