Do you have an unquenchable love for all things sweet? Or maybe you can’t survive the day without a few bottles of soft drinks. Well, we all know diabetes is no joke, and of course you might already be dealing with some weight issues. But hey, don’t despair yet. You can win the war against sugar cravings.
Sugar cravings are often triggered by the fact that our bodies need some fuel. But even after finishing an enticing bowl of a well made and healthy meal, some people need their sugar hit to complete the day. This could be really weird and very unhelpful, especially if you are trying to get a hold of your diet. Why the cravings then? What is wrong with your body that makes it NEED extreme sugar?
WHY WE SUFFER SUGAR CRAVINGS
As earlier mentioned, when your body doesn’t get the required nutrients or food it will send signals to the brain. this phenomenon as well as some others are responsible for your brain’s response. Unfortunately, your brain responds by sending false alarm signals that you NEED more and more sugar. Here are the things to watch out for that cause cravings.
- Skipping Meals:
It has become almost commonplace for a lot of people to skip meals during the day. Coffee for breakfast, no food, a bit of water and they are’fine’. But your body actually has a different idea. You might be watching your weight, or being extra-healthy and trying to burn off calorie. The body on the other hand feels starved of fuel, and that’s where it gets off sending alarm signals to the brain. That is akin to having your car beeping loudly on a big red EMPTY, meanwhile you believe it is using up reserve. Your brain then sends you signals of every filling station in sight; that’s SWEETS/SUGAR/CARBS. And there is your sugar craving. Unfortunately, eating a healthy wholesome meal wont get the message across to your brain that there is now fuel. The gratification of sugary foods or junk is the only message that will satisfy your brain’s need for dopamine.
- Dehydration: When you have been out all day in the sun, getting stressed, and sweating you will be dehydrated. The lack of fluids and electrolyte loss is going to get you longing for some sweet things, probably a sweet fizzy drink. So, dehydration might be responsible for your sugar cravings.
- Lack of Protein, Fibre and Fat: If you have been eating carb rich meals with little or no balance of protein and fibre you might be fueling sugar cravings. The satiety that staples provide isn’t enough. You need some fibre and protein, even fats to balance your meals and stop that craving.
- Sodium: Eating foods high in salt content will often increase your craving for sweets. The saltier the food, the more sweets you want. When you eat junk food or you eat out, it is more difficult to keep tabs on your sodium consumption. So, to limit your cravings or your child’s sugar cravings eat less junk food and processed foods while reducing salt intake.
Haven identified the key problems that cause sugar cravings, cutting them out is easier to do.
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6+ Steps to Cutting Down Sugar Cravings
- Eat properly and on time a full meal with lots of veggies, lean protein and fats. Do not wait till your body starts giving warning signals. Eating to be satisfied doesn’t mean eating too much carbs, you can practice portion control and
- Get rid of junk foods. If you are feeling cravings after a full meal, try some naturally sweet tea without any sweeteners.
- Stay away from artificial sweeteners.
- Reduce salt intake and eating out or junk food.
- Rest well, sleep better and don’t stress yourself much.
- Stay hydrated. When you or a child starts feeling the need for a sugary drink, try some cool, pleasant tasting water instead.
- Grab a fruit, some pineapple, an apple, banana or even a bit of watermelon or grapes.
- Get active: Go for a run, let your kids go play outside and get some physical activity, do some squats, burpees or whatever exercise you can get done at home. This releases endorphins that can limit the need for the feel-good dopamine hormones causing cravings.
Try these few tips to help you handle the cravings. Remember, the minute you give in that’s the beginning of an addiction to a bad habit. Once you take some sugar, because you dint actually need it you cause an insulin spike in your body. This causes your sugar to crash down soon after you’ve taken it. Then you need some more sugar to combat that drop. And that is how a terrible eating habit begins.