Points - Ask the Doctor

Q: I know that the sweet stuff makes me gain weight. But I often find myself having terrible sugar cravings, especially around the holidays. Do you have any tips to help me break my sugar cravings?

A:Youíre not alone. When we feel stressed, we tend to reach out to the cookie jar. And letís face it. Holidays can be a stressful time for many people. Itís no wonder we feel that we really "need" those chocolate brownies to survive the holiday season.

So the first step to curb your sugar cravings is to assess your stress level, and find ways to manage stress on a daily basis. Make sure you get 7Ė8 hours of sleep every night, exercise, and reduce caffeine and alcohol intake. Mind-body exercises such as yoga, deep breathing, meditation, qi gong and tai chi are also excellent ways to reduce stress, calm the mind, and curb sugar cravings.

The next step is to look into your diet. Sometimes when your body craves one thing, it is actually asking for something else. Sugar craving can be a sign that your body lacks certain nutrients it needs. Make sure you have a balanced diet with all of the essential nutrients, including complex carbohydrates, proteins, high quality fats, vitamins and minerals. Iíve written many books on this subject. Check out my book Secrets of Longevity Cookbook for healthy and yummy recipes.

Additionally, certain pickled, salty or bitter foods can also stop sugar cravings. Try some pickled Japanese plums. They are quite tasty and effective in heading off a chocoholic rampage. You can also have a bowl of delicious miso soup to stop a sugar binge in its tracks.

About our Doctors

This month's Ask the Doctor question was answered by:

Dr. Mao Shing Ni, Ph.D., D.O.M., L.Ac. . from his website:


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