Your Best Ally to Fight Sugar Cravings

Karen Patten

Now that you’ve seen the high sugar content of many packaged snacks and meals, you’re probably feeling a little anxious. Maybe panicked? So what am I going to eat???? What’s left? Won’t I still have sugar cravings? How can I control my sugar cravings?

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Protein can help keep sugar cravings at bay - but how much do you need? When should you be eating protein? The top things you need to know about protein, right here.

I know that whenever I look to reduce sugar (and carbohydrates generally), I go through this every time. It feels like sugar is hidden everywhere and processed carbohydrates are found in huge quantities everywhere. So WHAT DO I EAT??? I’m going to break it down into four major categories of foods that you should be including daily. Today, we’ll talk about your greatest ally in the fight agains sugar cravings – protein.

What Is Protein?

Proteins are made up of smaller building blocks called amino acids, joined together in chains. There are 20 different amino acids. Some proteins are just a few amino acids long, while others are made up of several thousands.

Of the twenty amino acids, nine are known as essential amino acids. This is because they cannot be made in the body and, therefore, you must consume them in your food. Foods that contain all nine essential amino acids are said to be a source of “complete protein.” Foods that contain less than all nine essential amino acids are said to be “incomplete proteins.”

Protein is termed the building block of the body. It is called this because protein is vital in the maintenance of body tissue, including development and repair. Hair, skin, eyes, muscles and organs are all made from protein. This is why children need more protein per pound of body weight than adults; they are growing and developing new protein tissue. (source)

Almost every important process in our body requires protein. Enzymes that facilitate chemical reactions in our bodies are proteins. Protein works to transport molecules throughout the body. Hemoglobin is a good example; it is a protein that transports oxygen throughout the body. Proteins make up the antibodies in our immune systems that help to prevent infection and illness.

How Does Protein Help Fight Sugar Cravings?

Protein is involved in the creation of some hormones. These substances help control body functions that involve the interaction of several organs. Insulin, a small protein, is an example of a hormone that regulates blood sugar. It involves the interaction of organs such as the pancreas and the liver.  (source)

Protein is digested much more slowly than carbohydrates and because of this, it keeps you feeling full for longer. And these staves off sugar cravings. If you eat in regular intervals of 3-4 hours, and each meal or snack contains some protein, then you will help keep your blood sugar stable and avoid that irrational feeling you get after you’ve waited too long to eat!

How Much Protein Do I Need to Fight Sugar Cravings?

The recommendations vary from 10% to 35% of daily calories from protein. This is another one of those things that is specific for your body. I know some people who thrive on lower amounts of protein and some who have to have a hunk of meat every day to keep from feeling run down. You’ll have to pick your own starting point and experiment a little bit from there.

How can protein help keep sugar cravings at bay - but how much do you need? When should you be eating protein? The top things you need to know about protein, right here.

What Are the Best Sources of Protein?

Meats, fish, eggs, and nuts and seeds are the best sources of protein. Also, protein powders can be great to add into a smoothie.

What If I’m a Vegetarian?

Never fear! There are plenty of sources of protein as a vegetarian to keep sugar cravings at bay. The main concern for vegetarians is that fewer vegetarian sources of protein contain all nine essential amino acids. But that’s ok – you don’t need to get all of the essential amino acids at one sitting. Just try to mix up your sources of protein to get the best array of  amino acids to help stave off sugar cravings. Here are some good sources of protein for vegetarians: eggs, dairy, greek yogurt, cottage cheese, green peas, nuts, nut butters, quinoa, beans, chickpeas, edamame, broccoli, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, buckwheat, and mycoprotein (Quorn).

Information, Knowledge, Understanding, Tips, Hacks, Tricks - You'll get it all over the next 31 days. Kick your sugar addiction to the curb! #sugaraddiction #write31days #sugarhabit #sugar

Information, Knowledge, Understanding, Tips, Hacks, Tricks – You’ll get it all over the next 31 days. Kick your sugar addiction to the curb!


Think about your favorite sources of protein and several that you might like to experiment with. Consider how you could use them throughout the day with your snacks.


Make a snack today that contains protein. Try to eat a meal or a snack every 3-4 hours that includes protein to help keep your blood sugar stable.

Here are some products that I personally use make sure that I’m getting protein at regular intervals:

On 31 Days to Annihilate Sugar I add a daily link to each new post. I really want you to follow along with me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram so that you don’t miss anything extra I may be putting out there. But even more – I don’t want you to miss anything – so I want you to sign up for my special emails just for this series! Sign up now and don’t miss out on daily information, inspiration, and scary stuff. Everyone who follows this series and seriously wants to learn about sugar addiction will be entered to win a free copy of Suicide by Sugar!!! Sign up now for a chance to win a free copy of this wonderful book and to make sure that you don’t miss a thing!


  1. Katie V on October 12, 2015 at 9:26 am

    Sugar is something I definitely struggle with. These tips are great, and I always find that I do crave less sugar when eating more protein. My go-to source has always been hard boiled eggs. They are quick, tasty, and great to make ahead.

    • Karen Patten on October 12, 2015 at 9:38 am

      Hard boiled eggs are a great quick, protein filled snack. Plus, eggs are high in choline which is great!

  2. Clare Speer on October 12, 2015 at 8:25 pm

    I really really struggle with sugar!!!! Great tips and I need to get more protein in during the day! thanks!

    • Karen Patten on October 14, 2015 at 1:47 pm

      It really can be hard…. But replacing the sugar with things that help you feel full longer and avoid blood sugar spikes makes it easier!

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  4. Deborah Davis on October 19, 2015 at 9:50 pm

    You’re right! Protein works! i find nuts and nut butters helpful. Thank you so much for sharing our greatest ally in the fight agains sugar cravings – protein with us at the Healthy Happy Green and Natural Party Blog Hop. I am so delighted that you are partying with us! I’m pinning and sharing.

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Hi, I’m Karen, the Atlanta mama, writer, and creator at Intentional Family Life. I’m a passionate advocate for intentional living so that you can experience all that you deserve for yourself and your family. Here, I inspire moms to chose what matters most and then to only do the things that move them closer to what matters most. Read More About Karen…

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