Do you enjoy sweets? Do you always desire more? Even though we know sugar isn’t good for us, our bodies nevertheless crave it. It’s not always easy to resist sugar cravings. Beth Romanski of My Healthy Transitions Health Coaching outlines seven surprising sugar hunger factors in your diet and lifestyle.
Sugar Cravings Causes
My clients often tell me they have a sugar problem yet they can’t give up sweets. I agree. It’s not only about willpower when it comes to sugar. Sugar is highly addicting, and breaking the pattern is difficult. To begin, learn about the reasons for sugar cravings. You may be surprised.
Here are several unexpected sugar desire causes. Once you recognize your addiction, you may fight to obtain the food freedom you crave.
Lack of Magnesium
Did you realize that your sugar and chocolate cravings may have a physical cause? Many people are unaware that sugar cravings are caused by a vitamin shortage. Because our bodies are clever systems meant to keep us alive, we seek foods that offer the missing nutrient. And chocolate is high in magnesium, which may be why you have intense chocolate and sugar cravings.
Have your vitamin levels checked, but instead of opting for the sugary choice, I suggest unsweetened cacao powder or 100% unsweetened dark chocolate. Both are naturally sugar-free, so they won’t increase your blood sugar, feeding the hunger cycle, yet they taste identical. If you wish to avoid all chocolate, you can satisfy your desires with non-sugar, whole-food magnesium sources like nuts, seeds, beans, and dark leafy greens.
A gut health imbalance is another sugar hunger trigger. The trillions of bacteria in our gut regulate more of our health than we think, which is why gut health is so important to overall wellness. When you eat a lot of sugary and processed foods, your intestinal bacteria feed on the sugar in your diet, making the situation worse.
Reducing processed foods and sugar in your diet is the best strategy to improve gut health. A sugar detox provides your digestive system with a vacation from sugars and carbs. You may be shocked to learn that even a week without sugar reduces your sugar cravings and you may not even miss it! Add probiotic-rich foods like raw sauerkraut and unsweetened keifer to your diet, and take a high-quality probiotic supplement.
More Food Collagen Peptides is the only 100 percent pure protein solution that does not include any junky artificial sweeteners that contribute to sugar cravings. Collagen is vital because it helps restore the integrity and health of the gut lining. Collagen also contains amino acids necessary for gut lining healing. Plus, the protein will help you feel fuller longer and combat sugar cravings.
Even if you have the best intentions to eat wisely, lack of sleep affects our capacity to make decisions since our brain seeks energy from glucose-containing meals. And lack of sleep does more than make you grumpy. It may trigger sugar cravings. Poor sleep has been demonstrated to affect hormones, increasing ghrelin (the hunger hormone) and decreasing leptin (the hormone that allows you to feel full), making it one of the major sugar desire culprits. So when you’re sleep-deprived, you’re fighting an uphill battle against sugar cravings.
Put sleep first. Get into a sleep schedule of seven to eight hours per night. Put your health first if you want to feel better, have more energy, and have fewer cravings.
We all know that when we are worried, we turn to food to help us relax. Sugar is a drug. It boosts dopamine, the happy hormone. Unbeknownst to you, stress can elevate your blood glucose levels regardless of what you consume. You heard me! Stress stimulates the pancreas to release more insulin to remove glucose from the bloodstream. Diabetes is a condition caused by high blood glucose levels.
Because stress can cause sugar cravings, it’s crucial to incorporate lifestyle practices into your daily routine. Try yoga or zen. Taking a walk outside can also help.
Too Many Sweeteners
People sometimes assume switching to artificial sweeteners is a good thing because they are calorie-free, but they actually teach our taste buds to seek sweet foods, causing sugar cravings. They can also confound our bodies’ signals and raise our blood sugar levels. Our blood glucose dips too low when we eat anything sweet without food or nourishment, creating “hangry” and shivering. Worse, regular usage of artificial sweeteners has been linked to intestinal impermeability and digestive pain (#2 above!)
So, what? Find a natural substitute. Avoid diet sodas. Replace creamer in your coffee with unsweetened almond milk, and nibble on fruit!
Foods Low in Fat
Many processed goods were designed to remove fat during the low-fat diet fad… Guess what was added to keep them tasty? Sugar! Many packaged foods still use sugar as a preservative to extend shelf life. So low-fat foods with added sugar might trigger sugar cravings!
Avoid all processed meals. If my customers want to stop craving sweets, I encourage them to JERF and “just eat real food.”
Eating Too Many Natural Sugary Foods
Sugar is cunning! Sugar has almost 60 different names that you may not be aware of. But sugar, even natural sugars like raw honey or maple syrup, is all turned to glucose in the body. A vegan, Paleo, or another clean eating diet may nevertheless contain a lot of added sugar or foods that convert to glucose in the body without you realizing it.
Read all food labels. Limiting all sweets, even natural sweeteners like honey or dates is the greatest method to stop sugar cravings.