But why is it that no matter how clean I eat (or how many articles I read—or write—about sugar's negative effects) I still can't shake my desire for all things sweet? Is it metabolical? Diabolical?
In an effort to find out (and see if anything could ever make me stop dreaming about chocolate chip cookies), I was intrigued by a new company called Crave Crush, which makes all-natural, research-backed lozenges that are designed to stop sugar cravings in their tracks.
The Crave Crush concept has harnessed the science behind cravings, which is actually relatively simple: The taste of sugar makes us crave more sugar (basically it's a vicious cycle).
The problem is, sugar is in almost literally everything. Seriously, try doing the Whole 30 or a no-sugar diet for a while and you'll quickly learn all the surprising places sugar shows up. Even if you have a primarily healthy diet, you can find sugar in unexpected foods like sushi, pasta, yogurt, and salad dressing.
Even if you have a primarily healthy diet, you can find sugar in unexpected foods like sushi, pasta, yogurt, and salad dressing.
As a die-hard sushi lover, this information was concerning to me. Was I sabotaging my anti-sugar efforts and causing more cravings without even realizing it? To find out once and for all, I decided to give Crave Crush a shot.
Here's how it works: Pop a Crave Crush after a meal or snack (the box suggests taking one two to three times a day, or more as needed). As it dissolves, it uses a groundbreaking mechanism to bind to the sweet taste receptors on your tastebuds, immediately stopping them from sending a positive review of the sweet substance to your brain. That, in turn, stops your brain from asking for more sweetness.
Usually after lunch I make myself a cup of lemon-ginger tea to placate my sweet-tooth, and I'm definitely guilty of rummaging through the dessert shelf of my pantry in search of chocolate post-dinner. But for one day, instead of reaching for my go-to's I took a Crave Crush after every meal to see if its seemingly magical powers were real.
Scroll down to see what I learned—and find out whether the minty lozenges really stopped my sugar cravings.
It helped me designate the end of a meal.
Often after lunch I'll push away my empty salad bowl and immediately start brainstorming where I'll get my next snack. I usually do this not out of hunger, but because the lingering taste of my meal makes me crave a sweet snack or dessert. But letting the Crave Crush melt on my tongue (it took about five minutes to completely dissolve) actually put a stop to my hankering for more food.
Added bonus: The minty flavor left a refreshing feeling in my mouth that eliminated the need to brush my teeth in the office bathroom after lunch. Because come on, who actually does that?
It killed my desire for chocolate.
Later that evening, right after my post-dinner Crave Crush, my roommate offered me a square of banana dark chocolate she said I needed to try. Normally I would have jumped at the offer, but was surprised that I didn't want the chocolate. I took a bite to appease her and it didn't taste sweet—it was bland at best.
That meh feeling actually makes sense according to the science behind Crave Crush: The lozenges are designed to reset your palate, working at lightning speed to reduce the usual satisfaction you get when taking a bite of sweets. And my palate was reset to the point where I definitely wasn't tempted to reach for a second piece.
It's a plant-based solution for cutting cravings—that worked for me.
All in all, I was shocked at how well (and fast!) the little tablets worked, and as someone who is very selective about the quality of foods I put in my body, I love that Crave Crush uses natural, plant-based ingredients rather than chemicals (the main ingredient comes from the leaves of the herb Gymnema, which fittingly is called "sugar destroyer").
If a tasty mint made from plants is going to help keep my healthy eating habits on track and get me closer to achieving my fitness #goals, you can count me in. And if you're struggling to back away from the banana dark chocolate too, it's a definite must-try.
Top photo: Crave Crush
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