Sugar cravings are so common. It is a huge weak point in most people’s diets. So it’s time to knock it on the head and do something about it. Find out why we crave sugar and what we can do it control it once and for all!
Why do we get sugar cravings?
It’s natural to want something sweet because humans are designed to like sweet things – a clever physiological trick to save us from the poisonous plants and berries, which usually have a bitter taste.
But stronger and irresistible desires for sugar all boil down to one thing: A lack of balancing the sugar in your blood.
Every time we eat the levels of sugar in our blood stream rises. This triggers the release of the hormone called insulin which has the job of regulating blood sugar levels by taking the sugar out of the blood and into the cells.
However, excessive consumption of sugar or refined foods like white bread and pasta upset the balance and produces a spike in blood sugar levels. The body responds by producing too much insulin which causes blood sugar levels to lower. This is when we experience energy slumps, feel irritable or faint and dizzy. The usual response is to reach for more sweet foods or stimulants (tea, coffee and chocolate) to boost energy again. Unfortunately this only adds to the roller coaster of high and low blood sugar levels.
So it’s down to this rollercoaster that we crave the sugar. In order to control our cravings we need to balance our blood sugar levels.
It’s also down to the fact that sugar is everywhere and so easily available! This makes definitely sways our food choices. So to give you a helping hand see below for some top tips to help you to banish them for good.
Top sugar cravings tips:
1. Balance blood sugar levels by eating small, regular meals and snacks rather than large meals – about every 3-4 hours.
2. Don’t skip meals as you are more likely to binge eat when you next see food.
3. Eat protein with every meal and snack as it doesn’t affect blood sugar.
4. Swap white refined foods for the wholegrain variety as the white stuff behaves like sugar in the body and wreaks havoc on blood sugar. Include unrefined whole grains such as whole wheat bread, brown basmati rice, wholegrain pasta, oats, millet.
5. Cut down on sugary foods such as cakes, biscuits, pastries, cookies, chocolate, honey as they make things worse! The more you have the more you want.
6. Go for fruit instead – it will give you that sweet satisfaction but without the consequences.
7. Stimulants such as alcohol and caffeine found in tea, coffee, cola/fizzy drinks and chocolate increase adrenalin/raise blood sugar so avoid these or swap for herbal tea instead.
8. Exercise. It helps insulin to pack the sugar into the cells and also keeps your mind occupied.
9. Take effective supplements that assist in the control of insulin such as chromium, magnesium, cinnamon and 5HTP (Serotonin).