Do you love chocolate, pastries and biscuits but just can’t seem to stop at one? Sugar cravings can be relentless, but I’m here to tell you that it’s not entirely your fault and I’m going to tell you why…
We all enjoy a sweet treat here and there but while some can easily stop at one or two, others can have a really hard time with this. Statistics show just how much we Australians love our sweets, consuming on average 20 teaspoons of sugar per day. Why do the latter struggle to say no to sugar? A lot of people are in the habit of ‘needing’ something sweet post dinner so they tuck into a packet of biscuits and before they know it the whole packet is gone, or they come home after a rough day and without giving it much thought and letting the emotions do the talking they scoff down a big bowl of ice-cream.
Your bodily responses come into play
Difficulties in controlling sugar cravings can stem from our emotions - stress, boredom, anxiety, depression, but our body can also become addicted to the sugar rush cycle. Yup, you can get hooked on the sweet stuff. We all know the negative affects of sugar and just how easy it can pile on the kilos, what you might not know is that sugar releases the same pleasure centres in the brain that certain illicit drugs do. Sugar stimulates dopamine and consistent sugar consumption leads to prolonged dopamine signalling and more stimulation of the brain’s reward pathways . Basically, the brain gets used to sugar - and more is needed to get that same sugar rush.
Not all food is equally rewarding. Like any addiction or habit formation you need to begin to wean off and detox your body.It’s not unusual for some to feel pretty ordinary when they start to reduce their sugar intake. They body says ‘hey, where’s my sugar hit’ and ravenous cravings can insue. This all sounds a bit unfair, how can something so sweet and delicious be so cruel? This is why you need to take the reins back and gain control back of your relationship with sugar
Motivated to ditch sugar - try this!
The good news is though that the less sugar you give your body, the less you begin to crave it. It’s all about adjustment and giving yourself the time your body needs to get used to eating less sugar and replacing it with wholesome foods. Just wait and see how you feel - more energy, improved sleeping, a leaner body and enhanced mood. I know all these things sound a lot more appealing to me than that soda sitting over there. Now we most definitely don’t need to ban sugar, but if you struggle with cravings and emotional eating limiting your sugar intake is going to make a huge difference. It’ll take a little determination and consistency but it works!
It’s important to realise that when it comes to sugar cravings it’s not entirely your fault. Our body becomes addicted to the sugar rush and when it doesn’t get what it wants it craves it more. Not to mention sugar is such a great mood elevator that we can get addicted to the pick-me-up and energy spike. Once you fuel your body with energy-enhancing wholefoods - fibrous vegetables, lean poultry and good quality low GI carbohydrates your body starts to crave these foods and your sensitivity to sugar increases so you’ll need and want less.
If this article has you written all over it take a look at these 5 tips to halt sugar cravings:
- Start eating more wholefoods. Sugar cravings can stem from micronutrient deficiencies such as chromium and carbon
- Be mindful of hidden sugars - always check labels and aim for less than 5g of sugar per 100g
- Keep up with your snacks - Protein snacks throughout the day can keep sugar cravings at bay - think nuts, roasted chickpeas, lean meats and low-carb protein balls
- Hydrate - absolutely a must! Aim for a 2 ½ - 3 litres for women and 3 - 3 ⅓ litres for men each day
- Utilise Vivano Appetite Manager to increase feelings of fullness and abolish sugar cravings at it’s source.