Sugar cravings are a lot like flies in the summer - they seem to hang around and bother us when we just want to be left alone. So, what is a person to do when they are ready to discover how to stop sugar cravings?
To answer this question, we must first examine what a sugar craving is, why they happen to us, and then discuss methods we can use to get rid of them for good.
So, if you are ready to find ways to beat sugar cravings, stay with us. We’re all in it together!
What Are Sugar Cravings?
Sugar cravings are the sudden feelings we get that make us search out candies, cakes, cookies or even ice cream. Some of us might keep a bag of “emergency chocolate” in the desk drawer or a box of cookies in the cupboard just when we are craving something sweet.
However, these cravings mean much more than you think. To understand what causes sugar cravings, we have to look at our own nutrition and habits.
Sugar cravings affect all of us, no matter our age, height, fitness level or gender. So, don’t feel like you are alone in this- we all want to know how to stop sugar cravings.
Why Do We Get Sugar Cravings?
There are a few reasons as to why we get them. Knowing the reasons why is the first step in learning how to prevent sugar cravings.
Reason 1: You did not eat the right foods, or you did not get enough calories.
Dieters and athletes; listen up. If you do not eat enough calories to suit your needs, your body is going to look for a fast way to get the energy it desires. Sugar is a way to get some pretty fast energy, but it is not the good kind at all.
Reason 2: You just get used to it.
We all have that one coworker who has his morning cigarette every day at 11:30. That one sibling who drinks rivers of soda even though it’s not healthy. And that one coffee-shop regular who always gets a sugary latte or espresso drink.
These people all have one thing in common-they just have a bad habit. It has become part of their everyday life. They may not be aware they are doing it-they just get the feeling it is the right thing to do at that given time during the day.
Reason 3: You may be nutritionally deficient.
This ties in with our first reason in that you have to be sure you are getting the right nutrients no matter your situation. A sugar craving is the body’s way of stating “I am lacking in the nutrients I need.” You are likely not consuming enough non-starch veggies and fresh fruits.
Think about this: You eat a banana, and chances are you do not crave another. You eat a bag of baby carrots; you don’t think about them again. Sure, these have natural sugars, but why doesn’t the body crave more? These healthy alternatives have the vitamins, minerals and fiber your body uses to satisfy the craving for sugar but also deliver the right nutrients.
In sum: Your body’s desire for sugar is a signal that you should eat more fruits and veggies!
How Do I Get Rid of My Sugar Cravings?
Now we know why these cravings happen. The next step is to answer the million-dollar question of “How do I get rid of my sugar cravings?”
Thankfully there are a few ways-let’s list them now.
- Consume more zinc. Zinc is needed for the use of insulin and glucose, and foods you can enjoy including cashews, oysters and pumpkin seeds, among others. Too little zinc can lead you to crave sugar.
- Avoid processed foods and caffeine. Caffeine is a diuretic and makes you dehydrated. Processed foods have lots of salt and sugar, which leads you to crave more of the stuff. It’s OK to have your morning coffee-just be mindful you don’t drink too much.
- Be sure you get adequate exercise and sleep. Being tired leads us to crave sugary foods. Exercise helps reduce stress, which leads us to crave sugar less.
- Eat a balanced diet of whole fresh foods that are high in protein, healthy fats, magnesium, and chromium. Respectively, these are foods like lean meats, avocados, leafy greens, and broccoli.
- And of course, be sure you are drinking plenty of clean, pure water. Mineralized water is best as it keeps your minerals up to par. You can get trace mineral supplements to add to your water bottle if you do not have access to a steady supply of mineralized water. Try to drink 8, 8 oz glasses of water a day.
Alternative Foods That Can Curb or Prevent Sugar Cravings
Mother Nature has given us all we need when it comes to sugar alternatives. There are several great foods that curb sugar cravings and they taste great too! Here are three of our favorites.
- Plain yoghurt- Swap out that chocolate ice cream because your body might need phosphorus. Yoghurt helps balance out the gut bacteria, which can decrease sugar cravings. Add some fresh raspberries for a real treat.
- Cinnamon- Cinnamon is a naturally sweet spice, and your sweet tooth will surely be satisfied. You can put it in tea or coffee, or even on your morning toast or yoghurt. Cinnamon helps control blood glucose levels, reducing sugar cravings.
- Smoothies- Smoothies can be made any way YOU like them, using your choice of milk, fruit, veggies and even add-ins like chia seeds. Naturally sweet fruit smoothies make you feel like you are having a decadent dessert, but you are actually getting vital nutrients in the process. It’s a win-win situation.
To begin your sugar detox, ask yourself: Why do you have sugar cravings? If it is stress, get some exercise. If it is diet, find more wholesome foods to consume and be sure you are getting all vitamins and minerals. If it’s become a habit, seek out some healthy alternatives. You can do this-just be consistent and strong.