Why Do You Have Sugar Cravings
If you crave your afternoon soda, struggle to stop at just one piece of chocolate, or even get a headache or feel irritable if you dont eat something sweet in the morning, youre not alone. Not only are sugar cravings common, but this compulsion to eat sugar is indeed real and physiologically motivated. So why do I crave sugar? you might be asking yourself. Turns out that the answer is kind of complicated.
Studies show that sugar is an addictive substance, eliciting even more of a potent response in the reward centers of the brain thandrugs like cocaine. Although these reward systems serve a biological survival role, they also can contribute to the addictiveness of a behavior, motivating you to seek out sweet food.
Every type of food activates the reward centers of the brain to some degree otherwise, the species would not be motivated to seek more food, and our survival would be at risk. According to research studies, sweet foods are especially triggering because they elicit a more dramatic increase in dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure, and endogenous opioids, which are natural pain relievers that also add to feelings of a natural high or pleasure. These chemicals cause an emotional rush that can trigger future sugar cravings in order to replicate the feeling.
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.
Blood Sugar Spikes And Dips
Hunger varies inversely with blood sugar fluctuations. As blood sugar dips, hunger rises.
And blood sugar on a high-sugar diet can be like a rollercoaster. When someone drinks a sugar-sweetened beverage, their blood sugar goes up, only to crash as insulin scrambles to clean up the mess.
The aftermath is a low-energy state, full of angst and craving. Its called being hangry, and it doesnt increase your likeability. Unfortunately, many consume more sugar as a short term solution, which worsens the downward spiral.
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The #1 Best Supplement To Crush Sugar Cravings Says Science
Sugar cravings are no joke when it comes to interrupting your weight loss journey. Whether you’re trying to avoid the post-dinner ice cream or just attempting not to snack on chocolate during the workday, these cravings will sneak up on you in a seemingly unavoidable way.
Thankfully, there are some ways you can help crush these sugar cravings by making sure you’re getting enough vital nutrients throughout your day. And sweets-lovers out there may benefit from knowing that magnesium is one of the best supplements you can take for getting rid of cravings.
Continue reading to learn how magnesium supplements or magnesium-rich foods can help your cravings, and for more healthy eating tips, make sure to check out 12 Best Snacks That Crush Hunger Cravings.6254a4d1642c605c54bf1cab17d50f1e
Why Do You Crave Sugar
From ice cream and cake to cookies and candy, sugar has found its way into just about every food imaginable. But its not just the sweet treats that you crave bread, chips, starchy vegetables, and even savory meats have been coated with sugar or otherwise enhanced with extra sugar to make them more appealing to your taste buds.
But why do we crave sugar so much? Lets take a look at some possible explanations below.
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Use Artificial Sweeteners Cautiously
Replacing sugar with low- or no-calorie sweeteners can help cut calories, but the safety of regularly consuming these artificial sweeteners is often questioned.
It has also been suggested that weight gain is a possible side effect, despite the reduced calorie count. This is due to the fact that artificial sweeteners may encourage eating behaviors that increase cravings not only for sweets but for food in general.
Fill Up On Healthy Fats
Eat more nuts, seeds, avocados, olives, and salmon whenever you can. “Not only are these foods heart healthy and help with blood sugar control, healthy fats will displace excess sugar from the diet and keep the body satisfied for longer so you are less likely to have energy dips between meals prompting a quick sugar fix,” says Ashvini Mashru, MA, RD, LDN, and author of Small Steps to Slim. “A simple, healthy dietone that’s high in fiber and low in sugar, preservatives, and unhealthy fatsis all that’s needed to keep your body’s interior as smooth and sleek as the day it rolled off the assembly line,” adds Zinczenko.
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Herbal Supplements For Sugar Cravings
There are numerous herbs that make great supplements for sugar cravings. You may have some in your kitchen cupboard! Always keep in mind that even herbs can be strong for someone with adrenal fatigue. So if your body has a tendency to be sensitive, ask a healthcare provider before starting these supplements.
Sage, a powerful antioxidant, may help with lowering your blood sugar levels and keeping cholesterol levels in balance. The herb also supplies nervous system support while encouraging your body to relax during times of stress. This may help with adrenal support as well. Because most people have sage at home, it is one of the easiest supplements for sugar cravings to get your hands on.
Another culinary herb to consider using regularly is rosemary. Known as a natural headache remedy, the herb encourages blood flow to all parts of the body, making it a great tool in your arsenal of supplements for sugar cravings because headaches are one of your bodys detox symptoms.
Thyme is great at supporting digestive health because it promotes effective digestion and may relieve gas and cramps. The herb also has a relaxing effect on your body.
Turmeric is a great herb to use when going through a sugar detox because it supplies liver support. The herb may also help with blood sugar regulation, lower your cholesterol levels, and help reduce inflammation.
White Mulberry Leaf
Embrace Sweet Fruits And Veggies
Nature created sweet flavors and theres no reason to demonize nature!
Mangoes, bananas, pineapples, papayas, sweet potatoes and other sweet, whole foods are packed with antioxidants and enzymes that are great for fighting wrinkles, eczema, bloating, inflammation and much more.
High sugar fruits naturally satisfy the sweet tooth and contain the vitamins and minerals we need to stay feeling and looking young.
The best way to get the benefits of the fruits?
Eat them when theyre quite ripe because ripe fruits alkalize the body .
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Add Healthy Fats To Your Diet
Like protein, healthy fats help satiate your appetite and curb your sugar cravings. Healthy fats are found in lean protein, eggs, nuts, avocados, and fatty fish like salmon. Theyre great for simple snacks, like hard-boiled eggs or almonds, as well as main meals. Start your day with a protein-rich Oatmeal Power Bowl with Peanut Butter Drizzle, starring a trio of healthy fats from Earth Balance® Creamy Peanut & Flaxseed Spread, chia seeds, and flax seeds, to and curb those sugar cravings and keep you feeling charged all day. For a tasty lunch or dinner option, try this recipe for Pan-Seared Salmon with Guacamole made with spicy chipotle-seasoned salmon filets and chunky guacamoleyou can whip it up in less than an hour.
How To Kick Sugar Cravings To The Curb
When you take a drink of your favorite sugary coffee beverage, enjoy a delicious bite of cake, or indulge in your favorite pasta, you trigger a dopamine release in your body thats similar to when youre listening to your favorite music or falling in love. This release creates a positive association with that trigger in your brainor what is commonly known as a “sweet tooth”causing you to crave sugar. Sugar tastes good, it makes you feel good in the moment, so you want more. Yet, sugar doesn’t offer any real benefits to your health.
You might be looking to reduce your sugar intake to prevent health issues such as obesity and diabetes, or perhaps youre trying to lose weight. Whatever your reason, the following tips can help you kick your sugar cravings to the curb and improve your overall health.
How To Curb Sugar Cravings
If you find yourself battling a serious sugar addiction, take things one day at a time. Before you satisfy cravings, drink a tall glass of spring water, Goodman suggests. We often misinterpret our bodys signal for thirst as a signal of hunger. By drinking water first, you may be giving your body exactly what it wants and alleviate the craving. If youre still craving sugar, try incorporating more protein into your diet alongside fermented foods and supplements that ensure youre getting your daily dose of vitamins, like Ritual, which boasts a number of vitamins and minerals specifically important to women.
Fahad agrees, saying that fruit cravings are fine and just an indicator your body is craving nutrients. However, its important not to overdo it. If you feel like youre overdoing it with fruit, pair it with fat or protein, she says. For example, eat a banana or apple with almond butter, berries with coconut yogurt, etc.
Additionally, Fahad recommends making sure you are getting enough magnesium, which she calls a key for energy to enter our cells. MedlinePlus, which is part of The National Library of Medicine, states: “Magnesium is needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body. It helps to maintain normal nerve and muscle function, supports a healthy immune system, keeps the heartbeat steady, and helps bones remain strong.”
What Foods Help Reduce Sugar Cravings
There are plenty of foods out there that can help you reduce your sugar cravings. Eating protein will help balance your blood sugar, for example, so adding foods like salmon, turkey, chickpeas, nuts, and beans will do you good. When it comes to choosing vegetables, kale cant be beat. Other great vegetables for reducing sugar are cruciferous ones like cabbage and broccoli, and fermented vegetables like kimchi and sauerkraut. Consider adding foods like chia seeds or avocado good thing theyre both delicious!
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Why Its So Hard To Quit
Its easy to follow what seems like a healthy diet and still eat too much added sugar. People dont realize just how much is hidden in the food they eat, even salad dressing and tomato sauce, Katz says.
Complicating matters is the fact that food labels list the number of total grams of sugar, which also includes naturally occurring sugars. While manufacturers will eventually be required to list added sugar separately, the change isnt planned to take effect until July 2018 .
How it tricks the brain into wanting more:
Theres also a confusing health halo over less-processed sugar products, like honey. While honey does have some beneficial micronutrients, using it in place of table sugar wont lower cravings for sweet foods, says Dawn Jackson Blatner, a registered dietitian in Chicago.
Cutting back on sweet foods can actually make resisting sugar easier. The first thing people notice when they limit added sugar is that their cravings are reduced, Ludwig says.
Give Into Your Craving Then Move On
âIf a craving for something sweet like a piece of chocolate or a scoop of ice cream persists, just have it,â says Jessica Levinson, MS, RDN, CDN, and author of 52-Week Meal Planner. âTrying to satisfy cravings with other âhealthierâ foods or restricting yourself from having a food youâre craving often leads to overeating. As is often said, the forbidden fruit tastes the sweetest.â So, eat your piece of cake, donât feel bad, and then move on.
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A Note On Sugar Substitutes
Many readers ask me if they should swap out their refined sugar for artificial sweeteners or other substitutes. Unfortunately, just switching out sugar for another kind wont address the underlying problem. In some cases, it may even lead to more serious problems. I personally use xylitol and stevia as natural sweeteners on occasion. You can read my full take on sugar substitutes here.
Herbs And Natural Ways To Stop Sugar Cravings
Ginger provides many benefits when it comes to health. For sugar cravings, ginger is known to cleanse the palate so that you wont have to crave something sweet anymore. It further helps alleviate digestive issues and detoxify the organs.
How to use: Adding ginger to your teas, stir-fries, and other recipes is the best way to naturally introduce ginger to your diet.
The first thing that comes to mind when thinking about knowing how to stop sugar cravings naturally is probably cinnamon. The spice has a naturally sweet taste that can substitute for sugary foods. However, what makes cinnamon the best weapon against sugar cravings are the polyphenols it contains. This substance helps in controlling the blood glucose level, which in turn reduces sugar cravings.
How to use: Just like ginger, you can simply add cinnamon to your diet when you sprinkle it on foods, teas, and even fruits.
A natural detoxifier, turmeric has become one of the worlds renowned spices with its many health benefits. Adding turmeric to your diet helps remove environmental and dietary toxins that may affect your blood sugar levels. It also helps lower bad cholesterol levels and inflammation. You can make turmeric tea using turmeric powder and other helpful ingredients such as ginger.
How to use: You can add some cloves to your tea and other drinks. You may also sprinkle it on fruits, veggies, stews, and sauces.
Apple Cider Vinegar
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Simple Ways To Curb Sugar Cravings Without Struggling
Think willpower is the only way to curb sugar cravings?
Well, truth is, there are actually easier ways to curb sugar cravings .
And by the end of this article youll see how eating more magnesium-rich foods or simply drinking more water, might be all you need to curb sugar cravings!
NOTE: This article relates to processed/refined sugar ONLY, which is linked to a long list of health issues. It acts differently from naturally occurring sugar that is found in fruits and veggies.
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Sugar Craving Cause: You Picked Up A Bad Habit
Some people smack their gum without even realizing it. Some people have picked their fingernails their entire lives. And, sigh, some people eat a chocolate barevery day at 3 p.m., because, well, they eat a chocolate bar every day at 3 p.m. Yep, bad habits.When something becomes a habit, especially when it comes to food, you have to ask yourself: Am I aware Im doing it? Do I really want to be doing it? Am I truly craving what Im eating?
When youre really hungry and you havent eaten enough throughout the day, breaking a 3 p.m. vending machine run is going to be tough. But if you start to eat more consistently throughout the day and get in enough of calories, then your defenses are up and its easier to change that habit.
Sugar & Insulin Resistance
Your brain and body need glucose to survive. When your body perceives that blood sugar is getting too low, it sends you a signal that it needs fuel. You get hungry, or maybe you crave sugar because your body knows its a calorie dense and efficient way to give you a fast boost. When you eat sugar, white flour , alcohol, sodas, candy, cookies, pastries, etc, your body uses a hormone called insulin to transport the glucose to your cells for usage. When you eat too much sugar, your pancreas releases a whole lotta insulin to usher all that glucose into your cells, and blood glucose levels drop again , and your blood sugar levels drop too low, so you crave sugar again to bring the levels back up.
The problem with this cycle is that eventually, your cells stop responding properly to insulin. They already have enough glucose, so they lock the door and dont allow insulin to escort glucose into the cell. Your pancreas is overworked as it continues to churn out insulin in response to all that sugar youre eating, but now you have become insulin resistant because your cells dont want all that excess sugar. This causes your blood sugar levels to rise, setting you up for type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
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