Have you ever been told to have a piece of fruit whenever you have a sugar craving? Ummm...yeah, that hardly works.
I remember back when I was 40 pounds overweight, I had the most intense sugar cravings. Like, I couldn't focus on anything until I got my fix.
I was told by a nutritionist to honor my cravings and have just a little bit of a cookie when I wanted to (ya know, because...everything in "moderation", right?) but I was too embarrassed to tell her that I couldn't just have a bit. It was either none, or like...12 in one sitting!
In this 4-Part Sugar series, I'm going to walk you through how to overcome feeling out of control, without driving yourself crazy trying to quit sugar cold turkey.
Here's what you can expect from the series:
- 5 Reasons Why You Crave Sugar in the First Place
- 5 Misconceptions on the Best Way to Beat Sugar Cravings
- 4 Easy Ways to Stop Sugar Cravings (Even if You're an Addict)
- Dessert Revamp: Free downloadable guide to having the desserts you love while simultaneously overcoming sugar cravings!
Before you can start understanding how to stop sugar cravings, you need to understand how they originated in the first place.
So use these 5 reasons as a way to start proactively making changes so that you can get through your day without feeling the need stuff donuts and cookies in your face!
1) You Might Have an Imbalance of Gut Bacteria
Whoa, doesn't that sound kind of freaky?
Your digestive system natural has a bunch of bacteria (I mean like...trillions!) that help you digest your foods.
When you have an imbalance, it means that your body is having more trouble digesting while simultaneously causing you to crave sweets.
I'm talking about the kinds of cravings that are so ravenous, you're embarrassed to admit how many sweets you actually ate. You knew it was bad for you, but you feel like this force overtakes your body and you can't help yourself.
That's usually the bad bacteria, talking.
2) You're Sleep Deprived (don't skip this one!)
Not getting a good amount of sleep on a regular basis is going to mess up your body chemistry.
And when that happens, your cravings are all over the place. You wake up groggy, craving caffeine and sugar, then you're ravenous by the time it gets to lunch, then you want to have a sweet snack and caffeine in the afternoon....does this sound familiar?
Sometimes it feels like all of the responsibilities you have in your life are more important than getting rests - but actually, you can't really do anything to your best ability (and your body can't digest very well, either) - when you're sleep deprived.
So start prioritizing your sleep and your cravings will start to balance themselves back out. Seriously, going to bed on time is the easiest thing you can do!
3) You're Stressed Out
Again, anything that causes your body chemistry to become out of balance is going to affect your cravings.
You probably already know that stress affects your eating habits, but I'm always confused why people try to look up diets to lose weight when they know that their habits are triggered by stress.
If you want to be free of your cravings, then honing in on the source of your stress and changing that is going to be the best, long-term way of overcoming cravings.
4) You're Eating Way too Many Contracting Foods
In Food Energetics, there is a difference between foods that create expansion (sugar, fruits, veggies) and contraction (proteins).
Most people go on a high protein, low carb diet which creates a lot more contractive feelings in the body.
And the more contractive foods you have, the more you want something to relax you, and those are usually sugars.
5) You've Been Eating Too Many Salty Foods
Let's face it - the more salty foods you have, the more sweet foods you want to have afterwards to change up the taste that's in your mouth.
Like having salty popcorn with a sweet soda. Or a meatball and cheese sub followed by a fruit juice.
Sweet and salty go well together. So the less salty stuff you have, the less sweet stuff you're bound to crave.
Alright, now that you know what's causing the sugar cravings, continue on to Part 2! 5 Misconceptions on the Best Way to Beat Sugar