Read This If You Always Crave Sugar

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Do You Constantly Crave Sugar?

Find yourself regularly wanting to swan dive into bread, pasta, baked treats, and sweet things? You might find that you crave sugar or even just carbs in general no matter the time of day.

There’s definitely not a one-size-fits-all answer here, but hopefully, I can give you some suggestions and questions to reflect on. This is something I used to struggle with for quite a few years, especially when I was running a ton and/or doing competitive CrossFit.

Do Your Inputs Match Your Outputs?

You don’t know what you don’t know.

If there was a theme for my life during 2010-2016, it was doing the most… but not eating or recovering the most to support all of my activities.

  • I worked out 2-4 hours per day, sometimes multiple times in a day
  • I went hard 5-7 days per week
  • I never took total rest days off working out
  • Averaged 4-5 hours of sleep
  • I was scared to eat carbs
  • And I definitely was never eating enough because I was always obsessing about my abs or my appearance
I Was a Sugar Dragon

If you’ve never done a Whole30 Challenge, “Sugar Dragon” is a nickname they give to those overwhelming cravings for carbs, sweets, and treats. Basically, if I bought a bag of granola, I’d accidentally eat the whole bag. Or one cookie might turn into several. Keeping ice cream or treats in the house? Forget it.

My body wasn’t trying to betray me.

I didn’t just “need more willpower.”

  • My body needed me to eat more calories.
  • My body needed me to eat more carbs.
  • My body needed me to sleep more.
  • My body needed more rest days.
  • My body needed me to train less.
  • My body needed less stress and more rest.
Your Body Isn’t Trying To Betray You, Either

If someone mentions they have intense cravings, you can often find some disconnects in nutrition, fitness, or lifestyle after asking a handful of questions (:

Common Culprits Behind Cravings:

  • not eating enough carbs and/or calories
  • stress, not getting enough sleep
  • working out too hard or too much
  • not taking enough rest days
  • dehydration, boredom
  • not eating at regular intervals during the day
  • not eating enough protein
  • low food quality (eating tons of fast food or super processed food, vs lots of protein, healthy fats, fruits, veggies, fiber, etc )
  • Hormone fluctuations, poor digestion, nutrient deficiencies
Things to Reflect On


  • How many days do I work out per week?
  • How would I rate the intensity of workouts?
  • How many steps do I average per day?
  • Am I getting at least 1-2 rest days per week?

Health & Lifestyle:

  • How is my stress? (work, personal…)
  • How many hours of sleep do I get?
  • How is my digestion & gut health?


  • How many carbs + calories am I eating?
  • Am I drinking BW/2 in oz of water daily?
  • Do I get big servings of protein 3-5x per day?
  • Am I getting 25-30g of fiber daily?
  • Do I eat mostly well-rounded meals that contain protein, carbs, and healthy fats?
  • Do I get fruits/veggies at most meals?
  • What’s overall food quality like? Am I preparing most of my meals? Dining out a lot? Fast food? Consuming lots of artificial sugars?
Examples of Actions You Might Implement
  • Start going to bed earlier / prioritizing sleep
  • If working out 5+ days a week, drop down to 4-5 days a week and see how you feel
  • Start tracking your macros to see how much protein, carb, fat, etc you average
  • Add 100-200 calories extra per day to however many calories you’re already eating
  • Reversely, move around existing calories to encompass eating more carbs
  • Eat more fruits, veggies, and high-fiber food
  • Set alarms on your phone to eat at regular intervals throughout the day

… and so on.

Kick Those Cravings To the Curb For Good

This may take some time to troubleshoot and dial in YOUR unique situation, of course. It might be a simple change like eating a little more carbs or calories, or it might require quite a few adjustments over time with food, exercise, and lifestyle.

Generally, those who are consistently training smartly, well-fed, and well-recovered will likely find they don’t crave sugar regularly or deal with intense cravings nearly as much (if at all) over time.

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