Natural hormone balance

How to reduce sugar cravings with easy lifestyle changes

Sugar addiction is a real thing. Sugar causes the brain to release dopamine and serotonin. This causes a feeling of euphoria and a natural high similar to liquor and drugs. Most people know that sugar is bad for them but continue to eat it anyway. People that are used to eating large amounts of sugar daily have hard time functioning without it. They will experience withdrawal symptoms if they don’t have it.

According to the Amercan Heart Association the average person in the United States consumes 22 teaspoons of sugar per day. The recommended amount is no more than 6 teaspoons for women and 9 teaspoons for men. In this article I will give you some tips on how to reduce sugar cravings.

What causes sugar cravings?

There are several things that may be causing you to crave sugar.

  • Lack of sleep.

Sleep deprivation causes people to crave carbohydrates and sugar. A lack of sleep leads to low energy levels. This causes your body to desire junk food in an effort to quickly restore these levels.

  • Not eating enough protein

Protein helps to regulate blood sugar levels and prevents sugar from being released to quickly into the bloodstream. It also increases a chemical called Leptin. This is a chemical that tells your brain that you are full.

  • Calcium and magnesium deficiency

Studies have shown that low levels of calcium and magnesium will cause salt and sugar cravings. Eating sugar also lowers calcium and magnesium levels so it is a catch 22.

  • Dehydration

It may surprise you to learn that thirst is often mistaken for hunger. A lack of fluids prevents your body from changing stored glycogen in your liver into glucose for energy. This will cause a desire for sugary foods.

  • Stress, boredom and emotional eating

Eating sweets to fill an emotional void is common. Consuming sugar causes a temporary high by increasing endorphins in the brain. Cookies, candy and ice cream are also often associated with pleasant childhood memories.

  • Adrenal Fatigue

Adrenal exhaustion causes problems with cortisol production and the regulation of blood sugar. You can more about it  here.

  • Over growth of yeast (Candida)

This one is another vicious cycle. Consuming sugar increases the growth of yeast in your digestive tract. An overgrowth of yeast will cause you to crave sugar.

Signs that you are eating too much sugar.

There are several ways your body may be telling you that you are consuming too much sugar.

  • You are constantly craving sugar

When your body gets used to a certain level of sugar it will continue to want the same level of sugar daily even though it has negative consequences for the body.

  • Weight gain.
  • Gaining weight isn’t always caused by eating excess carbohydrates. Sugar actually isn’t high in calories. It does cause your insulin levels to spike. Increased insulin levels often result in fat storage, especially around your mid section.

 

  • Lacking energy

Sugar will quickly give you energy but you will crash and burn just as quickly. If you are sleeping well but still tired throughout the day sugar may to blame.

  • Your skin keeps breaking out.

Excess sugar consumption can wreak havoc with your skin.

  • Increased dental cavities.

You probably already know this but sugar contributes to tooth decay.

Hidden sources of sugar

 

Even if you don’t eat sweets there is a good chance that you consume a lot more sugar than you think you do. Reading labels before you buy “healthy” food is key to avoiding over consumption of sugar. There are lots of foods and drinks that contain hidden sugar such as frozen dinners, yogurt, granola, ketchup and BBQ sauce. Foods labeled as low or no fat are often high in sugar. When you are purchasing food from the store look for words such as dextrose, fructose, glucose. Anything ending in “ose” is a type of sugar. Corn syrup is also sugar. Finding foods that have no added sugars or choosing fruits as a source of sugar is the more reliable way to make sure you are not ingesting too much sugar.

Tips to reduce sugar cravings

 

  1. Avoid eating processed and packaged foods as much as possible.
  2. Drink 8-10 glasses of water per day.
  3. Get adequate sleep. Aim for 8-10 hours per night.
  4. Eat 15 -40 grams of protein per meal.
  5. Increase Serotonin naturally. This can be achieved by diet, exercise and adequate amounts of sleep.
  6. Read labels and keep sugar out of your kitchen as much as possible.
  7. Maintain a steady blood sugar throughout the day by eating regular meals.
  8. Avoid going out when you are hungry. Impulse eating often leads to poor food choices. Find alternative ways to manage stress.
  9. Don’t use food as a reward.
  10. Add dark leafy greens to your diet. They are high in calcium and magnesium.
  11. Substitute small amounts of fruit for candy and desserts.
  12. Consume fermented food and drinks daily.

Conclusion

Stopping dependency on sugar is easier said than done. You will experience some unpleasant symptoms such as headaches, bloating and fatigue when you detox from sugar. Keep in mind that the symptoms of sugar withdrawal are temporary and you will feel much better in the long run.

Are you addicted to sugar?

Do you have any tips for reducing sugar cravings?

Let me know in the comments below.

 

 

 

 

Please follow and like us:

You may also like...

8 Comments

  1. Mary says:

    Interesting info about sugar cravings. I didn’t realize that things like not eating enough protein or dehydration could cause you to crave sugar. Sugar sure does some bad stuff to our bodies, and unfortunately it seems to be hidden everywhere. And great tips for eating less sugar. Thank you. I’m going to try some of those.

    1. admin says:

      Hi Mary,

      I hope these tips work well for you. Thanks for stopping by,

  2. Evald says:

    Hey Lisa 😉
    Very informative & interesting article. I have learned a lot of new things regarding sugar in our food & sugar cravings.

    I really like how You explained in detail the causes of sugar craving & how to deal with them.
    I was very surprised that dehydration is a serious cause of sugar craving. Also, the fact that ”Protein helps to regulate blood sugar levels and prevents sugar from being released to quickly into the bloodstream” was something new & exciting for me to learn.

    Very informative & helpful tips to reduce sugar cravings. I will definitely try to use them in my daily life as much as possible 🙂

    1. admin says:

      Hi Evald,

      Making these changes should definitely help with your sugar cravings. Let me know how it works out for you.

  3. Bini says:

    Thank you for sharing such an informative article. When I am stressed I crave for sugar a lot. I always wondered why I feel so and how can I reduce such cravings. I am really glad I found your article.
    I will follow all the tips to reduce this craving. I am worried about the withdrawal though I hope I can resist the cravings. Your article gave me information as well encouragement to reduce my craving.
    Thanks again.

    1. admin says:

      Hi Bini,

      The first few days of sugar withdrawl can definitely be a struggle. it will be worth it so stick with it and push through it! The results will be worth it.

  4. Karen Noone says:

    I definitely have a challenge with sugar. I didn’t really realise it because I’m not a dessert person but realised that so much of what I eat has added sugar in it. Ready meals are my downfall. I’m now trying to make better choices and reading labels more closely.
    You have given me some great ideas to try and implement in my daily diet.
    Thanks for a great read

    1. admin says:

      Hi Karen,

      Sounds like you are making some great changes. I am happy to hear this information was helpful.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.