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Reduce Sugar Cravings Easily
Cravings can be a pain to deal with, specially if you’re planning to or already in a diet. They can get pretty intense in the first few days or even a week or two, differing from person to person. The worst type of craving, for a lot of people, would be sugar cravings. In this article, I’ll share my own thoughts about cravings and give tips on how to reduce sugar cravings.
What are Cravings?
Cravings is a feeling of intense desire. People crave for a lot of things in their life. However, in this article, the focus will be on food cravings and specifically sugar cravings. The reason being that sugar cravings are the most difficult to get rid of or breakthrough for people starting their diets.
What are Sugar Cravings?
Sugar cravings refer to how the body seems to have this intense desire for sugar. There are a lot of reasons for this and I will do my best to give and discuss most of them. Though the most common reason is that your body has a sugar imbalance.
The imbalance often stems from the fact that you need to eat more balanced meals. Although, it can be said that artificial sweeteners can easily fix this, it’s not really as healthy as advertised. That’s why I’ll be listing down tips to reduce sugar cravings through the use of natural means.
What are Dopamine and Insulin?
Dopamine and Insulin are naturally produced chemicals in our body that regulate and help in a lot of processes in our day to day lives. Dopamine in particular is the chemical that helps in a lot of functions regarding your brain. It is usually known for making us feel pleasure or give liveliness in our daily lives. Healthy levels of dopamine are needed to have a healthy brain and body.
Insulin is an organic hormone that controls the glucose or sugar levels in your body. It is known for helping sugar in the blood enter your cells so that they can be used for energy. It also tells other organs in the body, especially the liver, to store any excess blood sugar so that it can be used later. In short, insulin regulates the amount of blood sugar in the body.
What is Insulin Response?
Insulin response is basically the process where insulin is released whenever blood sugar levels in the body rise. This event typically happens after you eat. A healthy insulin response usually takes 45 minutes for insulin levels peak after the body detects the rise in sugar levels and goes back down once the blood sugar has been properly used or stored.
What Happens During a Diet?
The body has a way of remembering our daily habits. Insulin levels will more often be regulated the same way almost every meal for a lot of people. During a diet, a sharp decrease in sugar intake will often lead to having the same insulin levels released.
In short, although you are taking a significantly reduced amount of sugar, your body will still release the same amount of insulin it usually does. This discrepancy or imbalance results in the body craving of the missing amount of sugar.
Do Sugar Cravings Only Happen on Diets?
Short answer is no, they don’t. You don’t have to be in a diet to experience cravings and even more so, sugar cravings. Though most cravings and the problem to reduce sugar cravings will always come up when going into diets.
People often experience sugar cravings on a daily basis. Though the intensity differs from person to person. Usually, we get preoccupied with what we do that these cravings can easily be ignored. However, when we go on diets, sugar cravings become very difficult to ignore or move on from.
What are the Known Causes?
There are a lot of studies out there that have pointed out major causes in sugar cravings. Most of which have a lot in common since they are part of the same bodily process or they talk about bodily deficiencies. Here are some of the ones that I think are the most common causes.
Studies show that deficiencies of particular nutrients can cause cravings. Normally, eating a balanced meal will result in the brain releasing signals for the body to stop eating when you’re full. However, vitamin and nutrient deficiencies can cause disruptions with these signals.
Magnesium is a mineral that help regulate a lot of bodily processes. In general, it is used by the body to regulate blood sugar. Magnesium deficiencies can cause sugar cravings, specifically on chocolate.
Iron is another mineral that can easily be found in a lot of foods. Similar to Magnesium, it helps regulate a lot of bodily processes. However, iron is highly important since it’s responsible to transporting oxygen from the lungs to your body’s cells. This transfer is the main process involved in the body’s energy production. Having low levels of iron will heavily affect your body’s ability to produce energy and as a result your brain will send unnecessary signals in the form of sugar cravings.
Blood Sugar Imbalance
Blood sugar levels are naturally regulated by the body. Any change will result in a disruption in the body’s process of maintaining blood sugar balance. An increase or decrease will definitely be felt by your body and will often result in sugar cravings.
Having diabetes means having above the standard blood sugar levels. However, contrary to how a lot of people understand it, having high blood sugar levels doesn’t necessarily mean that you get sugar cravings. The cravings happen when your blood sugar levels drop way below the usual.
As mentioned earlier, the body will always try to maintain a healthy balance. Normally, when you get too much sugar, the body will react accordingly and release the sufficient amount of insulin to get your blood sugar levels to drop. The problem arises when your blood sugar levels get way too high and the body gets confused and releases way too much insulin.
Having way too high of insulin levels will result in your body needing or craving sugar to maintain a healthy balance. A lot of people call this a sugar roller coaster. However, not only does it give you strong and constant sugar cravings but has been notorious for being difficult to get off from.
Another known cause for sugar cravings would be insulin resistance. People who get way too much sugar in their bodies will generally have a tough time lowering them. This problem only gets worse over time when your body develops insulin resistance since it’ll take more than the usual amount of insulin to lower your body’s sugar levels.
Water is essential or extremely important to our body. It helps and is involved in almost everything in our lives. Water acts as an essential element in the creation of energy for our body to use. If you get dehydrated, your brain will immediately send out signals to compensate for the lack of energy through sugar cravings.
Will Immediately Stopping Work?
No. I cannot stress enough the importance of this fact. Not a lot of people actually know this or they do but do not believe it. Countless studies and experts have constantly and consistently shown that abrupt changes will make things worse for our bodies. Suddenly stopping or an extreme decrease in sugar intake can actually be damaging to our bodies.
The best way to reduce sugar cravings would be to ease into it. Don’t go and completely forbid yourself or your loved ones from taking in any sugar, especially natural ones you get from healthy foods. You need to remember that our body needs a proper amount of sugar in order to survive.
Note: Natural vs Artificial Sugars?
The main similarity between the two is that they are both found in a lot of food. However, the main difference they have is that artificial sugars are heavily processed so only the sugar part will remain. I have and will always advocate the intake of natural sugars. You have to remember that only artificial sweeteners are linked to diabetes risk and other complications.
What are the Tips to Reduce Sugar Cravings?
You can easily get a lot of tips on the internet regarding how to reduce sugar cravings. However, I can tell you that most of them will give vague or too general statements. I hope that mine will be clearer and easier to understand.
Fruits have a lot of natural sugar in them. The amount being generally enough for our bodies to get sufficient sugar from. When people get strong sugar cravings, they often go for processed food and drinks that contain abnormal levels of artificial sugar.
However, when you go for fruits instead, your body will still get the necessary amount of sugar it needs. The advantage is that you can get full quickly since you’ll be getting more than just sugar with every fruit you eat. When it comes to reducing sugar cravings, having fruits at the ready is the safest and healthiest alternative.
Foods with a lot of B vitamins have been known to reduce sugar cravings. They are the ones who help our bodies effectively consume and use the carbs or body fuel we get from foods. They basically help our brain to effectively make use of the energy we get instead of storing them somewhere.
If your body effectively makes use of the energy it gets from food intake, you want have to worry about it demanding for more. In summary, the less the demand for sugar intake the better.
As mentioned earlier, having water is essential to the production of energy for our body to use. Taking at least 2-3 liters of water a day will not only reduce sugar cravings but will also help in keeping your body healthy and functioning. Of course, you need to keep in mind that you need plain water and not ones doused with artificial sweeteners.
Rest or Sleep
Having sufficient rest for me would be one of the best ways to reduce sugar cravings. The reason why a lot of people have and eventually give in to sugar cravings is that they lack the necessary mental strength to combat it. You’ll have an easier time in dealing with or fighting against sugar cravings if you have sufficiently rested.
As explained earlier, sugar cravings happen when the body demands for more sugar for energy to use. Resting or sleeping will not only have your body properly assess that you don’t really need a lot of energy to use but will also give time for it to readjust itself in order to maintain balance. Basically, when you’re asleep you don’t need a lot of energy to burn and you won’t crave for anything when unconscious.
In reducing sugar cravings, you need to have a functioning and efficient insulin response. One of the best ways to get one would be through regular exercise. Usually, a good hour of exercise is enough to promote and develop a healthy insulin response.
Iron and Magnesium
You can easily get these two things through leafy greens, wheat, nuts, etc. Having meals rich in these two things will not only help in sugar cravings but will also give other benefits. Iron and Magnesium help greatly in maintaining healthy bones and keeping your heart pumping strong.
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are full of healthy things that help greatly with our bodies. Countless studies have shown that nuts in particular are very effective when trying to reduce sugar cravings. I actually agree that pistachios are one of the best choices when trying to reduce sugar cravings.
Normally it should go without saying that eating a balanced meal can definitely reduce sugar cravings. However, you’d be surprised that not a lot of people actually eat the tried and tested 3 times a day method. You need to keep in mind the amount you eat per meal but eating at a set and consistent schedule can greatly help in maintaining your body’s sugar levels.
Lastly, eating unprocessed foods is also one of the best ways to reduce sugar cravings. Eating natural green leafy vegetables and fruits will not only give you a ton of vitamins and minerals but will also easily make you feel full in a good way. Eating processed foods will always make you feel burdened or unnaturally full because it lacks a lot of the things that natural foods can give.
How Long Will It Take to Reduce Sugar Cravings?
Like all things, we need to have consistency to get what we want and need. Our body needs consistency the most since it depends on having healthy balances. When it comes to sugar cravings, you’ll need to be consistent in having balanced meals and being mindful of your sugar intake. So to answer this question as simply as possible, it will take you a few days actually reduce sugar cravings but will take a lifetime to maintain.
Last Minute Tips
You need to understand that the tips I gave aren’t exactly new. However, I stand by them because they have and will always be effective. I’ve experienced a lot of people telling me that sugar cravings are one of the worst ones to reduce or even get rid of. I have been consistent in saying that you shouldn’t get rid of sugar since our bodies need them and reducing cravings is easy if you know how they work. I hope this article was able to give you that so you too can easily reduce sugar cravings.