How to Control Sugar Cravings With Prescribed Medications

Boy take chocolate cake from fridge
A man takes an entire cake out of the fridge. (Image: LuckyBusiness/iStock/Getty Images)

Many people enjoy desserts and claim to have a "sweet tooth," but for some people, sugar cravings can be truly problematic. If you've ever dipped into a package of cookies or bag of jelly beans vowing to eat just one or two, only to find yourself polishing off the entire stash, you know what that means. And surely many people are familiar with those moments when the desire for something sweet to eat is so strong that nothing else will do. But if eating sugar causes weight problems or disordered eating, it needs to be addressed. For some people, particular prescription medications might be helpful.

Step 1

Speak with your physician about your troubling sugar cravings and discuss the possibility of medication to help control your eating behavior. According to Nicola McFadzean, a naturopathic doctor specializing in eating disorders, speaking in Bastyr University's "Bastyr Magazine," certain neurochemical imbalances can cause or exacerbate food cravings. Medications designed to balance brain neurotransmitters or curb appetite, such as the antidepressants Prozac and Wellbutrin, or the weight-loss drug phentermine, might help control your sugar cravings and improve your eating habits.

Step 2

Follow your physician's instructions regarding prescription medications closely. Medications for appetite and mood can cause adverse side effects and drug interactions for some people. In addition, some medications take time to start working. To truly reap the benefits of any prescribed medicine, it's crucial to take it as directed and discuss any unpleasant side effects with your doctor immediately.

Step 3

Combine your medication use with a balanced diet and regular exercise. The College of the Canyons notes that regular physical activity fights depression and stress, two factors that often contribute to overeating. In addition, the College of the Canyons explains that a diet providing a balanced mix of protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats keeps hunger and sugar cravings at bay better than one high in simple carbs. Eating nutritiously and exercising will maximize the benefits of any prescribed medications you try for controlling cravings and improving your eating behavior.

Warning

See your doctor, a registered dietitian or a psychologist with expertise in weight and eating disorders if you have concerns about your eating behavior. Consult a physician for detailed information and recommendations about prescription medications for eating behaviors, which are not right for everyone.

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