Sugar Craving Cause: You Chowed Down On Salty Foods
When you dine out or eat highly processed, packaged foods, your food has more sodium in it than you probably even realize. This usually remains true even when youre eating something healthy, such as grilled salmon and sautéed or steamed spinach, from your fave healthy restaurant. Heres the kicker: Oftentimes, the saltier your food, the bigger your sweet craving.
Include Complex Carbs In Your Meals
Sugar is a simple, harmful carbohydrate while fiber and starch are complex beneficial carbs. Incorporate complex carbs in every meal of the day and watch the sugar cravings run away. For breakfast, add oats and cereals to the table. Replace milky bread with whole wheat bread at lunch. Eat some rice with beans or peas for dinner, and youll be good to go.
Low Sugar Meals Delivered
Cooking more of your meals at home is one way to decrease added sugar in your diet. But if you don’t have the time or skill set to meal prep for yourself, how about a healthy meal delivery program?
Pick a meal plan that fits your taste and fitness needs and get consistent, healthy meals to help you stay balanced and on track. Plus, little to no added sugar to help you detox and cut cravings for good.
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Make Sure Youre Getting Enough Calories
Sounds like a joke, right? But often when were dieting, we restrict too much and end up with cravings. When you dont eat enough, or you eat the wrong things, your body starts looking for fuel fast, as a way to catch up. So what does it do? Crave sugar! Sugar gives you quick energy, even though its not quality energy.
The only way to get around this is to eat whole foods, and break the sugar cravings cycle once and for all.
Here Are 7 Tips On How To Reduce Your Sugar Cravings
With this article, we would like to help you with how you can reduce your sugar cravings.
We recommend slowly decreasing sugar intake. Otherwise, the changes could be overwhelming.
Weve all experienced it. Just eat something, and there it is, the craving for sugar-rich foods. It is not always easy to resist this urge and stay active.
However, controlling ravenous appetite with vegetables, fruit, and a balanced diet can reduce sugar cravings significantly.
Trying this healthier way of eating for a month would be great! But if less would be better than not starting at all.
We know that changes can be exhausting, and many people are afraid of them.
Therefore, you should not have the feeling that you will have to do without all kinds of delicious foods until the end of life, we can assist you with a healthier alternative solution.
Just start slowly with some natural sugar alternatives leaving out soft drinks, sweets, desserts, etc. After trial and error, you can then decide whether its right for you.
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What Is Sugar Withdrawal
A splitting sugar headache, fatigue, cramps and nausea are just a few of the debilitating symptoms that can occur when you decide to finally nix sugar from your diet. But why does this happen, and what causes it?
Years ago, sugar was just a small part of the diet, found mostly in natural sources like fruits and starches. In recent years, however, sugar intake has skyrocketed, with added sugars accounting for an estimated 14.1 percent of total energy intake according to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Its found just about everywhere, from ultra-processed foods to granola bars, cereals, yogurts and even tomato sauces.
Here are some more alarming statistics on sugar intake in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
- Americans should keep added sugar intake to less than 10 percent of calories.
- From 200510, men and women 20 and over consumed 13 percent of calories from added sugar.
- In 200508, average percent of daily calories from added sugar was 16 percent for boys and girls ages 219.
- Socioeconomic status is found to not affect added sugar intake by youths, however among adults, lower-income people consume more added sugar.
- Younger, less educated, less physically active adults who smoke and drink infrequently or lightly seem to consume the most added sugar among adults.
Keep Your Blood Sugar Levels Stable
When your blood sugar levels drop too low, your brain sends out signals telling you to eat more sugar in order to bring your sugar levels back up. So keeping your blood sugar levels stable helps stop sugar cravings from occurring in the first place. To help keep your blood sugar levels stable, you should:
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Ask Yourself If You’re Eating Your Emotions
Understanding why you are craving sugar can be a major clue to help you overcome it. “Know your reason ‘why,'” Glassman says. “Cravings can be triggered by emotions, behaviors, or nutrient deficiencies. The next time you’re absolutely craving ice cream, ask yourself, is it pure boredom? Are you feeling happy? Sad? Stressed?,” she explains. Asking these questions and trying to get to the bottom of why you’re craving what you are can help you overcome the feeling in the future as well.
Figure Out The Why Behind The Desire:
Sometimes you might crave sweets out of a habit or boredom, or because of stress.
So if thats your case, Id encourage you to take 3 deep breaths when youre having a craving and focus on the 3-Fs.
- Feel: What type of feeling are you experiencing? This could be boredom, anxiety, stress, etc.
- Feed: How does it feed that feeling? Would that piece of pie or donut help feed the feeling youre having?
- Find: A non-food related behavior to feed the same feeling. Whats a non-food related way to support the feeling youre having?
The goal is to find a non-food related behavior to fill that void or emotion youre feeling instead of using food for comfort.
Example: If youre craving chocolate because youre feeling stressed
Try: venting to a friend, meditating, doing some yoga, going for a walk, or having a mineral mocktail.
Sugar probably isnt what your body really needs, but maybe going for a short walk is.
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Bonus Tip: Intermittent Fasting
If you havent tried intermittent fasting yet, you should definitely give it a shot. When you dont eat for certain periods of time, your body uses up the sugars stored in your liver and burns more fat.
Whats more, intermittent fasting helps reduce insulin resistance and inflammation. You can learn more about intermittent fasting in our Intermittent Fasting Guide.
/7manage Your Sleep Schedule
It is not only your diet habit that triggers the urge to have sugar, your sleep schedule also has a crucial role to play in it. If you stay awake till late at night or cut down on your sleeping habit, you will crave carbs and sugar. That’s because sleep deprivation increases the production of hunger hormones called ghrelin. To lose weight and avoid sugar, sleep on time and take a rest for 7-8 hours.
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Sugar Substitutes You Need To Try
For a sugar detox, you need to find some alternatives to satisfy your sugar cravings. This can be a fruit smoothie or a frozen yogurt bark recipe. Whatever you try, stay away from refined sugar. Refined sugar is far more harmful than natural sugars found in raw honey and fruits, and it can be as addicting as drugs.
Honey has a plethora of benefits including being antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. It also reduces the risk of cancer and helps fight infections. Whether you have a sore throat or digestive problems, honey can fix seemingly everything. Replace refined sugar with honey in your recipes and feel the difference. Not only will it satisfy your sugar craving but also improve your immune system in the process.
When you feel the sugar rush coming, dont reach for chocolates or brownies. Fruits like berries, mangoes, bananas, and apples have plenty of natural sugar in them and will satisfy your sweet tooth easily without causing any damage to your body. Snack bars made from oats, dates, peanut butter, dark chocolate, and honey are also a good option for a quick dose of sugar.
Sweet potatoes are a rich source of vitamin A and vitamin C. They taste sweet and are pretty filling too. Besides containing a variety of minerals, theyre also high in fiber which promotes gut health and digestion. People trying to lose weight often eat sweet potatoes to control their hunger.
The Sour Side Of A Sweet Tooth
Ever raided the biscuit tin? Tucked into treats at the office? Added an extra spoonful of sugar to your coffee? Sugar has become a staple ingredient of modern day eating, and everyone, with or without diabetes, can benefit from limiting their intake.
But, in our sugar-laden diets, this is easier said than done, particularly as sweet food is often offered as an expression of love in our food-abundant cultures. We take a look at the psychological reasons behind sugar cravings, in an effort to help you master them…
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Pack Your Plate With Protein
Curbing late-night sugar cravings may come down to getting a proper portion of protein at dinner.
Your body digests protein more slowly than fat and carbs. “This means that when you eat a higher protein meal, it will generally keep you feeling full for a longer period of time, mitigating the urge for a sugar surge post-dinner,” Moskovitz says.
In fact, protein has been proven to reduce the “hunger hormone” ghrelin and increase hormones like glucagon-like peptide-1 and cholecystokinin that contribute to satiety, Gearhart says.
“Protein also has a minimal impact on blood sugars,” Moskovitz adds. And that matters because foods that quickly raise blood sugars often lead to rapid blood sugar crashes, and, consequently, more sugar cravings.
So, make sure your supper plate gets an ample portion of protein. Fortunately, there’s a plethora of protein options perfect for the dinner table. From chicken, turkey and fish to eggs, tofu and legumes, you can find a healthy no matter what your dietary preferences.
Maintain A Healthy Sleep Cycle
A night of good sleep is necessary for overall body functioning. Hence having an excellent 7-hour sleep every day will help in reducing sugar cravings. A night of disturbed sleep can lead to weight gain, improper digestion and various other health problems. Therefore a healthy sleep cycle is primarily essential.
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Retraining Your Body To Crave Less Sugar
If you feel like you are currently addicted to sugar and just cant stop, dont give up hope.
And dont forget to be patient with yourself. While it may take time, it is possible to retrain your body to crave less sugar. Its simply a matter of taking it slow and committing to the process.
Slowly reducing your intake can help retrain your taste buds and your brain to crave less sugar. With time, youll notice that the less you have, the less you need in order to feel satisfied.
So keep at it, make small changes one step at a time, get support from health professionals when you need it, and dont give up!
About Chelsea ClarkChelsea Clark is a writer and certified health and wellness coach who is passionate about supporting others along their own health journeys. She enjoys helping people make positive, lasting changes so that they can live the happiest, healthiest life possible.
8. Hughes, L. How Does Too Much Sugar Affect Your Body? WebMD, LLC. Webmd.com.
9. DiNicolantonio, J.J., J.H. OKeefe, J. H., & W.L. Wilson. Sugar addiction: is it real? A narrative review. British Journal of Sports Medicine 52, no. 14 : 910913.
10. Avena, N.M., P. Rada., & B.G. Hoebel. Evidence for sugar addiction: behavioral and neurochemical effects of intermittent, excessive sugar intake. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews 32, no. 1 : 2039.
Tip : Vitamin B Complex Supplement
Vitamin B complex vitamin boost to the adrenal system which decrease cravings for sugar. Especially Biotin and Riboflavin are important as too much sugar in your diet can block the absorption of these vitamins.
Biotin supports the metabolism of your macronutrients and can be found in eggs, beans, cauliflower, banana, mushrooms.
Riboflavin aids in the metabolism of fat and lack of it leads to sluggish fat burning. You can find it in food such as Asparagus, Banana, Meat, Eggs, Green beans, Tomatoes, Mushrooms, Almonds
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Why Is Sugar Almost Everywhere
Many people want to give up sweets. The question is: Why is there so much sugar in our food?
The food industry uses sugar to make its products more attractive to us, and of course, its much cheaper than oil.
Whether subconsciously or consciously, we find the taste of sugar delicious, and its addictive.
Sadly enough, these foods are additionally sweetened, which is not necessary. The food manufacturer provides us with what we demand and buy a vicious cycle.
Thats why its so hard for us to give up sweets. Even juices that are supposed to be healthy have a considerable amount of sugar.
Did you know there are up to 29.3 sugar cubes in 1 liter of orange juice?
Not only is sugar used to optimize taste, but its also more of a flavor enhancer.
Your Diet Is Lacking In Good Nutrition
If your macro balance is off or you’re just eating too many unhealthy foods, your blood sugar could be way out of whack. And poor blood sugar control can cause your energy crash, increase hunger and cravings for certain foods , and mess with your overall mood. If you’ve ever been hangry, this is an actual symptom of low blood sugar and/or lack of carbs .
Certain nutrient deficiencies may also contribute to cravings. After all your body runs on nutrition not just calories, and if your body isn’t getting what it needs, it could be signaling to your brain that you need more food to get it .
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Why We Crave Sugar
If you crave sugary foods, you’re not alone. Studies estimate that up to 90% of the adult population may experience food cravings. These cravings are often for sugary foods.
Scientists have long believed that cravings for carbohydrates and other sugary foods are driven by a desire to improve mood due to the fact that consuming sweet treats increases serotonin levels in your brain.
Serotonin, also known as a feel-good hormone, is a brain neurotransmitter that boosts your sense of well-being.
Although serotonin may be the cause of your food cravings, there are a variety of other potential causes that can also play a factor:
Dont Relapse & Fight Against Sugar Temptation
When you have made it a few weeks without sugar and other sweeteners, dont forget that you are still addicted.
You might be tempted to reach out for a chocolate bar again, which could be just as devastating for you as a sip of beer is for a sober alcoholic.
Some Bacteria process sugar quickly this type of bacteria will increase, demanding more sugar.
It is entirely typical for your body to adjust to a new diet for a few days, sometimes even weeks. Reducing in increments is preferable for most people.
Some may suddenly change everything from one day to the next but may be more affected by withdrawal symptoms.
Slowly change your sugar consumption step-by-step, its easier for your everyday life, and you can prevent relapse more easily along with preventing severe illnesses and diseases in the future.
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Eat High Protein Fat And Fiber Foods
Protein, fat and fiber are highly satiating and keep the body full for longer. Make sure every meal and snack includes a protein source. Aim for about 25% of your meal to come from lean protein and pair it with good fats like omega-3 fatty acids . Fatty foods are also very filling, and unsaturated fats from sources like olive oil, walnuts, avocados are associated with reduced risk of heart disease. And lastly, lets not forget about the power of fibers. Generally speaking, fibrous foods exert their benefit by promoting satiety, decreasing hunger, therefore providing a feeling of fullness.
So instead of just having an apple for a snack, spread some nut or seed butter on it to add protein and healthy fats, which will power you through your afternoon!
Find The Cause Of Your Craving
When you crave sugar, take a minute to stop and think about why you are craving it. Are you craving sugar because you are stressed or tired? Do you want to eat something sweet because youre upset or bored? If you think you are craving sugar for a reason other than true physical hunger , then this is called non-hungry eating or mind hunger, and you need to address this first.
When you are bored, find something non-food related that you can do to keep your mind entertained. If you are stressed, remove yourself from the stressful environment and do something that can genuinely help reduce your stress levels you can go for a walk, get some fresh air, listen to some music, talk to a friend or seek the help of a health professional who can help you manage your stress.
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