Craving sweets is one of the big challenges in human health. Sugar cravings are one of the primary reasons why you may find it challenging to stick to a nutritious and healthy diet. Health professionals claim that it is the primary cause of type 2 diabetes.
While sugar is a vital source of energy, its excessive intake may have detrimental effects on your health. Consumption of too much sugar reduces the body’s ability to control blood sugar levels with insulin (a hormone that regulates blood sugar).
After reading this guide, you’ll get to understand some possible causes of sugar cravings and how to control sugar cravings.
Why Do I crave Sugar?
There are numerous reasons why your body might be craving for more sugar. In many cases, it occurs when the brain needs more energy to function efficiently. For most adults, it may as a result of physiological effects. Now, let’s delve a bit deeper into some of the reasons why you might crave sugar.
1. Sugary Rewarding System
People often embrace the reward system during workouts to motivate them to perform better. While the system may be a perfect way of building your morale during a fitness exercise, it’s wise to choose healthy foods. Excess intake of sugary foods is unhealthy and may lead to health complications.
2. Biological Process
For the brain to function correctly, it requires enough energy which you may outsource from sugary foods. As a result, your mind will start craving for such foods. Because your body can break down carbs into simple sugars, there is no need for eating excess sugar to supply your brain with energy.
3. Daily Habits
You may develop a habit of eating sugary foods so long as your brain gets satisfied with such meals. The brain releases neurochemicals such as dopamine to stimulate cravings for sugar. As a result, it’s easy to get addicted to sugary foods.
For instance, if you always take sugary coffee or tea every morning, your brain will write that in your daily program such that you can’t miss the coffee. Failure to take the sweet coffee in one morning can make you start craving for it.
Causes of Sugar Cravings
Most people tend to confuse hunger with a sugar craving. You may think that you are hungry, but in the real sense, you are craving for sugar. Here are some of the reasons that may cause sugar cravings.
1. Hard Workouts
After finishing a strenuous workout, such as running or weightlifting, one may experience sugar cravings. That happens especially when your body muscles deplete the glycogen stores, and the muscles need more sugar. It is a physiological process that is genuine because your body needs more energy to perform other activities.
2. Wrong Diet
It is easier to experience sugar cravings when you are used to eating sugary foods more often. Such foods may include donuts, sweetened soda, and candy bars. If your diet is usually full of such foods, your brain will always crave for more of them, resulting in a vicious circle of cravings.
3. Skipping Meals
Some people often skip meals to lose weight. However, it isn’t a healthy way of preventing weight gain. When you skip meals, your body starts craving for sugary foods due to the decrease in blood sugar levels.
4. Excess Stress
Having high levels of stress is one of the popular factors that contribute to cravings for sweets. A little stress during the day is healthy, but excess stress may not only cause sugar cravings but also have detrimental effects on your health.
5. Artificial Sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners, which are an excellent alternative to sugar, are increasingly becoming popular because they save on calories. However, your mind may perceive such additives to be extremely sweeter than sugar. That can make your brain to crave for foods and beverages with the same sweetness.
How to Curb Sugar Cravings
Stopping sugar cravings may seem complicated, but it’s possible when you understand what to do to get rid of it. Sugar cravings always happen in a vicious circle, making your brain to crave for more. Here are some of the tips on how to get rid of sugar cravings.
1. Eat Healthy and Filling Meals
Eating healthy and filling meals when you are hungry can help you curb sugar cravings. However, it is essential to note that there is a difference between sugar cravings and hunger cues. But craving sugar when you are hungry may be irresistible. If that happens, you ought to eat healthy and filling meals to keep your hunger and cravings at bay.
2. Eat Foods Rich in Fiber
Including foods that are a rich source of fiber in your diet doesn’t only curb your cravings but can also improve your health and wellness. With enough fiber in your diet, your colon and cardiovascular health are likely to get better. Health professionals recommend that an adult should eat 25-30 grams of fiber daily.
Although fiber doesn’t get processed in the body during digestion, it facilitates the absorption of essential nutrients into the bloodstream by slowing digestion. You ought to eat foods with high fiber content to make you feel full for longer. Such foods include beans, legumes, vegetables, and whole grains.
3. Drink Adequate Water
Many biological processes in your body depend on water. Therefore, you should drink enough water every day to restore the water lost when performing your daily tasks such as workouts. If you are dehydrated, the chances are high that you will crave sugar due to hormonal imbalances. Drink at least six cups of water daily to get hydrated all the time.
4. Avoid Artificial Sweeteners
As mentioned earlier, artificial sweeteners are a better alternative to sugar, especially to those who are on a weight loss diet. However, research has shown that the sweeteners may contribute to weight gain and encourage sugar cravings. Staying away from artificial sweeteners can help you get rid of sugar cravings.
5. Eat Lean Protein
Foods such as salmon and chicken are rich in lean proteins and have numerous health benefits. Such foods can keep your stomach full for longer, reducing sugar cravings while waiting for the next meal. Including enough lean proteins in your diet is a good and healthy way of managing your desires for sugar.
6. Choose Healthy Foods
Another effective way to control sugar cravings is by swapping unhealthy foods with healthy ones. For instance, you can replace candies or chocolate with healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables. That will send a signal to your brain that you no longer need the sugary foods, resulting in a decrease of sugar cravings.
7. Get Enough Sleep
Researchers have linked sugar cravings to poor quality of sleep at night. Failure to get enough sleep has a significant impact on your hormonal balance and may contribute to overeating or weight gain. Adequate sleep promotes hormonal balance in your body.
If you have a rough night, you are likely to crave sweets in the morning. Getting a refreshing and proper sleep is another way of keeping your sugar craving at bay. Sleeping well can replenish your body and refresh your mind significantly.
8. Take Supplements for Sugar Cravings
If your body lacks adequate nutrients that help it to manage how it utilizes sugar, you may take supplements that can help you get rid of sugar cravings. Such supplements include dietary magnesium, probiotic supplements, L-Glutamine, and Omega-3 fatty acids. Such nutrients help the body to balance the blood sugar levels.
Eating a lot of sugar may affect your health in many ways, including the gain of body weight and increased risks of getting a heart disease. For that reason, it is vital to lower your consumption of sugary foods by suppressing your sugar cravings.
If when you are on a weight loss diet, you should stay away from foods that have added sugars to avoid the rapid gain of body weight. ActivEats can help you with your weight loss program by offering healthy and nutritious meals at affordable prices. Our weight loss meal delivery accounts for all your nutritional needs.