Despite having no calories, drinking diet soda still tends to increase sugar cravings for many people. It seems just the super sweet taste of aspartame on our tongue is enough to get our bodies expecting carbohydrate foods.When giving up diet soda, one of the main aspartame withdrawal symptoms is likely to be cravings for high carbohydrate/sugary foods and drinks.
Aspartame Withdrawal Support
There are various ways to reduce these sugar cravings, but a combination that’s worked very well for me in the past is taking the supplement chromium polynicotinate, the spice cinnamon and having a high intake of omega-3 fatty acids from a good source like quality fish oil.
Taking these three supplements together should greatly reduce aspartame withdrawal symptoms like sugar cravings, when you are in the process of giving up diet soda. As an added bonus, many people report using these supplements often leads to weight loss and healthier food choices in general.
Chromium and Aspartame Withdrawal
Chromium is an important nutrient for proper carbohydrate metabolism and can help reduce sugar cravings and desire for high carb foods. It does this by helping increase insulin efficiency and glucose metabolism, thus stabilizing the body’s blood sugar levels. Unfortunately, chromium dietary deficiency is believed to be quite common in the United States. This is due to the ever increasing processing of our foods that remove much of this valuable mineral.
Chromium picolate has been a very popular supplement for many years now to help reduce sugar cravings. However, the newer chromium polynicotinate, which is chromium bound to niacin, has been shown in studies like this one to have better biological activity than chromium picolate and other forms of chromium used in supplements.
I’ve found the 200 mcg capsules of chromium polynicotinate taken, initially for the first week with either breakfast or lunch and then with dinner, to be very helpful in reducing sugar cravings and general appetite for carbohydrate based foods.
After a week or two you could try reducing down to just one 200 mcg chromium polynicotinate capsule a day. This would be best taken with what ever meal is usually followed by the most sugar cravings for you. For instance, if you have the late-night munchies, take chromium polynicotinate with dinner. If it’s late afternoon snacks that are a problem, have it with lunch. And if you’re most hungry mid-morning for sugary carbohydrates, take chromium polynicotinate with breakfast.
High quality chromium polynicotinate is available at Amazon for a good price. This supplement is so helpful and inexpensive that it’s probably worth getting the 240 tablet version or ordering a couple of bottles to save on postage.
Once aspartame withdrawal symptoms have subsided, chromium may only be needed occasionally. Personally, I still take 200 mcg of chromium polynicotinate most evenings. It’s a low cost supplement that has been of real benefit in improving my taste for healthier foods and reducing my desire for the sugary stuff.
Aspartame Withdrawal and Cinnamon
The spice cinnamon has also been shown to be effective in reducing sugar cravings. This research by the Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center in Maryland showed that cinnamon can reduce sugar cravings by increasing insulin sensitivity, the opposite of insulin resistance.
Either powdered cinnamon on cereals and desserts or cinnamon capsules can be used. Importantly, Ceylon cinnamon is considered the best type of cinnamon, not just for reducing sugar cravings but for any dietary use. It is a little more expensive than the other varieties, but has a better potency and avoids higher levels of the coumarin compound that may have some heath issues. As with all herbs and spices, organic versions are recommended where ever possible to avoid pesticides exposure.
A good organic powdered Ceylon cinnamon that would be great on deserts or cereal and in drinks like smoothies is available at a bulk discount from Iherb. For capsules you could take with any meal, these Ceylon cinnamon capsules are highly recommended for reducing sugar cravings from aspartame withdrawal.
Reducing Sugar Cravings with Fish Oil
People who have a diet low in omega-3 essential fatty acids are believed to be more likely to get sugar cravings. Increasing omega-3s in your diet may also help improve brain function and mood; normalize cholesterol levels; increase metabolism and energy production; and assist in reducing anxiety and tension. These EFAs are also precursors to many important hormones that regulate vital functions in the body.
Many people get far too many omega-6 fatty acids compared to omega-3s and a dietary supplement can help restore a more favorable balance. The best source of omega-3 is high-quality fish oil. The fish oil I use is Carlson’s lemon flavored fish oil, which is recommended as one of the best available due to both its high potency and purity. There are also capsules available, but the liquid has a light lemon taste that isn’t fishy at all. A teaspoon of fish oil, particularly with a high carbohydrate meal, should help slow down digestion and reduce sugar cravings associated with aspartame withdrawal.
These three supplements can be really beneficial for reducing sugar cravings if you decide to give up diet soda and should lead to healthier food choices overall. If you could only take one, the chromium polynicotinate would probably have the most impact. But to really reduce sugar cravings and aspartame withdrawal symptoms, the three taken together would be the most effective.
The last step in the plan for giving up diet soda is specific steps for soda replacement and exactly how to use the soda alternatives and caffeine withdrawal support and these sugar cravings remedies to stop drinking diet soda for good.