I'm running into the same issue lately. I was never really a sweets eater, but for the past few months, that seems to be what I'm craving.
I read an article the other day that said if we're craving sweets or salty things, there's a good chance we're dehydrated and need water more than the food we're craving. IDK if that's really true or not, but I sometimes find that if I postpone eating anything when the craving hits and drink water instead, I, often end up losing the craving.
I also find that eating sweets puts my blood glucose levels on something of a "roller coaster" because that treat will increase glucose levels, which causes a large production of insulin that, in turn causes glucose to plummet. If I eat a piece of fruit, like an apple or some berries, etc, I feel like I've eaten my sweet treat but at least it was healthy one and my glucose levels don't go all whacko like they would if I eat something with a bunch of sugar.
Another thing I've learned is to use spices to add sweetness to things - like cinnamon, vanilla, cloves, ginger, etc. I love cinnamon, so a slice of pineapple or a couple of pineapple chunks with cinnamon sprinkled on them is an awesome treat. Apples and pears also go well with cinnamon. I use ginger and/or cloves in tea, which adds a bit of kick along with making it taste a bit sweeter. It just so happens that cinnamon is good for helping control glucose levels, too.
A small fruit smoothie made with coconut milk, frozen strawberries, a dash of cinnamon or small chunk of fresh ginger makes a really good treat for me.
I do find that if I eat a small amount of fat with whatever I'm snacking on, I won't eat as much and feel more satisfied. That's why I often use a small amount of full fat coconut milk in my smoothies, oatmeal or even in my cereal. I know some people will say that the fat isn't good for you, but *I* find that I lose weight faster/easier if I add coconut milk or coconut oil to my diet on a daily basis. The coconut milk is also somewhat sweet so it can help satisfy that craving. Avocados also help squelch my cravings for sweets, even though they aren't particularly sweet.
We also don't think of chocolate as being "healthy" but a square of dark chocolate (vs milk chocolate) is a healthy treat as well.
Some of the sweeter veggies can also do the trick - carrot or celery sticks, sweet red, orange or yellow peppers, etc.
Once I get used to eating things that don't have sugar in them, other things tend to actually taste sweeter.
In my case, I think with quarantine and everything about daily life being so different, I'm craving sweets as comfort food. I'm more worried, and though less busy (not on the go every day all day) I'm not even getting much done at home. This makes the cheats I do towards sweets more damaging, since the times I sneak one sugared soda don't get burned off by being active. I'm sure I've put on fat at my waistline, and that points to sugar.
I used to have a rule that if I was hungry and it was a traditional mealtime, I had to eat the (savory) meal before I snacked on anything junky or sweet. I think I'll dust that one off and abide by it again; we've been a bit random with mealtimes in quarantine. Also, to avoid eating or drinking the sweet stuff, I eat nuts, celery sticks, applesauce, and there is a square jar that Del Monte prepares of 64 ounces of grapefruit wedges peeled and ready to eat, that are sweet and refreshing. (Available in the refrigerator case of the produce section at Safeway, near the pre-boxed salads.) I also find coffee with cream to be a way to buy off the soda craving, probably because it works as a substitute for my real bad boy of choice Dr. Pepper, which has plenty of caffeine. (The cream makes the coffee rich and also keeps it from being necessary to add sugar to make the coffee a treat.) We've lately also been buying fresh cherries, in season and taste wonderful, and of course they are also the desired dark color for all those important antioxidants. I've also been eating a lot of avocado with hot sauce, they help with keeping me feeling full and the zest of the tabasco distracts from the original impulse to load up on sugar.
Good luck with it, sugar is so addictive. Please write what works for you, I can always use better ideas. :)
I've read that some vitamin/mineral deficiencies can cause us to crave sweets, as well. Zinc, magnesium and chromium are some of the main ones.
Even bacterial imbalance in the stomach/intestines can cause sugar cravings.
Here are 11 more useful tips to stop sugar cravings:
Drink a glass of water. Some people say that dehydration can cause cravings.
Eat a fruit. Having a piece of fruit may help satisfy sugar cravings for some people. Bananas, apples, oranges work great.
Avoid artificial sweeteners. If you feel that artificial sweeteners trigger cravings for you, you might want to avoid them (2Trusted Source).
Eat more protein. Protein is great for satiety, and it may help with cravings as well (1Trusted Source).
Talk to a friend. Call or meet someone who understands what you’re going through. Explain that you’re going through a craving and ask for a few words of encouragement.
Sleep well. Getting proper, refreshing sleep is important for overall health and may help prevent cravings (3Trusted Source).
Avoid excess stress. Same as with sleep, avoiding stress can help prevent cravings (4Trusted Source).
Avoid certain triggers. Try to avoid specific activities or places that give you cravings, such as walking past McDonald’s.
Take a multivitamin. This will help prevent any deficiencies.
Read your list. It can be very helpful to carry a list of the reasons you want to eat healthy, as it can be hard to remember such things when you get a craving.
Don’t starve yourself. Try to prevent yourself from becoming too hungry between meals.