Today was my first day properly back at work since giving birth.  The Husband and I decided a while back that we’d both drop to 75% employment (or, err, try to squeeze in 100% of work in 25% less time…) and function as stay-at-home mommy or daddy on alternating days.  I work from home on Mondays and Fridays, and the Husband goes to the clinic Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. 


Our plan worked out pretty well, even considering all the Hungry Henry interruptions (which were actually quite nice).   I got a ton of work done, caught up on two weeks’ worth of emails, and wrapped up a few projects.  Now… I just have to survive tomorrow when Kristien goes back to work.  I’m pretty nervous about having Henry all to myself – my first attempt without help from the Husband or family.  Gulp.


Eats included a delicious lunch salad.


Greens, almonds, apples, cast iron tofu, beets, carrots, and balsamic dressing.


Snack was rice cakes and hummus.


And dinner was another baby meal.  This one was brought over by my friend Jen.  I hope I can convince her to post the recipe for these AMAZING stuffed sweet potatoes on Peanut Butter Runner.  I know they are filled with black beans, veggies, and topped with cheese, but I couldn’t place the spices.  So good.


Handful (or five) of pistachios.


And this is when we get to my How to Tame a Sweet Tooth question…


During the last three months or so of pregnancy, I developed a massive sweet tooth.  Truthfully, it happened after I passed the gestational diabetes test ‘with flying colors’ and decided that I didn’t need to worry about my sugar intake anymore (not logical but whatever).  I got into the habit of having dessert every single night – sometimes multiple desserts.  Chocolate, ice cream, popsicles – none of it was safe! 


The trouble is now I’m totally in the habit of sweets.  Sweets, of course, aren’t a bad thing in moderation, but I’m pretty sure my consumption doesn’t count as ‘moderation.’  I’d really like to reign it in to an appropriate and healthy level before I try to start exercising again (One thing at a time, right?  No need to completely shock my system).  However, I feel like I bought a one-way ticket to Sugar Town and don’t have enough money to get back home.


Case in point:  Today I (mindlessly) had three toffees and four peanut butter cookies (also from Jen – here’s the recipe).  It’s taking some crazy willpower not to crush the rest of the box of cookies. 


I guess I know how to tame my sweet tooth (stop keeping sweets in the house, portion control, blah blah blah), but knowing how to do it and actually doing it are totally different things. 


So – any advice for taming a sweet tooth without going cold turkey? Because – let’s be real – a life without dessert just isn’t the same.  But I would like to stop slipping into a sugar coma every night at 9 PM.



  • Stellina @ My Yogurt Addiction June 25, 2012, 9:31 pm

    If you find out how to do this I’d love to know! The only thing I can think of is to eat more protein so that you aren’t as inclined to dash into a sweet!

  • tanya June 25, 2012, 9:34 pm

    I crave less sugar when I eat more protein.
    But I do enjoy dessert every night…I bought the
    yonana machine …I use frozen banana and frozen strawberries and frozen grapes and mix it with greek yougurt so I have sweetness and protein. add some dark cocoa powder on’s great!

    • Caitlin June 25, 2012, 9:36 pm

      Oh that’s a good idea – I should try to TRICK my sweet tooth with healthy sweet things.

      • Amber K June 26, 2012, 2:30 pm

        That’s what I have to do – trick it. I second the frozen fruit blended with Greek yogurt.

      • AmandaonMaui June 26, 2012, 6:59 pm

        A bit of healthy fat works as well. Try making some raw treats with coconut oil and raw cacao powder.

  • Marianne June 25, 2012, 9:42 pm

    I literally CANNOT keep sweets in the house. I have no willpower. Today I had a work meeting and muffins and donuts were there.. I totally caved. Fail. However, at home, I normally make some sort of shake that has sweet healthy things, and that normally does the trick!!

  • Mai June 25, 2012, 9:45 pm

    I’m looking forward to reading everyone’s comments on this. I’ve been having the same problem for the past month or so…I feel like I have to end every meal with something sweet or it just doesn’t feel “complete”!

  • Katie @ Peace Love and Oats June 25, 2012, 9:48 pm

    Haha I also need advice on taming a sweet tooth! And those potatoes look AMAZING!!!

  • Carly June 25, 2012, 9:48 pm

    We buy the really fancy chocolate bars (Lindt, ghiradelli, etc), and both my wife and I get two squares for dessert. We have found that a few bites of high quality chocolate satisfies more than a big bowl of crappier desserts.

    Also, we freeze overripe bananas and toss them in the food processor with cocoa powder…like instant ice cream!

    • AmandaonMaui June 26, 2012, 6:59 pm

      That’s what we do too! I buy good chocolate, and then we get one or two squares as needed. It’s full of antioxidants, and chocolate is so good for you in many ways!

  • Emily June 25, 2012, 9:49 pm

    I know this sounds tough, but whats worked best for me is just cutting it out cold turkey. I did this for about a week and then found that when I started adding sweets back into my diet that I was much more controlled. Instead of sweets I find that I eat a lot more nuts, which are definitely more satisfying and healthy!

    • Tracy June 26, 2012, 12:26 am

      I totally agree with this! I had to cut it out after eating too many cookies (12 to be exact) and realizing I was out of control! Now I take sugar breaks when needed, and I am currently doing Sugar Free Summer, made up by me, for me! This will be the longest I have done it though, usually after a week or 2 I feel more in control! 🙂

      • heidi June 26, 2012, 1:28 pm

        I agree with you both! I used to have an intense sweet tooth. If I started eating sweets, I couldn’t stop (like, plow through dessert tables at parties- so embarassing). When I had an event coming up (and an insane dress to fit into) I found the motivation and willpower to just…not start eating the sweets. It’s tough at first. Sugar is truly a drug and you have to push through that initial withdrawl period for a week or two. I did up my fat consumption (more cheese, nuts, etc) and snacked on wheat crackers after dinner when I was craving sweets. Nowadays, I really don’t crave sugar and only taste what I really want to. I’ve actually become more of a “savory tooth” (ha!) and would far prefer a plate of fries over sweets any day.

  • Romy June 25, 2012, 9:49 pm

    Ahh the sugar monster! I know this feeling well…
    You mentioned last week about candida – having a candida infection will cause you to crave sugar… The yeast yelp ‘feed me, feeeed meh!’

    This may be contributing?

    Ps. I love you and love to read your blog 🙂

  • Jessie @ Graze With Me June 25, 2012, 9:51 pm

    I’m fairly certain that breastfeeding and sweets cravings go hand in hand. I go to a BFing group and all the women seem to be having a hard time w/sugar. I’ve always had a massive sweet tooth though so I can’t really blame nursing 100%.

  • Dennis murray June 25, 2012, 9:53 pm

    Several possibilities:
    1. You are probably craving more due to lack of sleep! Your body starts craving sugar to stay awake and you look for something carb.
    2. Lack of Protein like cited above. Shift your meals to include more dense sources of Protein and less carbohydrate.
    3. SIBO…small intestine bacterial overgrowth.

  • Sarah @ In Sustainability and in Health June 25, 2012, 9:53 pm

    I definitely have the 9 p.m. sweet cravings!

    This summer, I’ve loved freezing berries from the farmers market and serving them in a bowl with original, unsweetened almond milk. It’s cold, sweet and filling enough that it’s satisfying, but not unhealthy at all!

    And if that doesn’t tame the sweet tooth, you could always go for chocolate almond milk!

  • Crystal June 25, 2012, 9:54 pm

    I wish I had a solution! I’m just happy to find out I’m not the only one who will eat seven cookies in a day!

  • Helena June 25, 2012, 9:54 pm

    I don’t have that many rules when it comes to sugar, but I try to keep stuff like cake for when it’s a birthday dinner or a special meal out, and cookies only when they’re homemade by someone else. That helps keep that stuff as ‘treats’. I “have” to have something sweet for dessert most days, though, so I make sure it’s only after dinner – no sweet treats during the day – and acts as kind of a “last thing to eat before brushing teeth”. I buy Yummy Earth candy drops, and have six or seven after dinner. If you suck on them, six or seven lasts a good hour and only contains about 100 calories. I think hard candy is general is a good idea, as long as you’re not chewing them.

  • Janelle June 25, 2012, 9:55 pm

    Funny that you posted this tonight, but I was totally just thinking that I need to get my sweet tooth under control. I do fine for awhile, and then suddenly I’m eating chocolate chips by the handful simply because I’m desperate for something sweet. Gah! Last week I had frozen grapes in the freezer and munching on those instead of sweets helped a bit.

  • Jen G. June 25, 2012, 10:05 pm

    I have a total sweet tooth that I give in to way more than I should. But I’m working at cutting it out and one of the best alternatives I’ve found is using licorice-y teas. (Yogi brand Egyptian Licorice Mint is my absolute favorite.) They have a natural sweetness that sates my sweet tooth without sugar or calories.

  • Lindsey June 25, 2012, 10:06 pm

    I always try fresh fruit – usually berries and a square of 65% dark chocolate before I dig into the real desserts. And that usually can do the trick for me!

  • Cassie June 25, 2012, 10:06 pm

    My nightly dessert (dark chocolate and/or berries with tea) is something of a ritual for me. The whole process takes like half an hour if I want it to. And because I look forward to it, it’s easier to pass up more mindless sugar snacking.

    • Cassie June 25, 2012, 10:27 pm

      Also – and so not the easiest thing to do – but accepting that cutting back on sweets requires withdrawal-symptoms, recognizing those for what they are and that they’re temporary helped me. (I however did not have a child!)

  • Hillary June 25, 2012, 10:10 pm

    Ok, so my sweet tooth is out of control, but I’ve realized that I actually enjoy treats more in moderation—otherwise, I feel sick and headache-y and not at all satisfied. So after a few days of high sugar intake, I pull myself back (to a treat a day or less) and take a few minutes to realize how much better I feel! That helps me stay on track.

  • Army Amy* June 25, 2012, 10:15 pm

    Good luck tomorrow. I’m sure it will be a long day, but you can do it!*

  • Angie @ Pint of Goals June 25, 2012, 10:31 pm

    I also have a crazy sweet tooth that I inherited from my mom. When I need to get it in check, I eat mango (fresh or frozen from TJ’s). I think this fruit has the most sugar of basically any fruit, but at least it’s natural. I have also found the first few days without sweets (at night for me) are the hardest and then it gets easier. Good luck!

  • Sara@RunningInPinkProject June 25, 2012, 10:33 pm

    Those cookies look Gooooooood. Id love to see the potato recipe. Im on a sweet potato kick!!

  • Theresa June 25, 2012, 10:34 pm

    Oh I can DEFINITELY empathize with you – and I laughed out loud when I read your comment about the gestational diabetes test! I’m 34 weeks pregnant and I am struggling to stick to my “one dessert per day” rule! However, prior to being pregnant I did weightwatchers and ALWAYS made sure to keep enough points for dessert. 5 Dark chocolate Hershey Kisses or one Trader Joe’s 100 calorie dark chocolate bar always did the trick for me. Now that I’m pregnant my desserts are more likely to be ice cream or chocolate chip cookies. I also have you to thank (or blame) for introducing me to TJ’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups…I won’t admit how quickly I was able to finish off an entire package!

  • Laura Ann June 25, 2012, 10:35 pm

    Dates! I’ve never been a big fan, but someone recently brought me khadrawy dates and just one after dinner cures my massive after-dinner sweets craving.

  • Caralyn @ glutenfreehappytummy June 25, 2012, 10:41 pm

    i’ve had to go completely cold turkey, as i have a candida overgrowth. I’ve been allowed NO sugar (or fruits, grains, dairy — anything that breaks down into sugar) on the Body Ecology Diet for the last 2 months. The first few days are super hard, but it gets easier. Stevia is a great substitute — its calorie free, and actually an herb, so it’s good for you! I’ve got some great sugar-free stevia cookies, desserts and recipes on my blog:)

  • janet June 25, 2012, 10:46 pm

    i also had an intense sugar craving period that lasted for months, I did some googling and saw an article stating traditional Chinese medicine recommends increasing your consumption of bitter foods such as arugula and endive. I went to Trader Joes and bought a couple of bags of organic arugula and had a salad every day…now I don’t know if it’s all in my head or not, but my desire for sweets is completely gone. there are some pretty cool research studies that have been done testing this as well.

  • Lisa O. June 25, 2012, 10:48 pm

    When I have a sweet tooth I sip on a big mug of tea (black tea with honey and half and half is my fav) – the sweetness of the honey and the 12 or 16 ounces of water keep me occupied so the craving passes without me driving to get an ice cream cone or whipping up a batch of cookies just to eat the dough (yes, I have really done that!). Hope this helps! 🙂

  • Meghan June 25, 2012, 10:55 pm

    I’d like to know too! I had a crazy sweet tooth the first couple months of nursing which seems pretty common. My body seemed to want sugar all the time. It’s definitely leveled out though but flares up sometimes. I may have eaten most of a bag of Rolos in the last 24 hours. Aside from that, I try not to buy chocolate or I will eat it all day.

  • Sarah June 25, 2012, 11:07 pm


    Fresh fruit like berries and peaches and nectarines… I’m drooling already. Nature’s candy! The added fiber and water will fill you up more quickly than ice cream or cookies.

  • Maryann June 25, 2012, 11:33 pm

    To be honest, I think going cold turkey is the easiest way (which of course, isnt easy). It works for me because when I have sugar, it makes me CRAVE sugar. Dealing with the cravings for a couple of days are worth it because after they will completely diminish (says the girl with the biggest sweet tooth ever).

    • The clean eating mama June 26, 2012, 12:25 am

      I’m the same way. It sucks at first because your body becomes addicted and you start to have fierce cravings! It really is like a drug. But after 3 days or so your body stops craving it.
      Some tricks that help me: brush teeth after eating meals, water water water, peppermint or green tea, meditation and exercise.

  • Victoria June 25, 2012, 11:35 pm

    best thing I can add is to stay busy and distracted on a task. Or when in doubt take a nap – you can’t eat sugar (or anything else) if you are asleep! LOL!

  • Courtney June 25, 2012, 11:40 pm

    I have a HUGE sweet tooth as well. I love eating frozen banana slices straight from the freezer when I want something sweet. The sweetness of the banana totally satisfies my craving. For a little bit at least!

  • Laura @ She Eats Well June 25, 2012, 11:44 pm

    I have a horrible sweet tooth. It’s definitely my worst eating habit. I love dessert so much. I’d recommend having really dark chocolate, like, 75% or above at night. It can really help satisfy the craving…just a tiny bit!

  • Susan June 25, 2012, 11:48 pm

    I was the same way toward the end of my pregnancy and for the first few months after having my daughter, I think for the reasons people have said: habit, over-tired, needing calories for breast-feeding, etc. What worked for me was eating bigger meals so I wasn’t as hungry and then trying healthy desserts that “tricked” me, like cookies made with almond butter and honey but no sugar. Once I got it under control I could add real sugar back in more in moderation, but I never gave up “sweets” completely. Good luck, you’ll get there and don’t be too hard on yourself right now – there are a lot more important things to focus on (although obviously your heath is important too!)

  • Stephanie C June 25, 2012, 11:49 pm

    My husband is better at this than I am. He asked me to stop baking, so for the most part I don’t bake cookies or cakes anymore. He also asks that I don’t keep desserts in the house, but buy him a bar of very dark (think 90%) chocolate and he’ll eat a square of that every few days. I don’t know how he does it. I’m kinda of in the same boat as you. If I don’t have dessert after dinner, I feel really irritable. I can get through it, but I don’t want to! Granted, my dessert has consisted of a thin slice of vegan cake with strawberries… and I just bought some TJs Vegan cookies, but I’ve been good at keeping those to one a day.
    Another thing my husband asks me to do is to keep snacks and desserts up on a high shelf so that it’s less convenient… less mindless eating! Most of our snacks now are almonds or cashews – not a lot of chips or crackers anymore.

  • Kate S. June 25, 2012, 11:49 pm

    I’ve been developing more and more of a sweet tooth lately after having successfully reduced it for awhile. It doesn’t help that it’s my birthday month!!

    I don’t really like going cold turkey on anything, because then it feels like something I’m forcing myself to do rather than a choice, but that’s just me! Don’t want to set myself up to rebel.

    When I want to cut back, I make sure to have one healthy-ish sweet treat in the house. Either 80% dark chocolate, dates (with almond butter–divine), or I’ll make some maple syrup sweetened or date sweetened cookies or brownies (I’m happy to send you my two go-to recipes if you want). For whatever reason, these more natural sugars in less sweet desserts completely satisfy my sugar tooth without making me want to have more than one, so it’s easy to gradually reduce sugar. I also try to have more protein (greek yogurt with frozen pineapple tidbits is amazing!), more vegetables (especially bitter ones–the comment above about Chinese medicine recommending this is interesting!), and keep some indulgent herbal tea around (Good Earth tastes like dessert to me).

    The comment above relating sugar cravings to lack of sleep is pretty spot on, at least in my experience, so be nice to yourself in this low-sleep time!

  • j3nn June 25, 2012, 11:52 pm

    Those stuffed sweet potatoes look amazing!!

    I have only hypocritical advice for avoiding sweets. LOL 😀

  • Jen June 26, 2012, 12:11 am

    Liquorice is a great alternative while being much lower in sugar. Also opt for more natural sugars, eg dried figs and dried apricots. So good with a cup of pepermint tea!

    Good luck, and congratulations – looks like you’re doing a great job with your wee babe!!

  • Maria June 26, 2012, 12:27 am

    Honestly, for me it was cold turkey. I gave up sweets and after a few rough days (my poor husband), the cravings stopped and I got my blood sugar under control. Now, naturally sweet things do the trick: mango, raspberries, strawberries…

    You just birthed a baby, which means you are capable of anything 🙂

    • Ariffa June 26, 2012, 2:10 am

      “You just birthed a baby, which means you are capable of anything”


  • Jamie June 26, 2012, 12:32 am

    I cut my sweets with fruit. If I am going to have chocolate then I will have strawberries too. If I am going to have ice cream I will throw some blueberries on top. By adding the fruit I am sort of tricking my mind into thinking it got more sweet then it really did. With time I started craving more fruit and could cut back the sweet portions.

  • Christine @ BookishlyB June 26, 2012, 12:42 am

    I have a serious sweet tooth and allow myself a square or two a chocolate a night with a bigger treat on the weekends. Fruit is always fair game.

  • susan June 26, 2012, 1:08 am

    I can only think of keeping fruit around to satisfy sweet cravings (not that I always do that…).
    I also developed MAJOR sweet tooth after my son was born and it lasted a few months. One of my mommy friends told me that breastmilk is sweet and that’s why new mom’s are often craving sweets (since our bodies are depleted of the sweet milk). Would be interesting if there’s evidence for that.
    I wasn’t a big sweets person before our little guy was here (not even pregnant), and after he was born I ate one cookie after the other…

  • Ariffa June 26, 2012, 2:08 am

    I find it helpful to have a bite of sweet (one cookie, a sliver of cake, a peice of chocolate) with some really delicious, roobious tea. I take nibbles of the sweet and sips of the tea. It takes me a long time to savour it and it leaves me feeling much more satisfied.

    For long term success (something I’m still working on) I do think it’s important to really REALLY determine whether you are actually craving something sweet or if you just want dessert out of habit. After I have a really salty/ spicy dinner, I usually want something sweet as a palate cleanser. But sometimes, I don’t even crave the sugar but have it anyway because it’s just what I’m used to.

  • Megan June 26, 2012, 2:45 am

    my sweet cravings took off after my daughter was born. a friend told me that sleep deprivation / breast feeding can do that to you. I try not to keep too much in the house that is super sweet and I eat a ton of fruit. I ate two bowls of cherries, and those really hit the spot instead of two bowls of ice cream. It’s tough when your body’s recovering/ sleep deprived / breast feeding, so forgive yourself for your cookie moments, as soon as you get back into the swing of things, I’m sure that this will too balance out. Try to freeze those extra cookies, that always helps me!

    • Ashley // Our Little Apartment June 27, 2012, 8:10 am

      YES! I was going to suggest freezing baked goods, too.

      I usually do that, or eat too much and get sick of them. 😉

  • Megan June 26, 2012, 2:46 am

    Oh & I also had to alter my meals too! Breast feeding really depletes your body and I was having blood sugar crashes = as in almost passed out one day. So try to eat more hearty meals & that may help the sugar cravings too.

  • Natalie June 26, 2012, 2:55 am

    For me it’s helped to be very conscious of the amount of sugar in my meals and snacks and do simple swamps to lower my intake such as switching to unsweetened almond milk, vanilla Greek yogurt to plain Greek with vanilla extract, new cereal with no added sugar etc. Then when it comes time for dessert you end up having less because you built up some sensitivity to the sugar so your satisfied with a smaller portion. 🙂

  • Sorayya June 26, 2012, 3:02 am

    Do you ever drink Kombucha? I made a conscious effort to minimize my oh-so-strong sweet tooth a couple of months ago. I have been starting every morning with a green monster smoothie and decided to cut out all processed sugars. I thought my body would respond by hating me and demanding more sweets, but the fructose has been doing the trick (after a week or so of chocolate withdrawals 😉 ). Drinking Kombucha nearly every day also seems to completely satisfy my sweet tooth (and apparently there is actually some science behind that). I highly recommend the effervescent miracle drink!

  • Amanda June 26, 2012, 3:04 am

    . Breast feeding takes a lot out of you. Maybe the sugar cravings are your body’s way of telling you that you are deficient in something.

  • Colleen June 26, 2012, 3:41 am

    I’d love to hear a follow-up post on your experience and what you try to curb your sweet tooth! I just returned from a fabulous 2-week vacation where we indulged in nightly sweets and now I find I’m craving sweets like MAD! I’m fine with sweets in moderation, but my sugar craving isn’t allowing for ANY moderation 🙂 Please do share your experiences!!

  • Heidi June 26, 2012, 6:16 am

    I think going cold turkey works pretty well too! I gave up sugary snacks for Lent this year (I had a pretty bad habit of eating candy at work!). I found that after Lent was over and I went back to the sweet stuff, it tasted almost too sweet. I didn’t seem to want it as much anymore. I also read an article that said it takes 28 days to make something a habit, so maybe it’ll just take 28 days of fewer sweets and then it will become the new normal!

  • Kathy K June 26, 2012, 6:24 am

    You will do great with Henry by yourself. You’re such a good mom! Try not to do too much else, just love your baby, they grow up so fast! And the suggestions on taming a sweet tooth I can also use. Thanks everyone!

  • Lauren June 26, 2012, 6:35 am

    LOTS of protein and healthy fats. Reduce fruit intake to one serving/day, just so you’re not triggering your sweet tooth for about 2 weeks. Have a protein and fat filled breakfast with little to no sugar so that you don’t trigger your sweet tooth for the rest of the day.

  • Elle June 26, 2012, 6:43 am

    Wow, I was reading this post this morning at breakfast while I was having my tea with a cookie…3 cookies…9 cookies…12…!!! When you find a solution that really works let us know!!! (PS I agree with many readers that while breastfeeding you must be very very hungry all the time. My friend had a baby girl last April and she is quite slim and in good shape yet eats like a wolf. Baby girl is draining her!)

  • erica June 26, 2012, 6:54 am

    Breastfeeding has given me the mist intense sweet tooth! Right after our son was born, we had brownies. Cookies and cakes all the time because people were visiting. Finally my husbamd and I made a “no sweets for one week” challenge. We quit them cold turkey. It was the beat way to get used to not having dessert after every meal. I ate cheerios with blueberries bedtime snack instead of a brownie. I still have a crazy craving for sweets all day long but we don’t keep It around as much and that helps.

  • Danielle June 26, 2012, 7:10 am

    Dark chocolate, avocado puddings with raw cacao, fruit with greek yogurt and cinnamon. I usually give in to a sweet craving with something on the healthier side!

  • Jen June 26, 2012, 8:01 am

    Drink tea before you dive into dessert. Most of the time, I find that a cup of tea after dinner satisfies my craving for something sweet; and if it doesn’t, it fills me up so I don’t eat as much and I set the rule that I’m done eating when my mug is empty.

    • Brittany June 26, 2012, 10:48 am

      I’ve found this to be true, too! Tea after dinner usually (not always…) satisfies my sweet tooth.

      I’ve also found that not having sweets in the house helps. If I do buy sweets, I like to try and buy dark chocolate or something “semi” healthy.

      I also like to make my dessert eating an occasion or sorts– ice cream with the husband or girlfriends.

      Hope that helps, Caitlin!

    • Brigid June 26, 2012, 1:40 pm

      Agreed! Tea is magical. I find it especially helpful to have a little fruit while I sip my tea.

  • Kat June 26, 2012, 8:17 am

    Honestly, I think a lot of it has to do with how tired you probably are. When I’m not sleeping well, I notice I crave them a lot more. In other words, once you get used to your new sleep (or lack of sleep) situation, you may find it gets easier.

  • Sara @my less serious life June 26, 2012, 8:19 am

    i will ALWAYS have a sweet tooth. but, i try to satisfy it with healthy sweets 90% of the time. like a sweet apple with nut butter or greek yogurt and honey. and then splurge the other 10%

  • JenATX June 26, 2012, 8:40 am

    “However, I feel like I bought a one-way ticket to Sugar Town and don’t have enough money to get back home.”
    HA! great line, Caitlin.

    Anyway, my trick for not eating too many sweets is to know myself. I know if I have a carton of ice cream in the fridge i’ll eat it all. I wish I weren’t like that, but instead of trying to fight it I just don’t keep ice cream in my fridge. If i want it, I’ll go out and get ice cream with the bf.
    I hope that helps 🙂

  • Natalie Rae June 26, 2012, 8:45 am

    I had advice! and had the same situation!

    One month before I gave birth (March 2012), I gave up sweets until birth because I was living off them- a month suspension was something I could handle and I have done once a year for the most recent past half decade for lent.

    After birth, with the restriction done, meals scattered here and there, and the need for calories for breastfeeding- I was eating a lot of sweets- cookies for breakfast is one example. Plus my non-healthy mom came for a after birth visit, and she kept being desserts into the house.

    My solution was to switch to sweets only two days a week. One day a week was too restrictive, and the two days are great for random schedules dependent on baby a lot. The days change around most weeks based on what we are doing and when something sounds good. Example- One week it is a froyo date with chocolate almonds throughout the day and the other day a bit of fun sugar items here and there. It is always a toss up BUT the flexibility helps me stick with it.

  • Allison W. June 26, 2012, 9:19 am

    I like to eat a spoonful of sunflower butter when I’m craving a sweet treat after dinner. I love the one from Trader Joe’s, and it has a little sugar, but at least it has protein and healthy fats too.

  • Alexa June 26, 2012, 9:42 am

    Please, please, please have her post the stuffed sweet potato recipe! And let us all know when she does!

  • Katy Widrick June 26, 2012, 9:57 am

    I’m there, girl…I have had a sweet tooth since the day I found out I was pregnant, which was a huge surprise to me as I’ve always been able to stay away from the sweet stuff!

    I don’t mind indulging now, but I’ve gotten into the habit of daily (errr…thrice daily) treats, and I’m a bit worried that it will be tough to go back to my old clean eating ways after baby. Keep me posted on how it goes for you!

  • Allison June 26, 2012, 10:11 am

    Every year or so (when I get too sugary), I do what a jokingly call a “sugar cleanse.” I go cold turkey for 3 days – no cheating – and after that I feel “reset” and can moderate myself better.

  • Vivian June 26, 2012, 10:13 am

    Cut back a bit each night if you can on the sweet tooth, but try to listen to your body. After some experimentation nursing my daughter, I realized my sweet tooth craving helped my milk supply greatly (sounds like an excuse, but a good one!). I just didn’t need 5 desserts after each meal, but one or two a night was fine. I found healthier options – instead of 2 large bowls of ice cream, 1 medium bowl and half a nut butter sandwich or small bowl of cereal. I tried fruit, but though I ate it and loved it, it didn’t satisfy the sugar craving I was looking for.

  • Beth June 26, 2012, 10:22 am

    I have a MAJOR sweet tooth. Where I work there are sweets (cookies, cupcakes, pies, sweet bread, etc.) available all hours of the day and I was getting out of control (3 cookies/day after lunch is a bit much for me!).

    I weaned myself from the sweet stuff by drinking a tall glass of chocolate milk instead, then slowly making a smaller glass each day. I still have some chocolate milk every day after lunch, but it’s a much more nutritious choice and I still get that sweet taste. 🙂

  • Jamie @ StudioEats June 26, 2012, 10:24 am

    I’ve found that it is all a habit.. eating dessert can become a habit, just like not eating dessert can. Some tips i’ve used to move off of sweets is to replace the dessert with something else. So, toast with peanut butter or instead of froyo, having a bowl of greek yogurt with fruit and cereal. This still puts something in the “dessert spot” without it being as sugar-filled. Then, eventually, try having a “dessert spot” less often. It’s a gradual shift for sure!

  • Amanda Perry @ Sistas of Strength June 26, 2012, 10:52 am

    I had a super ridiculous sweet tooth after I had my son too. I found a few things that got me through that time…it really did go away once I got back into a routine and starting eating tons of fruits, veggies and smoothies. Pieces of dark chocolate or even the cocoa almonds which are very low in sugar helped me out. 🙂

  • meagan June 26, 2012, 10:54 am

    To tame my nearly insatiable sweet tooth, I eat a savory breakfast (eggs and cheese, usually) and up my fat and protein intake throughout the day. By the end of the day, I’m usually pretty satisfied, so I don’t feel like I need something sweet. If I do, I eat Dove sugar-free chocolate or a dark chocolate.

    Still…it doesn’t always work (see last night 10 p.m. baking extravaganza…)…but, if I really need to tame the Tooth, then I do go cold turkey. I cut back on carbs in general (especially processed), replace sweet tastes with savory ones, and that usually does the trick.

  • Jen June 26, 2012, 11:08 am

    i’m sorry (kinda ;)) for contributing to your sweet tooth troubles! i have a major, major sweet tooth and definitely get in the habit of having to have something sweet every day.

    honestly, i have to agree with the others. when it gets particularly out of control i usually have to go cold turkey for a week or so to kinda reset. one thing i have discovered that i LOVE are trader joe’s ginger chews (they GF too!). they’re still technically a treat/candy but not nearly as bad as cookies/cake kind of stuff.

    in general though i like to still allow myself sweets but with some balance.

    i loved meeting baby henry and happy 2 weeks to him! sorry i’m such a baby holding wuss. i’m glad i did though! 🙂

    have a great day! it’s beautiful!

  • Alexandra June 26, 2012, 11:31 am

    Cocoa, yogurt and fruit are my best friends when I’m trying to overcome a sweet tooth. But let’s be serious, once a day, it’s okay to induldge. Just plan what it is you want to induldge in, look forward to it, and fully ENJOY it.

  • Melissa June 26, 2012, 11:33 am

    I had the same problem, and I think it was my body’s way of telling me to take in for calories for breastfeeding. I really struggled with supply and think that in the beginning I really wasn’t eating enough. That being said, the sugar crashes aren’t good either! Try satisfying the sweet tooth with things that aren’t totally empty calories- chocolate milk, ice cream or frozen yogurt, dark chocolate, lactation cookies (yes these are real! Google it). That’s what worked for me. Everyone’s different, but when I was nursing I literally could not eat enough. I felt like I was eating nonstop, but my calorie needs were incredibly high.

  • Nicole June 26, 2012, 11:48 am

    Lol–one way ticket to sugar town! Sugar town is my favorite place on earth, but if you really must leave my suggestion is to stuff yourself silly until you are so disgusted by all things sweet. Worked for me with sunbutter and more recently, pb cups. Why does sugar town have to be so much more exciting than brocolli town???

  • Cailin June 26, 2012, 11:57 am

    I already had a sweet tooth, but I noticed it doubled with nursing. Perhaps you need to take in more calories in your meals- nursing requires more than pregnancy!
    Also, perhaps you could just roll with it for awhile- you don’t seem to do too badly!

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin June 26, 2012, 12:13 pm

    I have a raging sweet tooth too! I try to keep it under control by eating fruit instead of sugary treats. It’s actually amazing how much a banana or pineapple can satisfy my sweet tooth!

  • Blakely @ The Husky Life June 26, 2012, 12:14 pm

    I have a terrible sweet tooth. If you find something that calms yours, please post on it!

  • Alina June 26, 2012, 12:27 pm

    I never found the “eat an apple, it curbs the sweet tooth!” thing effective, but I do enjoy my tea, which is naturally sweet (a blend of apples and nuts from DAVIDsTEA- Forever Nuts if you’re interested) and frozen berries from the farmers market. I especially like freezing a mix of purple grapes and raspberries- they work awesome in smoothies too!

  • bitt June 26, 2012, 12:32 pm

    you mentioned you had antibiotics and Henry has thrust and you have yeast. Sugar feeds yeast. A lot of moms I’ve talked to who have candida think the source of it started during the birthing antibiotics. You really need to avoid sugars–even dates, agave, maple syrup, etc if you want the yeast to die and to keep your gut healthy. One of the main signs of having yeast/candida is having major cravings for sweets. I think keeping to low glycemic fruits such as berries and small portions of stone fruits, and stevia-sweetened things for awhile would really help the yeast and your cravings. For me, with my candida I had to go off all the sugars in order to kill it. Hopefully later after you recover you can add in more sweets safely.

  • Elizabeth S. June 26, 2012, 12:43 pm

    I try to only have only one dessert a day. When my sweet tooth is out of control and I’m craving sugar after every meal, I remind myself of my one a day rule. I avoid midday desserts by
    (1) saving my dessert until after dinner because I know I will want it more at the end of the day
    (2) having some healthy sugar, like fruit, when I can’t get dessert off my mind
    (3) staying busy. If I plan something for after lunch, there’s no time to think about sweets.

  • Claire Zulkey June 26, 2012, 1:15 pm

    I would just get rid of all the sugary treats in the house, first. Out of sight, out of mind.

    My dietitian tells me to enjoy “social sweets only,” IE sugar treats only if I’m with someone else, which I think is a good rule of thumb. Meanwhile, my therapist (who has helped me with BED) suggested that during pregnancy, I limit my sweets to nighttime.

    So anyway, if you used one or more of these guidelines, you could still enjoy your sweets but maybe more in the form of a rarer walk to the ice cream shop or Kristien bringing you a single sweet treat from the bakery.

    Oh, and always–make sure it’s ‘worth it,’ because nothing makes me feel grosser than eating a sweet that wasn’t really that good.

  • Jill June 26, 2012, 1:17 pm

    Sadly, I have no advice – just sympathy! Reading the other comments has been helpful though, so thank you for posing the question. I’m only 14 weeks into my first pregnancy, and I’m finding that I want juice every morning (and I was previously more of an eat-my-calories kind of girl) and I’m snacking on carbs like crazy. I’d love to find a way to curb this. All the sugar and constant carbs can’t be good for the baby. The “eat more protein” comments really hit home – I’m definitely not eating as much protein as I would have pre-pregnancy, since it doesn’t seem as appealing.
    Good luck with the sweet tooth – keep us posted. I’m such a fan of your blog, and appreciate that you’re able to keep it going while you juggle working at home and taking care of Henry.

  • Melody June 26, 2012, 1:28 pm

    I had your same exact problem. Except perhaps 10 times worse. I would eat all sorts of sugary things throughout the day, and dessert after lunch AND dinner. It was an awful cycle of highs and lows. To be completely honest, trying to limit sweets is not that effective if you’re already mildly addicted. As long as you get a taste of sugar, you’ll keep thinking about when you can have more. I went cold turkey on all refined sugar and processed food for 28 days. That was the only thing that worked. Now I can enjoy sweets in moderation again. The first week off sugar was awful. I fully relied on stevia, cocoa powder (I love chocolate anything), and tons of fruit. Good luck!

  • Danielle June 26, 2012, 1:50 pm

    I am someone who has always tried to be very healthy in my eating habits, but I suffer from a terrible sweet tooth! And, it isn’t one that can be satisfied with the normal nutritionist’s answer to a sweet tooth, which is usually to have fruit to calm the craving. I’m very allergic to most fruits (citrus/berries), so I’ve had to find other ways to combat the issue. Honestly, I bought a yonanas maker at the recommendation of a few other bloggers. I can have bananas, so it works for me. You just freeze them and use them as the base for your “ice cream”…the riper they are, the less banana they taste and take on a more vanilla flavor. I’ll just add some dark chocolate pieces, or a spoon of peanut butter, etc. and it really helps to ease the sweet craving without a huge amount of calories and the added sugars and unnatural ingredients of my favorite Ben and Jerry’s flavors! I even think your banana soft serve is a similar concept to this and you could make it in a blender…I just like the yonanas because it is so easy and requires almost no maintenance/cleaning for me as an always on the go new mom like you!

  • Kerry June 26, 2012, 1:57 pm

    Caitlin – I recommend chewing gum, drinking tea, eating things like dark chocolate that satisfy the sweet tooth instead of making you crave more (milk chocolate makes you want to keep going back!). But also, enjoy the cookies!!

  • LMG June 26, 2012, 2:18 pm

    I did this before I got pregnant and now am not looking forward to doing it again. I ate more refined grains as it was the only thing I could keep down in the first trimester, and my ice cream cravings have been off the charts now. It’s not fun, but the benefits and feeling better are so great I know it will be worth it in the end. Here’s what worked for me:

    NEW FOOD: For me, what worked last time was making sure that I tried a lot of new foods at the same time. Because cutting or substituting using the same foods from before just left a hole where the sugar had been. For example, I changed breakfasts to berries, almonds, and sometimes a dairy product–radically different than the whole-grain w/sugar things I was eating before.

    NEW SUGARS: Another thing that worked was allowing some every day, but in a different form. I really like those coconut bars, sesame bars, and raw food bars from the health food store. They’re all sweetened with honey, date syrup, and sometimes agave nectar. It helped me to transition out.

    COCOA-CHIA BARS: Another transition recipe that I still love was these (just Google cocoa chia bars recipe for different versions). They gave me the candy fix without the reliance on sucrose. Again, not something you want to down every day in large quantities, but helped in transition.

    PROTEIN: I didn’t feel the same way that everyone says, though I did consciously try to increase my protein intake as well.

    TIME: It took 1 week of craving like crazy (white-knuckling it), 2 weeks of being hyper-aware and still feeling like I was craving, but in the fourth week I suddenly realized the craving had become a habit and I hadn’t truly been paying attention to how I was feeling. Once I did, I didn’t want to go back. If I tried a sweet thing, I didn’t want more than a bite or two. I’m convinced now that sweeth tooths can come and go for me, and it’s hard to transition in and out.

  • Dee June 26, 2012, 3:04 pm

    I have a long, long history in Sugar Town myself and have tried to break the habit many times, always to rebound. Recently I spoke with a nutritionist who told me to eliminate grains (?!) and I would stop craving sweets. I didn’t believe him at all, but because I have high blood sugar, and limiting grains is recommended for such folks, I decided to give it a whirl, more for my own reasons than any belief that I would lose my sugar cravings.

    Not even 7 days after quitting grains, I completely stopped craving sweets for the first time in my life. Any previous time I went off sweets, I stayed away with willpower only, but I still craved. Now sweets just look like food I can easily pass up, rather than long for. Weird.

    I’m not sure how sound eliminating grains is as nutritional advice, (m.d.’s, re my blood sugar, have only told me to limit grains and focus on whole ones). But, maybe cutting back on grains for a few days might help curb the sweets desire enough to get you back to your normal relationship with sweets?

  • Jesse (OutToLunchCreations) June 26, 2012, 3:22 pm

    I recently figured out I have Candida so I have been off sugar and grains and a bunch of other yeast feeding foods for the past 6 weeks. I have been playing a lot with stevia and so far everything is delicious! I recently posted a recipe for delicious guilt free Vanilla Almond Protein Truffles. Here is the link -> They are AMAZING straight out the freezer and have zero calories from sugar because the protein powder I use has stevia. I’m obsessed with them!!! If you try them let me know what you think!

  • Jesse (OutToLunchCreations) June 26, 2012, 3:24 pm

    Licorice Root Tea also has a very sweet aftertaste so it is a great thing to drink after dinner to kick the dessert craving.

  • Lisa June 26, 2012, 3:30 pm

    I wish I had a suggestion because sweets are my downfall as well. Every so often I do go cold turkey from all sugar/candy/desserts. I usually do it for about a week or two and after the first few days it’s super easy. It’s like when I get out of the habit of wanting sugar, I don’t want it.

  • Calla June 26, 2012, 8:15 pm

    I have a wicked sweet tooth myself. I fully believe it’s genetic – my grandfather was known to eat a bowl of maple syrup for dessert on occasion! (Not an exaggeration. That happened.) Luckily, over time, I’ve found a few things that help me manage my sweet tooth without making me feel like I’m missing out.

    1) as people have mentioned above, eat healthy (or relatively healthy) sweet things when you’re craving sugar. I find mangoes and pineapple especially helpful. Sometimes I get into dried cranberries too – they’re still pretty sugary but at least have more nutritional value than the jellybeans I often crave.

    2) a handy addiction motto: don’t let yourself get too ‘hungry, angry, lonely or tired’ (catchy acronym: HALT). Experts feel that with any of these leaves a person vulnerable for relapse. (I would add “stressed” in there, too.) (Also: I 100% get that with a newborn you’re certain to be at least tired most of the time and potentially feeling the others, too, and I’m not trying to be preachy! I just do find it helpful sometimes – on occasions when I realize that what’s going on is one of these things rather than me actually needing sugar, I’m sometimes able to refrain from it.)

    3) Sometimes I’ll start feeling like I’ve been eating too much junk and need to detox a little, but I’m hesitant to go cold turkey because a) is a life with no sweets really worth living? and b) I’m afraid that renouncing sugar altogether would lead straight to me bingeing on it and then really loathing myself for it. I’ll make a little mental deal with myself not to buy candy/junk food/sweets/etc. for a specified period of time. If I’m someplace that happens to have a free tray of cupcakes or something, I’ll have one, but only if I had nothing to do with it getting there (does that make sense? It’s not really a budgetary “no buying junk food” issue but more a “don’t lead yourself to junk food” issue). Usually if I do that for a couple of weeks I feel much better, and sometimes I even go longer on this system than I initially intended to. As someone else mentioned above, I truly do feel like the less junk I eat, the less junk I crave.

    Sorry if this is an excessively long comment – this just happens to be an area of particular expertise for me!

  • Steph @ A Life without Ice Cream June 27, 2012, 7:40 am

    I’m also a mega sweet tooth. Could pass by chips 99 out of 100 times with no temptation… cookies, cakes, dairy free ice cream, candy… another story.

    Without going cold turkey? Sadly, that’s what always works the best for me… a few days or a week of now added sugar tends to break the habit and soon enough bananas start tasting sweeter than a piece of cake.

    The best trick I have is to use something naturally sweet to quench the craving… like some fruit to nibble on or even a cup of tea.

    BTW, LOVE LOVE LOVE that you call your son H-Dawg 😉

  • Lissa June 27, 2012, 9:31 am

    Thought you might enjoy reading Tina’s advice!

  • Stephanie June 27, 2012, 11:31 am

    Subbing fruit for ‘dessert’ has worked for me in the past. I’ll start out letting myself have what fruit I need to satisfy my sweet cravings, and then slowly cut back on the fruit too. It cuts out the processed sugars without suddenly depriving you of sugar all together, and then I can still indulge in a non-fruit dessert every now and again. 🙂

  • Chantal June 27, 2012, 1:00 pm

    I find that the more I have sweets, the more I crave them. Like once you start you can’t stop! I guess that doesn’t help much right now, but when I get in a pattern of not having them for a while, I find I don’t miss it all that much.

    Dark chocolate squares are great because they’re rich enough that I’m usually good with just one or two.

  • Robin @ The Balanced Life June 27, 2012, 2:10 pm

    Hi Caitlin!
    I can totally relate to the sweet tooth problem! I did this post recently called “12 Healthy Ways To Satisfy You Sweet Tooth” for that exact reason! Here’s a link:

    PS- those PB cookies look delish 🙂

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