Do you crave sugar? Are you one of those people who like to start their day with something sweet or one of those who cannot stop eating sweets? If you constantly want to munch on sweet things then you are not the only one. You have sugar cravings. Before we go on to how to stop sugar cravings let us understand why sugar cravings happen in the first place.
Why do I get sugar cravings?
It is important to note here that craving is not same as hunger. Sugar cravings have more to do with the brain than the stomach. It is the brain asking for a dopamine release which gives pleasure. Sugar cravings may also be because of deficiency of nutrients. Iron deficiency can zap our energy making us tired easily resulting in quick energy cravings. Imbalances in consumption, absorption and storage of minerals like calcium, chromium, zinc and magnesium can cause cravings. Generally people who rely heavily on carbs for their daily energy requirements more than proteins are more likely to experience sugar cravings. Research has also shown that a poor night’s sleep can also result in sugar or junk food cravings the next day. The reason behind this is that the two hormones ghrelin and leptin which promote and suppress food intake get significantly affected by poor sleep. Stress is another reason which affects hunger and cravings. Sugar consumption increases serotonin in the body which is a neurotransmitter. Serotonin enhances the mood, appetite and memories making one feel happy temporarily. And this can get hard wired in your brain that having sugar makes you happy resulting in sugar cravings. Usage of artificial sweeteners can also increase sugar cravings. Sometimes we crave sugar because of our set behaviour patterns which we have adopted over time because they made us happy.
How do I fight sugar cravings?
Once you know the cause behind the sugar cravings solution is handy. Here are some tips for you on controlling and managing those sugar cravings –
- It is ok to give in to your sugar craving once in a while provided you know and can to stop at one or few.
- Before you grab that chocolate or that cookie take a look at the nutritional content given on the packaging of the product. That may help you either avoid eating it or eating only a small portion of it.
- Take a quick walk in the park. Just a 15 minute stroll can divert your mind from the need to eat. Exercise releases endorphins in the brain that makes one feel good and also stimulates the brain to stay away from that brownie.
- Take a nap. Because sleep deprivation is one of the reasons of sugar cravings a power nap can sometimes be better than any sugary sweet product at reviving your energy levels and making you feel better.
- If you cannot control it still try to opt for healthier options like fruit, nuts, trail mixes, dates, yogurt and dark chocolates etc.
- Eat healthy well balanced filling meals at proper timings can reduce these sugar cravings to a large extent. Make sure you include protein rich substances like meat, fish and eggs in your diet.
- Take a hot shower. Some people find relief from sugar cravings if they take a hot shower or bath. A 10-15 minute hot bath may just be the thing you need next time you crave sugar.
- Sometimes the cause behind the craving is dehydration. So have a glass of water. It also fills you up to temporarily forget the craving.
- Take multivitamin tablets if your diet is not balanced enough to ensure you do not suffer from any vitamin or mineral deficiency that may cause the sugar cravings.
- Chew a sugar free gum, the sweet taste may satisfy your taste buds without harming your body.
- Have a herbal or green tea to get rid of that sugar craving.
- You can also go cold turkey on sugar that is simply quit it, take it out completely from the diet. Doing this is much difficult than it sounds especially the first 48 to 72 hours can be brutal but over time the cravings would diminish and you can train your mind to be satisfied with less sugar.
If you have tried all of these tips and tricks but nothing seems to work then it is time to speak to a professional. You can talk to a nutritional expert, a therapist or your health care provider. These people are experts and they can guide you best in beating those sugar cravings.
Meanwhile you can educate yourself about the health risks involved in consuming high amount of sugars. Start exercising, eating healthy food and sleep adequately to rewire your brain to avoid these cravings. Take care of your Oral health after eating sugar. Brush and floss after consuming sweets. Kids tend to get sugar rush after consuming sweets like candies. So try to control their sugar cravings too. In summary we can only say it is ok to give in to your sugar cravings once in a while but in moderation. Keep in mind that anything in excess is always harmful. Try and avoid the substances around which you lose your control and if you cannot avoid these foods completely then try to minimize their consumption. Rome was not built in a day. Sugar cravings are real and it may take you a little while to get over them. Resist these cravings as much as possible. Besides the tricks and tips listed above it is also a game of will power. If you can resist long and hard you can win this battle. Lastly go easy on yourself. You can do it with some motivation and self discipline.
If you have more queries you can always call Ensure Dental Care (the family dentist near you) on 940-274-3229 for more information or to schedule an appointment. Ensure Dental Care is the one of the best family dental clinics at Saginaw Texas. We accept all major insurance providers. We also have in house payment plan. We have a very experienced team of dental practitioners and we look forward to serving you the best of our abilities.
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