Sugar cravings affect many people every day. In this article we will examine the most common causes of sugar cravings and how you can easily overcome them forever!
Eating irregularly is highly likely to result in sugar cravings. It is particularly noticeable in people who skip breakfast. Not only does their metabolism slow down as a result of missing this important meal but they are also likely to experience some degree of hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar), which will result in sugar cravings.
It is also very common for people to experience sugar cravings when they miss their mid-afternoon meal. If they do miss this meal when they arrive home from work or school they are far more likely to reach for a quick ‘pick-me-up’ snack food, which is often chocolate, crisps or other concentrated source of sugar, carbohydrates and/ or fat!
These are of course the worst options to have when you’re hungry because you’re far more likely to eat too much!
Having regular meals/ snacks each day will definitely go a long way in helping to keep your blood sugar level stable and therefore avoid sugar cravings.
Not having ‘complete’ meals
Many people have carbohydrate-based foods for their meals and/ or snacks. For example, they may have a piece of fruit or a low-fat muffin for their mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack or they may have a salad sandwich or roll for their lunch.
The problem with these meals is that they are almost exclusively carbohydrate and in most cases the carbohydrates from the food gets absorbed quickly into the blood stream. This results in a corresponding surge of blood sugar, which the body responds to by secreting insulin to lower the blood sugar again. Often, the blood sugar gets too low and this induces sugar cravings.
‘Complete’ meals are meals that contain a portion of all 3 macronutrients: carbohydrate, protein and fat. By ensuring all three macronutrients are consumed in every meal you will find it easier to keep your blood sugar level stable because fat, protein and fibre slow down the absorption rate of the carbohydrates.
If your body is deficient in certain nutrients, particularly minerals, you will tend to get cravings. Often these cravings are misinterpreted as cravings for sugar.
By simply taking a high-quality multi-vitamin/ mineral supplement every day you can avoid getting the sugar cravings that result from lacking certain minerals in your body.
Plus, minerals like chromium are required for proper metabolism of carbohydrates (including sugar) and if high levels of refined carbohydrates are consumed, the body becomes depleted of chromium and this may also result in cravings for minerals.
At different stages during a woman’s cycle the levels of hormones in her body change quite dramatically. At the end of her cycle the level of oestrogen drops significantly and this results in a corresponding reduction of the amount of serotonin in her brain. A low serotonin level results in strong sugar cravings.
As a result, it may beneficial for a woman to use a supplement that helps to increase serotonin production at the end of her cycle. Rhodiola, is an herb that can help to increase serotonin production.
Exercise or having a fast metabolism
Exercise or having a fast metabolism results in the body using up a greater amount of fuel (carbohydrate and fat). This means that the blood sugar is likely to become quite low after an exercise session, if you don’t have enough food in a meal or have too much time between meals. All of these factors result in sugar cravings due to a low blood sugar level.
Having frequent meals or increasing meal size if necessary should help you easily overcome sugar cravings caused by exercise or having a fast metabolism.
Sugar cravings may be caused by conditioned responses in some cases. This means that the person’s brain has linked two activities together, one of which is eating high-sugar foods.
For example, when someone gets home from work or school if they haven’t had a mid-afternoon snack/ meal they will often feel hungry, which results from their low blood sugar level (discussed earlier). As a result of this hunger, they will often eat (or drink) something that helps to increase their blood sugar and therefore overcome the feeling of hunger.
If this same situation occurs many times, the person’s brain will automatically link the two activities together; getting home and eating sugar. This may lead to severe sugar cravings.
By simply being consciously aware of the presence of a conditioned response, it can be easily overcome by replacing the eating activity with a more healthy option like, exercising, reading a book or drinking a glass of water.
If you suffer from sugar cravings and believe that your cravings may be caused by one or more of the reasons mentioned here, simply take the necessary steps as recommended and your sugar cravings will disappear forever!