Beating yourself up just because you can’t stop craving sugars is tough on the psyche. Sometimes it feels like there is someone or something that has hijacked your brain and you have no control over what goes in your mouth. The good news: there just might be something that is driving the sugar train.

One of the major groups of bacteria that resides in your intestines, or gut, has its own agenda. That agenda is to make sure that there is plenty of sugar coming in because that’s what IT craves! That’s right! There is a sugar craving bacteria in your gut sending signals to your brain to “eat more sugar, NOW!”

You may have heard by now that the microbes in your intestines are pretty much in charge of everything that happens in your body. Scientists know that these bacteria send messages to the brain through metabolites that tell the brain what to eat, as well as how to think and feel. Yes, the gut brain-connection is real and powerful!

These microbes, or “little critters,” have long weird names like Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes. These are two of the major players in the gut.

We’re going to focus on Firmicutes. They can make you fatter! There is growing evidence that having a higher ratio of these Firmicutes can play a big part in obesity, inflammation, diabetes and even metabolic syndrome. And, they love sugar! That’s right, these bacteria can send signals to the brain telling the brain it needs more sugar. Hence, your sugar cravings are being driven by your gut microbes! They just scream for sugar!  Get these critters under control and your sugar cravings will be too!


Reduce you fat intake

That’s right, I have been saying for years, “eat more fats” because good fats help heal the cell wall. But, when you eat too many good or bad fats, you require more Firmicutes to help digest those fats. So, even though Firmicutes CRAVE sugars, their job is to digest fats. (sheesh!) I know firsthand that you may lose weight on the high fat Keto diet, for a while, but as soon as you jump back into regular eating…poof! Those extra pounds are back with a vengeance. If you are overweight, having sugar cravings or suffer from inflammation, you need to reduce your fat intake UNTIL you get the microbiome back in balance.

Eat a whole lotta fiber

Yep, the average American eats 10 grams or less of fiber. You need to be eating a walloping 30 – 40 grams of fiber per day. I have a Fiber Guide for you, that will give you some great ideas about how to add in more fiber to your diet. I admit, it is a hobby trying to eat all that fiber, but it pays off in the end.

Take a good probiotic complex

There are so many probiotic brands and health claims about them, it’s hard to know which one works best. When you are working on reducing sugar cravings and rebuilding the bacteria that may help with balancing your weight there is now a probiotic blend that rebuilds the microbiota, especially the flora needed for reducing sugar cravings. I use Klaire Therbiotic Metabolic Formula several times during the day for best results.


Sugar cravings are not your fault. There are powerful bacteria in your gut that crave sugar as their food source. When you try to use willpower to not eat as much sugar, they take over and say “No way, we need sugar.”

Reduce your fat intake. That’s right, if you are a sugar hound and/or want to loose weight, reduce fat intake until you get your gut back in balance. Don’t rely on those low-fat snacks!! Eat real food snacks like veggies and hummus.

Eat as much fiber as you can get in your body. I do not mean to take an over-the-counter fiber supplement, I mean real food. Here’s a list of High Fiber Foods I love.

Take a good probiotic, not the cheapest one on the shelf. (Those cheap ones with hardly any probiotics strains in them might be good for something, just not sure what).

Chakraborti, C. New-found link between microbiota and obesity. World J Gastrointest Pathophysiol. 2015 Nov 15; 6(4): 110–119. Online Link Cardona, F., Garcia-Fuentes, E., Moreno-Indias, I., Queipo-Prtuno, M. I., Sanchez-Alcoholado, L., & Tinahonest, F. J.Insulin resistance is associated with specific gut microbiota in appendix samples from morbidly obese patients (2016). American Journal of Translational Research. 8(12): 5672–5684.



The brain knows that you will feel better with a little sugar or starchy carbs. Sweet, starchy carbs are really the best.  You eat the sugar, you feel better, but then you feel guilty because you know what ever you ate will be on your hips quicker than you can say, “I shouldn’t have eaten that.”

Sometimes there’s even a silent little sigh as the sugar rushes to the pleasure center of the brain and activates dopamine, a brain chemical that lights up when sugar is present.

Then the guilt floods in again and you know that whatever you ate will be on your waist in a matter of minutes.  The guilt and shame causes the brain to crave more dopamine…and on it goes.  Eating sugars/carbs equals immediate relief then, weight gain and guilt and back to sadness/depression.

What if there was more to these cravings than lack of self-control?
Well, there is!

The answer is in your intestines a.k.a. your gut. There’s a HUGE factory of chemical messengers in your gut that are the cause and the solution to your cravings and weight gain!  Yep, that’s right, the answer to the sugar cravings might be in your microbiome. The gut microbiome is a vast ecosystem of microbes that help us control our emotions, weight, fight infection, regulate our sleep, and so much more.

I have struggled with sugar cravings that high-jack the best laid eating plans, health regimes and all-out diets.  It was not until I understood my microbiome and what it was and wasn’t doing for my carb cravings that I started to take back control of my gut and my brain. 

The concept that the bacteria living in your intestines has a major impact on your emotions is a fairly new concept.  But the latest research estimates that over 85% of depression and anxiety starts in the gut. Ever heard of the gut-brain axis?  Your brain and gut are sending signals back and forth all the time.  One of the many jobs of the gut microbes is to send signals to the brain (neurotransmitters) that tell the brain to make the mood chemicals dopamine and serotonin.  When you don’t have enough of the good bacteria, the amount of signaling slows down and you need sugar and carbs to help make those brain chemicals fire.


Eat More Fermented Foods

Kefir: A fermented milk drink with a somewhat sour taste is made using a culture of yeasts and bacteria. There are several brands in major grocery stores now. Pick a brand without a lot of sugar. You can blend kefir with frozen fruit if you need a little more sweet. There is also goat kefir for people wanting a non-cow alternative.

Yogurt: There are several imports things to look for in your yogurt and the first one is not the price! 

1. Make sure that the yogurt you choose has the National Yogurt Association’s Live and Active Cultures seal on the packaging. The cultures must be added the heat processing or the cultures are not available for gut health.

2. Protein should be at least 6 grams and sugar should be under 15 grams. Most yogurts contain huge amount of sugars which just feeds bad bacteria and has the potential to pack on pounds, not take them off. The suggested sugar intake for a day is 20 – 25 grams. So if one yogurt contains a whopping 30 grams, you can eat no other sugar for the rest of the day. Many yogurts contain artificial sweeteners, so read labels carefully because you want to avoid those.

3. If choosing cow dairy yogurt, organic or grass-fed is always a better choice.

4. Alternative dairy yogurts are a choice for people choosing dairy-free alternatives.

Click here to see our top dairy-free yogurt picks
with high amounts of probiotics

Fermented Veggies: you might have heard a lot about fermented vegetables  these days and for good reason. These veggies are the hottest food trend! Fermented veggies feed the gut bacteria, or microbiome, and help keep our little critters happy. When your microbiome is happy, your sugar cravings will be less and you may even start to loose weight! Unlike pickled foods, fermented foods are made in a salt brine, not vinegar. So, if you see vinegar on the label, it is not fermented. Start with a tablespoon or two per day. You will start to crave them!

Kimchee is a salted, spiced cabbage product. It can range from mild to very spicy. It is used as a condiment and is very good in a wrap with other vegetables. You will be surprised how tasty it is!Sauerkraut has to be fermented, not pickled. Put some in your salad or on your next wrap.

Sauerkraut has to be fermented, not pickled. Put some in your salad or on your next wrap.

Other Fermented Vegetables: Almost any vegetable can be fermented and I haven’t had one that tastes bad.

Take LOTS of Probiotics

Take probiotics every day. The microbiome is made up of over 1,000 different species of probiota or good bacteria. These good bacteria are our immune fighters, protecting us from many illnesses and inflammation.

1. Look for multiple strains of probiotics. Less strains = less effective and cheaper.

2. Avoid probiotic brands with fillers, additives, artificial colors and preservatives.

3. Choose a brand that lists the substrains, this means the product has undergone testing and will be more effective.

You will see CFU’s on packages, which means Colony Forming Units.  Another way of saying how many good bacteria are in the product. But, not all probiotics products are the same!  The quality is determined by the strains of bacteria rather than the amount they advertise on the label. Look for these important qualities when choosing your probiotic:

Don’t rely on the cheapest probiotic or store brand, do some research, your happiness depends on it.

Eats Lots of Fiber Rich Foods

Your microbiome relies on fiber rich foods to survive and thrive. The more fiber in your diet, the more diverse your microbiome. Because we eat less than half the fiber in a day that our microbiome needs, our “critter population” is less diverse and makes us more prone to obesity, depression, anxiety and even Type-2 diabetes.

Download your copy of the Top Fiber Foods List Here

In summary, our microbiome is the key to sugar/carb cravings. If we have a healthy, diverse microbiome, the brain can receive signals to produce dopamine and serotonin. If the diversity and amount of good bacteria have been eroded by medications, stress, processed foods and environmental pollutants to name a few, the potential for reduced immune function, inflammation and of course sugar and carbohydrate cravings increases quickly. Eating a diet that is full of foods containing good bacteria, like yogurt and fermented foods while taking a quality probiotic supplement will greatly increase the health of your microbiome. Eating foods from the high fiber food list will also increase your microbiome diversity and happiness. A happy microbiome = a happy person.

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