These days, you can hardly run away from sugar. It’s as much in obvious places as it is in hidden places. For example, it’s obvious that there is sugar in cookies, ice creams, candy bars, chocolate and candy bars.
However, it’s not so obvious that there is sugar in bread, store-bought spaghetti sauce, crackers. Manufacturers will always add sugar because it is addictive and will leave consumers wanting more.
Did you know that according to recent discoveries, sugar is much more addictive than heroin and cocaine. That is why you crave chocolate after you’ve had dinner already. When you do eat the chocolate, you’ll get a tiny sugar buzz, crash and start the cycle again.
When you eat white sugar, your body concludes that it’s getting the nutrients it lacks. So basically, when your body lacks important nutrients, it craves more sugar. That’s where empty calories come from.
We know you want to quit taking so much sugar but let’s begin with why you may be having those cravings.
Why do you crave sugar?
According to studies, 68% and 97% of men and women respectively experienced cravings, often for sugar.
Scientists hold the notion that these sugar cravings come from a need to improve one’s mood since consuming sweets boost the serotonin levels in your brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that generally makes you feel better, so it only makes sense that you want to eat more of food because it makes you feel better.
Below are other reasons you may be experiencing cravings :
If you experience stress in your relationship, job or at home, it’s natural that food becomes your source of comfort.
Lack of sleep
Lack of sleep, according to studies often brings along increased cravings for spicy and sugary foods. Plus, we make poor choices when we’re tired.
Underconsumption of calories
If you do not consume the right amount of calories, then chances are, your cravings will increase. Studies reveal that many people in a bid to lose weight take little calories and end up binge eating.
Eating diets high in proteins and low in carbohydrates could increase the your cravings for sweet foods.
You’re a woman
Not fair right? Well, studies show that sugar cravings are more common in women.
High sugar intake
Simply put, the more sugar you take, the more sugar you will crave.
Frequent use of artificial sweeteners
Sweeteners with no calories can change your sense of taste and make you crave more sugar as a result. Your artificial sweetener is often about two hundred to twenty thousand times sweeter than sugar. When you get used to eating extremely sweet food, sugary food no loner satisfies and you crave more.
Some experts suggest that a deficiency in micronutrients like magnesium can cause increased sugar cravings. There’s however no substantial evidence to support the notion.
How to stop sugar cravings
Stay away from food porn
You know the saying that you eat more with your eyes than your stomach? This probably explains why we’re continually being blasted with photos of foods on social media. According to a psychology and health study, seeing a lot of good advertisements could cause you to both eat and over-eat, especially obese and overweight individuals.
So, if you see an image of a doughnut and then crave a sweet treat, we suggest you look away. Maybe you should also consider unfollowing those Instagram accounts that bombard you with these images all day.
Add Fruit to Your Fizzy Drink
If you find that you have issues ditching soda, then start with finding out what you love about it.
If it’s the bubbles, then you can go for a soda stream machine. Also find mixes that are fruit-flavoured like raspberry and lemonade as they’ve been sweetened with natural fruit.
Try eating breakfast rich in protein
You should stop missing your morning meals because it often comes back at you as sugar cravings. According to a recent study, eating breakfast reduces cravings by 300 percent. This is as a result of dopamine, a feel good brain chemical that has a direct effect on when you give in to impulses and when you feel like you should get6a reward by three. Protein rich foods like berries and milk, egg and bean burrito, smoothie made with whey protein will help keep you full longer and reduce the cravings you get. If it’s not a “sweet” food, then that’s better.
Here’s the deal : it’s not wise to start your day with sugar if you have a sugar problem as it sets you up for more sugar cravings.
Go to Bed
A good sleep? Yes, please! Getting quality sleep will enhance better concentration, less stress, weight loss, an improved memory and even creativity. For whatever reason though, we seem to not be getting enough of it and it could be the reason we’re craving more sweets.
Studies reveal that a great and uninterrupted sleep can reduce your cravings for junk food. It was found that lack of sleep or poor quality sleep messed with the area of the brain in charge of decision making and increased activity in the area responsive to the need for rewards.
What happens therefore is that the brain is affected by sleep deprivation which in turn leads to poor decisions. As a result, you will most likely go for foods that are unhealthy and will ultimately become overweight if this continues to happen.
Here’s what we suggest if you have issues sleeping at night, probably as a result of stress : get rid of sugar for a while so that your highs and crashes are stabilised. When that is done, then take some time to think hard about what could be stressing you out. Once you find out what it is, make some efforts to change the situation for the best.
With this approach, you will sleep better at night and your sugar cravings will reduce drastically.
With your sugar cravings at bay, your weight is put under control.