Sugar Cravings They Got To Go Heres How

Sugar Cravings? They’ve got to go- here’s how!

Sugar cravings are not easy to get rid of sometimes. But we have to. Are you constantly craving sugar? You’re not the only one. Sugar can induce drug-like effects including bingeing, craving, dependence, and withdrawal. Research has actually found that sugar can be more addictive than drugs such as cocaine. That can be scary especially if you are looking to lose weight. High sugar diets can increase your risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, obesity, depression, anxiety, and fatty liver. Typically sugar cravings are paired with emotional eating, but there are a few imbalances that can actually be linked with cravings for sweets. The good news is there is something you can do to help stop your sugar cravings.

Common causes

Some of the common causes of sugar cravings are blood sugar imbalances, gut imbalances, lack of sleep, genetic causes, stress, dehydration, vitamin/mineral deficiencies an over consumption of carbs and chronic dieting. If you relate to more than one of these your sugar cravings can be more severe.

How to stop sugar cravings

Manage stress

Firstly, you need to try and manage your stress. Feeling stressed out causes the hormone cortisol to rise, which leads to sugar cravings. This is because sugar increases dopamine and serotonin. These are the hormones that help you feel happy and relaxed. So, the craving you’re getting could be your body telling you to chill out. The higher your sugar intake is, the greater the serotonin and dopamine boost becomes. In return the sugar crash will be bigger and this will make your next craving even higher and stronger.

In order to release your stress, try deep breathing, yoga, meditation or anything else that makes you feel relaxed.

Also lack of sleep can significantly increase ghrelin. This is the hunger hormone. Poor sleep can activate the endocannabinoid system commonly known as what causes the munchies. Practicing good sleep hygiene can combat this. If you’ve already tried several sleep strategies and are still not rested, consider using some natural sleep supplements as recommended by your naturopath.

Drink water

You should also make sure you’re drinking enough water. Hunger is often confused with thirst. Not drinking enough water impairs your liver from releasing glycogen, which is an energy source for your cells. If your gut has an overgrowth of bad bacteria or yeast, you’re more likely to crave sugar. If you indulge those cravings, you will deepen your dysbiosis.

Take your prebiotic and probiotics

So instead take a daily prebiotic & probiotic. Eat a few servings of fermented foods like sauerkraut, yogurt, coconut kefir, kombucha, or apple cider vinegar daily. Try to mix it up. The reason for this is because each fermented food has a different array of bacterial strains. So, the more types of fermented foods you eat, the more diverse your microbiome will be.

Add protein, fats and fibre

Sugar craving can also be a result of blood sugar imbalance. If your eating excessive carbs, dieting, and skipping meals you could be causing that blood sugar crash. To prevent this, add more protein and fat into your diet. This is because they burn slower than sugar, keeping your energy level steady longer. High protein food include: beef, fish, chicken, quinoa, beans, lentils and eggs.

Good quality fats include: avocados, extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, fatty fish, nuts and seeds. You should also increase your fibre intake. Foods with soluble and insoluble fibre not only feed your good bacteria, they stabilise the blood sugar and reduce sugar cravings.

Some high fibre foods include: coconut, artichokes, Acorn squash, avocados, black beans, almonds, chia seeds, quinoa, and flaxseed. Remember to increase water intake though, to prevent constipation.

If you’re constantly craving sweets you may also want to include cinnamon in your diet. Cinnamon is anti-inflammatory, loaded with antioxidants, it may help to reduce insulin resistance and lower your blood sugar. Cinnamon’s easy to incorporate into your diet. Add some to your smoothies, oatmeal, porridge, chia pudding, and baked foods or sip on a warm mug of cinnamon tea.

Also take a look at your wheat and yeast intake as you may be sensitive to them both. You can check this out on https://www.wellbeing.com.au/body/nutrition/wheat-free-whole-wheat-and-your-health.html

Vitamin and mineral deficiencies

Some sugar cravings may be due to vitamin and mineral deficiencies. If you’re craving chocolate, your body may be low on magnesium. Fruit cravings may be your body’s call for additional vitamins, minerals or antioxidants. Try satisfying it with naturally sweet foods like squash, sweet potato, beets, carrots, and fruit. Try to avoid chewing gum as it isn’t great for your teeth or for your digestion. Consult your naturopath or nutritionist to find out what vitamin and mineral deficiencies you have and take the supplements they recommend to get those cravings to stop. More info can be found on the correct supplementation on www.stressfreemanagement.com.au

So next time you find yourself craving sugar, stop and take a moment to think about why you may be having this craving and consult your natural practitioner who will help you find some natural ways to help reduce it. Also, your counsellor or stress management specialist can give you some great tips to help you with the emotional side of eating. (Pic thanks Henry Geddes)

Jenetta Haim

Jenetta Haim

Jenetta Haim runs Stressfree Management at 36 Gipps Road, Greystanes, and specialises in assisting your health and lifestyle in all areas by developing programs on either a corporate or personal level to suit your needs. Jenetta has just published a book called Stress-Free Health Management, A Natural Solution for Your Health available from your favourite bookstore or online. For more information and to get in touch, visit her website at Stressfree Management.

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