Understand your cravings—and how to control them.

Written by  Nina Hemphill Reeder

Sweet Escape
When you start craving everything a la mode, don’t be so quick to blame it on your mood. According to Dr. Michael Murray, co-author of Hunger Free Forever, sweet tooth cravings often result from a sudden drop in blood sugar.

“If there is a rapid drop in 10 or more points, the brain senses that it’s starving, so it initiates all these survival mechanisms,” he says. “Basically, the message from the brain is to eat something that is really high in sugar or something that is really high in calories.” When cravings hit, instead of indulging in a quick temptation, which will only continue the cycle of extreme highs and quick drops in sugar levels, Murray says to keep around low-glycemic-index snacks like carrots, celery and nuts. And, while fruit might seem the best choice for a sweet treat, Murray warns that some can be just as damaging as candy bars, so he advises watching the portion size consumed and leaning more toward fruits like berries and apples. Ultimately, he says, by eating right and keeping your sugar levels stabilized, you can help eliminate “bad” cravings altogether.

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