Sugar cravings and how to eliminate the same?
Sugar craving is the desire to eat anything sweet. It’s different when compared to the normal hunger that we feel and it can lead to binge eating. A one off craving like this is normal, but what if you crave sugar on a regular basis? What does it mean? How should you reduce the sugar craving? If you are one among those with these questions, then this article is for you.
Why do you have these cravings?
Sugar has an addictive response in our brain, just like the effect of drugs such as heroin or cocaine. Eating sugar activates opiates and dopamine receptors in our brain. This gives one a sense of euphoria. The problem here is you need more sugar the next time you eat, in order to feel the same pleasure. Those who have sugar addiction seem to have fewer dopamine receptors and they need extra stimulation to turn them on. That said, there is research demonstrating that sugar can stimulate the brain’s reward processing center in a manner that mimics what we see with some recreational drugs.
According to Dr. Mark Hyman, constantly eating sugary foods causes a spike in your blood sugar which in turn, activates your brain’s pleasure center. This triggers more cravings and drives you to seek out more and more of the substance that gives you a “high”.
What should you do to reduce these cravings?
- The very first step is to detox your body of these- Sugar, artificial sweeteners, processed or refined food items, fruit juices, alcohol, soda, gluten, dairy, starchy grains and high glycemic index fruits.
- Keep your blood sugar in check. Research studies say that low blood sugar levels are associated with lower overall blood flow to the brain, which means more bad decisions. Eat nutritious meals at all times. Include good quality protein and fat in all your meals so that it provides you with satiety and your cravings go down.
- Do not unnecessarily snack in between, if you’re not hungry.
- Check for any nutrient deficiency in your body, like vitamin D or omega-3.
- Avoid stress or learn to manage stress in a better way rather than indulging in that packet of chips or chocolates. Furthermore, chronic stress shoots up your cortisol levels which can drive up your hunger and sugar cravings.
- Get that beauty sleep. Studies show that lack of sleep can increase cravings.
- Be physically active.
- Learn to read the food labels. Look for different sugar terminologies like, Corn syrup, corn sugar, high fructose corn syrup, sucrose, dextrose, honey, molasses, sugar and brown sugar.
- Keep yourself hydrated. Sometimes it’s possible that we might perceive thirst as hunger. Therefore, drink a good amount of water throughout the day.
- If you absolutely need to eat sweets, you would rather eat a small portion of fruit which is a healthier option than refined sugar.
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