To understand sugar cravings, you must first understand sugar addiction. Just like a smoker needs a cigarette or an alcoholic needs a drink, a person addicted to sugar must have candy, a donut, cookie or some similar sweet.
Sugar causes chemical reactions within your brain and releases hormones that make your “happy” much like drugs. Stress, sadness and similar emotions stimulate your brain and create a need, desire or craving for sweets to bring on this happy feeling. You have probably experienced these cravings for ice cream, cake or candy when you were stressed, sad or depressed.
The companies who manufacture and package food are well aware of sugar’s addictive qualities and add it to virtually every product they produce from sodas to cereal and even condiments like ketchup. This added sugar is not only addictive, but excess sugar consumption can also be deadly. Obesity and type 2 diabetes are a direct result of sugar addiction.
Here are three tips to help you curb your sugar cravings and help break your addiction:
Don’t Skip Meals
In fact, you should eat smaller and more frequent meals. If you go more than three to four hours without eating, your blood sugar drops and creates a physical need for sugar. Eating a healthy, balanced meal or snack containing lean protein and complex carbohydrates will prevent the peaks and valleys and violent swings in your blood sugar. Always eat a nutritious breakfast, it will help prevent and curb sugar cravings later in the day.
Manage Stress to help with Sugar Cravings
Unresolved stress creates strong sugar cravings as the sugar activates the release of opiates in the brain that not only makes you feel “happy” but also increases your appetite. Stress leads to stress eating which often includes sugar and leads to binge eating. Learn to manage your stress through meditation or exercise like yoga or pilates.
Keep A Food Journal
A food diary or journal may seem tedious, but can be invaluable in losing or maintaining your weight and breaking your sugar addiction and cravings. Your journal will also help you identify the situations or emotions that trigger your sugar cravings. Observe your eating habits, did you go too long between meals? Did a particular situation trigger your need for “comfort” food? Emotional eating is difficult to control but can be overcome if you identify and avoid the causes.
Note: Artificial sweeteners are not a safe alternative to sugar. Most are chemicals made in a laboratory and much more potent than the sugar they are designed to replace. This potency may lead to overstimulation of your brain’s sugar receptors increasing your sugar cravings and appetite leading to overeating.
I hope this article was helpful. I welcome your comments.