How to Stop Those Sugar Cravings

stop those sugar cravings

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A spray that makes sugar taste like chalk – could it really work? Could it really help stop those sugar cravings that plaque us sugar addicts?

I have to admit I thought that my Medical Assistant, Roxanne, was grasping at straws when she told me she bought a spray to make sugar taste bad. “Who wants to do that?” was my initial response.

Roxanne moved to Kansas from Washington a few years ago so her culinary interests are a little suspect around here. We Kansans prefer not to spend money on things that make perfectly good sugar taste like cardboard. We are more of your meat and potatoes kind of people. Roxanne is not. We love her anyway – that’s just what Kansans do.

Hi! I’m Doctor Emily and I’m addicted to sugar

The more I thought about it and the longer I watched her with that little spray bottle, the more I realized the sugar addict in me just might benefit from it. I had gestational diabetes with my recent pregnancy. And I’m not talking about the “keep an eye on your sugars” gestational diabetes. I’m talking the insulin kind.

My sugar cravings were so bad that when my OB and friend sent me a picture of a medically accurate cake to freak me out about labor, I responded with “Yum.” Even my OB was concerned. My staff joked about my “gestational diabetes in the making” diet and then it really happened. And the insulin shots and glucose checks were no joke. That stunk – I’m not going back there for the rest of my life if I can avoid it.

How to Stop Sugar Cravings

Roxanne and her spray

So, as I watched Roxanne spray her little bottle of Juniper Life Empower Instant Willpower one afternoon while I headed to try the afternoon snacks in the break room (which just happens to be outside my door) I decided it was time to give it a try.

Can you actually alter the taste of sugar?

I followed the bottle’s instructions and sprayed 3 sprays of Juniper Life Empower in my mouth. It tasted like peppermint with a bit of an aftertaste – not bad really. Then, I tried my sweets. And … that stuff WORKED. Sugar tasted like chalk. Crumbly and flat. No feel good high here. I tried a KitKat and a Hershey just to make sure. I mean, how would you believe me if I just tried one? Nothing.

I tried a pickle – tasted like pickle. Cucumber – tasted like cucumber. Hershey with nuts – tasted like a chalky nut. Sugar cookie – a little butter taste but not much flavor at all. I know what you are thinking – Wow! She really prepped for this challenge. I warned you about the break room. It is not meant for healthy eaters. Or gestational diabetics.

How to stop sugar cravings

How does it work?

That is interesting. Believe it or not, the active ingredient in changing the taste of sugar, gymnema extract, is not a new discovery.According to Scientific American’s Nutritional Diva Monica Reinagel, who reviewed a product named Sweet Retreat, gymnema extract has been around for centuries and used for blood sugar control. It’s use and effects have been replicated in animal studies recently as well.

What about side effects?

Gymnema extract can lower blood sugars. Diabetics, especially those on insulin should use with caution. Juniper Life Empower also contains guarana extract, an energy supplement stronger than caffeine, as well 5-HTP, an amino acid precursor to seratonin, and Vitamin B7. Peppermint oil provides the flavor.

As Roxanne discovered a little too late, the products discourages use in pregnant or breastfeeding women. Oops. If I had known that, I would have tried it on my husband. My baby, Eliza, can use a little break from sweets, though. They also recommend checking with your Doctor if you are taking antidepressants.

As we discussed previously, OILS are considered supplements by the FDA and, thus, not FDA approved. True studies in humans are not available.

Tips when you try it?

  1. Make sure that you stick your tongue out and spray the whole thing. I just got the front of my tongue with my first trial and the taste came back sooner.
  2. It lasts about an hour, not all day. Use it for those after-dinner sweet cravings or to come off soda. Unless you want to spray it all day. That’s your prerogative.
  3. It has an alcohol base so it will give you a bit of a dry mouth. If you talk all day, like me, have water ready.
  4. You can find Juniper Life Empower Instant Willpower on Amazon for $29.95. Tell them Roxanne sent you.

Simple Solution: Making sugar taste bad is actually surprisingly easy with the help of Juniper Life Empower Instant Willpower. Think about it for those craving times of day or to cut specific cravings like soda. It tastes like peppermint, lasts about an hour, and does not affect other tastes. Just try not to give it to your breastfeeding boss.

For more about gymnema extract, check out these articles:

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Dr. Emily VinZant is a Family Physician, weight loss and life coach, and modern American Mom. She helps Moms lose weight through her program, Weight Loss for the Modern American Mom. To learn more, schedule a consult at