Once I stopped eating what I will call 'Extra Sugar Foods' (ESF) for this post (candy, soda, cookies, pie, cake, ice cream, syrup, jelly, canned fruit) I found the sugar in natural and most processed foods tasted so much more intense and (For ME) eliminated the craving.
Without the daily consumption of ESF, fruit, esp apples & fresh tomatoes became my new 'candy'; sometimes bananas and yogurts seem too sweet. Even a drink of whole milk tastes like ice cream to me. I recall one morning after about two months without ESF I made waffles from a boxed mix and it tasted like a cookie - I didn't even want syrup with it. Same thing with my morning oatmeal. With the fresh fruit in it I eliminated the two packets of artificial sweetner I'd been using to make it palatable.
I cannot imagine me drawing a line in the sand with 'no sugar period' as I strive to make fruit part of my daily intake and still rely on some processed & canned foods for cooking. However, even with those, as well as the one artificial sugar I put in my first morning cup of coffee or the artificial sugar in water flavorers, I still do not experience sugar cravings.
It may simply be my own mindset ((so I hope by qualifying this as FOR ME, MINE, MY will not sound like I'm trying present myself as a scientific reference to be debated ))I have noticed I WILL crave ESF when I've had simple carbs alone (bread, bagel chips, crackers) but NOT if I consume it with something else like cheese or avocado. Again, that's ME and it may not work for others.
I will reference a study I read a long time ago that there are cultures who do not have sugar cravings because they do not get it in their food at all. Our bodies do seem predispositioned to crave 'some' things naturally ((and I drew the conclusion of dairy, meat and vegetables and fruits from that )).
This is a little off track (sorry) but I feel conquering my sodium craving fell into the same category. I no longer irrationally crave chips, bread, fast food now that it isn't a part of my daily consumption. This is prompting me to eliminate the processed foods more than the 'sugar' as I am finding most are too salty anymore to enjoy. I'm actually moving toward 'low sodium' foods ((when the sugar isn't increased)) for that reason - where I was a crazed woman wanting 'normal cheese' in the past, it's just too salty now. French Fries? Forget it - not even interested.
The one craving I still randomly experience inexplicably is 'fat' as in foods based in mayo, onion dip, ranch dressing. I have read that an increase in protein will help eliminate fat cravings (or hunger cravings in general) but have tracked my 'wild eyed high fat craving days' and those do NOT directly coincide with a low protein days. So I continue to find things to try and in the meantime, if craving something like that, eat a small portion, mindfully, to satisfy the craving to avoid it erupting into an uncontrollable binge.
Point? I think the more *I* eliminate extra unnecessary 'stuff', the less I want it. For anything else, I satisfy the 'crave' and justify it as 'my body is telling me it needs this' and just keep moving along.
Maybe this will help your approach to sugar craving. If not, thank you for reading and tolerating my long rambling post.
Eat What you Love ~ Love What you Eat