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There are different triggers that can cause sugar cravings. They include emotional stress, physical hunger, and environmental cues.
When a person’s blood sugar levels fall, the brain begins to produce chemicals that cause them to feel anxious or irritable. This can result in emotional eating or an increased craving for particular foods, such as sweet foods.
Your blood sugar increases when you eat sugar, and your body releases insulin to bring it back down to a safe level.
Do you know how much sugar you should consume on a daily basis? The recommended amount for women is about six teaspoons, and for men, it is nine teaspoons. That seems like a lot, doesn’t it? It may come as no surprise to learn that the average person consumes more than double that amount.
It’s not surprising though, given how much sugar is buried in the foods and beverages we consume? High blood pressure, obesity, and depression have all been linked to sugar for a long time. Fatigue and headaches are two of the other problems it causes.
Yet, many people who are addicted to sugar are unaware that it is causing havoc on their health.
In this article, we’ll look at the symptoms of sugar addiction and how to overcome it.
You can’t stop binging
Have you ever bought a bag of candy with the intention of only eating a few pieces but ended up eating so many that you felt sick? If this is the case, there’s a good chance your eating is being driven by addiction.
Ask yourself why you want chocolate or candy the next time you reach for it. Is it to make you feel better after a rough day or maybe because you’re feeling sad and lonely?
Simple carbohydrate cravings
One way a sugar addiction might emerge is by causing your body to crave simple carbohydrates. When you consume simple carbohydrates, they are converted into sugar, which feeds your addiction.
Pastries, white rice, white bread, and pasta are just a few of the foods that a sugar addict may crave.
To counteract this, include sweet vegetables in your meals, such as carrots, beets, and sweet potatoes. This will assist you in controlling your urges.
Cravings for salt and meat
Do you have a longing for salty or meaty foods? Your body needs balance, and it will seek that balance through the foods you feed it. If you eat too many salty meals or too much meat, your body may need something sweet to restore balance.
The contrary is also true, so if you’re desiring salt or meat, it’s generally because you’ve been eating too many sweets.
Since salt and sugar are frequently concealed ingredients, you should begin paying closer attention to product labels. Some of the most concentrated sugar sources are corn syrup, honey, cane sugar, agave, and coconut sugar.
You eat sugar even when you don’t want to
Whether it’s because someone gives you something sweet and you accept it out of politeness, or you simply eat a candy bar because it’s in front of you, you find yourself justifying why you can eat it even when you don’t want to. Combat it by stocking up on healthy foods.
You consume sugar until you’re sick
Have you ever eaten so many sweets or chocolate that you felt tired, bloated, gassy, and had a headache? That is the result of a sugar high.
It is not unusual for sugar addicts to do this every day. Even though you know the outcome, you still go for that extra piece of cake.
Ways to Reduce Sugar Consumption
If you are attempting to cut back, you may be wondering how you can limit your sugar cravings. We’ve compiled a list of suggestions to help you deal with your sugar cravings.
Protein and fruit
Fruits contain naturally-occurring sugars in small amounts. However, because it contains fiber, it lowers your body’s insulin reaction, making it a healthier option to added sweets.
Fruit, unlike manufactured sweet sweets, is high in micronutrients, vitamins, and minerals. When you combine fruit and protein, you will reduce your sugar cravings and feel fuller for longer.
Fruit and protein combinations that work well include:
- Fruit with Cottage Cheese
- Strawberries and Greek Yogurt
- Berry Smoothie with Milk
- Bananas and Peanut Butter
Consume a meal
Sugar cravings might be difficult to deal with on their own. However, when you combine sugar cravings with true hunger, you set yourself up for failure. The brain’s desire for food and nutrition produces strong chemicals that your willpower cannot overcome.
It’s extremely important to eat if you have a sugar craving and are actually hungry. Consume a nutritious meal to ensure that you are satisfied.
While eating a nutritious meal may not seem as appealing as the double fudge brownie you crave, it is important to do so. This will help your brain to stop producing hunger hormones.
Have some gum
According to research, food cravings can be reduced by chewing gum. Gum comes in a variety of flavors. There are even entire brands of gum that are designed to taste like your favorite dessert.
The amazing thing about gum is that each stick typically has less than 5 calories. You not only get your sweet fix, but you also avoid drinking or eating a lot of extra calories.
Fat and protein
People are discovering that fat isn’t as harmful to you as we once assumed, thanks to a recent nutritional study. It is critical to combine protein and fat at each meal to help curb a sugar addiction.
Healthy fats and protein, unlike sugar, provide a gradual and constant source of energy. Protein is required for numerous bodily activities, whereas fat keeps you fuller for extended periods of time.
Many people find that eating a high-fat, low-carbohydrate, moderate-protein diet can help them reduce sugar cravings completely. Whether you change your eating habits to go entirely low carbohydrate or only add a little fat to each meal, you should notice a dramatic reduction in your sugar cravings.
Look for a distraction
Go for a stroll if you can. Finding distractions to keep your mind off your sugar cravings is one key to sugar avoidance success. Cravings typically last approximately 20 minutes, so if you can find a diversion, it will generally pass. The more you do it, the easier it will get over time.
Be careful of any diet that claims to be entirely sugar-free. Sugar is found naturally in fruits and vegetables. In truth, a small amount of sugar is required in our diet. Try to figure out how you might lower your sugar intake by cutting back and changing things around.
Use these suggestions to help you cut back on your sugar intake:
- Reduce the quantity of sugar you add to beverages such as coffee and tea.
- Artificial sweeteners such as sucralose, aspartame, and saccharin which have been associated with an increase in sugar cravings, should be avoided.
- Examine food labels. Choose foods that have less sugar added to them. And keep in mind that sugar may be found under a variety of different names. So, look for words like honey, molasses, invert sugar, brown sugar, raw sugar, corn sweetener, or syrup on the label.
- Replace sugary drinks with water or tea. Experiment with different ways to flavor water by using cucumbers, lemons, limes, berries, peaches, pineapple, or mint leaves.
- For cakes and muffins, reduce the sugar in the recipe by one-third. Substitute the sugar with applesauce or monk fruit, which is a natural zero-calorie sweetener.
- Instead of using sugar, try using spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg to enhance the flavor.
- Substitute salad dressing for balsamic vinegar. Many dressings contain added sugar, particularly low-fat or French dressings.
- Top your cereal with fruits like berries, peaches, or bananas instead of sugar. Berries pack a fiber and antioxidant punch to your morning meal.
- Avoid ready-to-eat and pre-packaged foods, and cook your meals more often. Fresh versions may take more time to prepare, but they will most likely have less sugar added to them, and you’ll know precisely what you’re putting in your body.
- Reduce your alcohol consumption. Not only are most alcoholic beverages high in sugar, but drinking alcohol promotes sugar cravings.
Managing sugar cravings may appear to be a challenging task. Especially with all of the triggers, we are subjected to on a daily basis from television and billboards.
Fortunately, applying the above methods to alleviate sugar cravings will also help you lower your total sugar intake.
That doesn’t mean you can’t indulge occasionally. But, in order to manage your own appetite, you must first determine which foods make you weak. Learn how to fit them into your life in a way that allows you to enjoy them without compromising your health or weight.
You may never be able to entirely eliminate your craving for sweets, but you can certainly learn to manage them.