How to avoid sugar cravings - Holly Harmon Health

How to avoid the sugar crash (when you “give up” and have the pancakes!)

I choose to eat certain foods (pancakes in particular) even though I know eating them leads to more sugar cravings.

As I wrote about last week in When You Keep Eating that Food You Gave Up, food is an experience which runs much deeper than caloric intake – it is always laden with layers of emotional attachment – whether social or nostalgic.

For this reason, trying to give up any of my faves (pancakes, brownies, cake, chocolate chips cookies) always resulted in feeling deprived and overeating them later.

Once I let go of trying to never eat these foods again, I felt much more sane! It felt awesome to end the cycle of eating ’til I was stuffed. But it sucked crashing on the sugar; my mood and energy plummeting for the rest of the day and then I craved more and more sugar.

How to avoid crashing and craving more sugar

This is my personal recipe which has been refined and re-refined over the years. Enjoying pancakes may seem simple, but it’s not. Whether your “off-limit food” is pancakes, like me, or another sugary treat, these tips will help you stop yourself from going out of your mind and avoid the absolute roller coaster of sugar crashes and cravings.

  1. Don’t have an affair with food. In other words, don’t eat the foods you hate to love in secret. Don’t eat them on the-go. Don’t eat them over the kitchen sink, trashcan, or in front of the fridge. If feelings of shame or fear come up when you’re eating, pause and choose to connect instead to the pleasure of the food. Do put your food on a plate, chew it slowly, savor the taste, and enjoy the experience.
    NOTE: If you skip this one, you will lose out on the pleasure (which is what you’re really craving) and you will keep obsessing and going back for more.
  2. Learn my magic formula (no math degree required). Nutrient-dense, high-quality, unrefined foods are key to making my magic formula (below) work for you. This will gently get your body back to a more balanced place; to avoid the crash where more sugar cravings happen. Aim to eat something using this formula within thirty minutes of your sugary treat — sooner if it’s super sugary!


Greens + Carbohydrate + Fat Protein Sweet veggie(s) or Fruit


Dark leafy greens (raw or sauteed spring mix, spinach, kale–check out your local farmers market) 

Grains cooked in broth (quinoa, brown rice, barley–check out your bulk food section)

Sunflower seeds or Pumpkin seeds or Almonds or Walnuts and/or Avocado and Olive oil and Tahini

Beans or Lentils or Chicken or Fish or Grass-fed Beef

Baby tomatoes and/or Sweet potatoes and/or Beets and/or Carrots

Sliced apples or Berries

If you’re sick of fighting with yourself to give up certain foods, slow down and see what physical and emotional cravings your body is actually trying to satisfy. I hope you found these tips helpful. I know from experience, stressing about food is not a fun or productive way to live (or eat)!

Tight squeeze,


PS – Wanna learn more? Check out the importance of ingredients in perpetuating your cravings here.