Can anyone suggest a good over the counter, possibly herbal, item that helps reduce sugar cravings. I'm not overweight, but love sugar and with a history of diabetes in my family I'm trying to cut down. Not having much luck with willpower alone. http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/confused.gif
About 18 years ago, I decided to stop eating cookies, cakes, donuts and other such sweets. It helped me lose weight. It was such an important lift for me to have such control over what I ate. It's hard to have will-power, but if it gives you enough satisfaction, that alone should help you succeed.
For sugar cravings, you can substitute sweet fruits. I'll give you one example.
Take three ripe bananas, about a cup of milk, and a tray of ice cubes and put in a heavy duty blender or food processor. Mix with the blender until the ice is all broken up. This will taste similar to ice cream, but it's relatively low calorie, fills you up, and tastes good. And on top of this, it's healthy for you!!! It will make three or four servings.
I've experimented with this, and added about 10 to 15 salted pistachios. There's other things like sunflower seeds that can be added, that will make it darker and taste different too.
Other examples of natural good tasting foods, can be found in books. You'll just have to look around. I'm sure that you will find some really neat subjects about this.... Let us know what you find.
It's pretty clear that sugar is not a good thing to be eating too much of. The sugar cravings are caused by eating sugar. The more you eat the more you want. The only way I know of is to simply stop eating all sugars including baked goods, breads, pasta, fruit, fruit juices, potatoes, yams, and other starchy things. It will be hard, but within 3-4 days of no sugar your system will have few sugar stores left and your cravings will be gone. Then you can add back in a bit. In the mean time you can eat any kind of proteins or fats you like. In fact you will find that fats will kill your craving for sugar pretty quickly.
Perhaps there are a few options related to your question of herbal remedies. Here are a couple of ideas--use them, think about them or dismiss them.
Reducing the sugar cravings:
a) glutamine powder--mixed with a little water, it can help with the cravings, especially with continued use.
b) alpha lipoic acid--small doses taken two or three times a day to stabilize blood sugar levels. May have a noticeable effect after a week or two. As glucose levels balance out, the cravings have less of a physiological cause than a psychological one.
c) gymnema sylvestre herbal tea--capsules of the powdered herb can be opened into a cup of hot water and drank anytime you have the sweet tooth. Doing this can make sweets taste rather nasty for an hour or two. May depend on different brand quality for the one that works best. Ask the person at the counter for directions on making it into a tea.
You might look into the Carbohydrate Addicts' Lifespan Programme by Rachel and Richard Heller. It is primarily directed at those attempting to lose weight, but it would probably work for you, too.
In a nutshell, you would confine your consumption of all high-carbo foods (including sugar) to one meal a day. Your other meals would consist of a protein food (meat, fish, poultry) and low-carbo veggies.
When I follow the program, it really helps with cravings for sweets.