I’m not sure what it is with liver disease and craving sweets, but it is real. It’s like our mind knows what we’re not allowed to have and wants to test our power.
Well… today, we’re going to talk about those crazy sugar cravings that you have when dieting for reversing your fatty liver and how to deal with them & make sure they won’t become a setback on your journey to regain your health.
In the past, we have talked about sugar alternatives for those suffering from a fatty liver so you do have your options when it comes to the need of eating something sweet. We also have lots of fruits that we can safely consume…
But there is one thing that’s absolutely horrible: sugar cravings for really unhealthy stuff like cakes and other sweets. I don’t want to get too much in detail to make things even worse for you… but you know what I am talking about!
When I first got diagnosed with a fatty liver, I remember that one of the most difficult things was dealing with the sugar cravings, especially in the first two – three weeks of dieting.
But you have to deal with them and never let them win. You have one goal: that of getting your health back and you can’t really do it if you fall prey to these sugar cravings.
This is one of the important things that helped me reverse my fatty liver, and I still continue to eat healthy and stay away from sugars even today.
The good news? These cravings will go away eventually and it’s won’t be that difficult in the long run.
This is how bad sugar cravings can be for your liver
The biggest eye opener was the Winter Holiday season a few years ago when I let my guard down and decided to get a bit more into the holiday spirit and allow myself a few treats.
Even though I didn’t really overdo it and still ate relatively healthy in my opinion, it did splurge on cakes and sweets. The more I ate, the more my body remembered the bad old days and asked for more.
It was like a trigger than unleashed the hell of sugar cravings. After eating that large piece of chocolate cake, it was horrible.
I started having the worst sugar cravings ever worse was the fact that I gave in and kept eating sweets, processed sugars and such…
After Christmas and the New Year’s celebrations, I was shocked to see that I had gained 6 pounds. Just like that! This is what getting back to poor eating habits did to me in just two weeks.
The biggest problem was the fact that getting off track brought the worse sugar cravings I ever had.
I, of course, stopped – or better said tried to stop – eating sugar staring January 2nd, but every day since then it was a real nightmare for me for a few more weeks. But I had already started to feel some of the fatty liver symptoms coming back.
Scary! But eye opening: it proves that getting off the track for even a few weeks can do a lot of damage!
Even worse is that I still get those huge sugar cravings every now and then and they come at random times. The worst thing is when I look at sweet things: a chocolate bar, a cookie or anything that has sugar added will drive me crazy.
And since there’s my young son in the house, as well as a wife who isn’t on a “no sugar” diet… I do get to see those more often than not. It’s horrible!
I never thought that sugar cravings can be that bad – even though I heard many people talk about them. But now that it’s happening to me, I completely understand.
And the worst part is that it’s very difficult to say no, especially when I get back from work and am tired. “Just one cookie” or “just a bite” were my favorite things to say for a while. And that’s a mistake, because you’re only adding fuel to the fire.
And even though I do manage to only eat small amounts of sugary stuff each day, I know how difficult it is to find the strength to say no.
But we have to! Because otherwise allowing myself “just a bite” will eventually end up in me allowing another bite, then another and so on.
Tips to beat sugar cravings and stay on track
After that huge intro, all I can say is that I have personally started my battle against sugar cravings. And this time, I will not allow myself to get off the track and risk losing all this amazing progress I’ve made.
So I’ve started the battle against sugar cravings. And I am sharing the important steps that you should follow if you’re craving sweets and you have a fatty liver.
1. Eat a lot of fruits
I normally eat a lot of fruits and vegetables anyways, but when the sugar cravings hit bad, I will allow myself to eat more sugary fruits than usual. Even a sweet banana is better than a chocolate bar or cake!
I know that many people say that you should stay away from fruits, but this is not something I agree with. I ate lots of fruits and reversed my fatty liver and I still eat them.
You can read my thoughts about fatty liver and fruits here.
2. Drink plenty of water
It might sound strange, but drinking water helps with my sugar cravings. I usually drink lemon water and squeeze some lime in as well, but plain water will do the trick as well.
I sometimes go on a splurge and go for sparkling / carbonated water. It changes the routine and keeps me happy.
3. Hide all the temptations
Well, if I don’t see them and I don’t know they exist… I won’t really feel the need to eat them. Or at least it will be a lot easier for me to avoid the cravings.
This is a method that I used in the past and actually encouraged my wife to eat the things she wants, but without me even knowing.
So now she has her hidden stash of sweets which I never see, thus making it easier not to feel the need to eat. This could work for you too!
4. Get more sleep
And try to relax more!
I am a major stress eater and it’s a lot more difficult to say no when you are extremely stressed and/or tired.
It’s like I’m losing control: I know I shouldn’t be doing it, I know I’ll regret it, but if things are bad and I am really tired and stressed out, I just can’t stop.
Sleep helps a lot in this case, but you might also want to try other methods, like taking some time off, some time for yourself only, going for walks, meditating, listening to musing or doing anything that works for you to relax.
5. Exercise more
I have been slacking in this area since before the Winter holidays and this is one of the reasons why I have these cravings.
My body is simply not using all the sugar and the energy and just wants pile up more and more.
I started to exercise again and I already feel better. It’s one of the most difficult lifestyle changes for me, but without it we won’t get far!
6. Eat something else
I thought long and hard about sharing this or not. Replacing a cookie with a different type of food – which most likely has some carbs – is not really the best approach, so try to use it as a last resort and cut it off the list after just a few days.
But if all else fails and you still feel those sugar cravings, it might be that you’re also a bit hungry – in which case you should eat something.
Ideally, get something with as few carbs as possible and don’t eat too much. Eat slowly and enjoy the food, but don’t make it a habit!
7. Brush your teeth
I found out that this helps a bit to keep me motivated. Now I regularly brush my teeth after each meal.
The thing I noticed is that if I know that I have just brushed my teeth, I am less likely (at least for a while) to want to eat something. I am not really sure what causes this, but it does help.
This is what I’ve been doing to reduce my sugar cravings and even though it’s not easy, it will help you stay away from the cookies and the sweets.
It’s difficult, I know, it seems impossible sometimes, especially if you start to tell yourself lies like “just one bite”.
But the good thing is that they will eventually go away and it will be a lot more easier after a while to stay away from sugar and sweets.
Remember that all we need is a healthy body that allows us to enjoy life. Life is not about eating cookies and candy.
Life is about everything else. Family, experiences – there’s a lot more than just feeding harmful sugar to your body!
That’s why I will succeed. That’s why you will succeed too – because you know what really matters and you are stronger than a bag of sugar.
Plus, you now have some extra weapons to deal with this: my tips above to help you beat the sugar cravings when you’re suffering from a fatty liver.
If you have additional methods to deal with the need for sugar, don’t hesitate to share them with us all below. And make sure you stick to them, no matter what. You can do this!
I was diagnosed with a fatty liver back in 2014 and managed to reverse it by mid 2015. Since then, I’ve been studying NAFLD and I have decided to share everything I have learned over the years to help you reverse your condition.
I am also the admin of the Fatty Liver Support Group on Facebook and the Fatty Liver Subreddit.