How many of you have gobbled a whole pack of sweets and felt guilty minutes after finishing them? It’s understandable that you wanted to satisfy your cravings. Many of us don’t stop to think when we have sugar cravings. All our weight loss goals and fitness techniques just vanish into thin air. Sadly, satisfying our sugar cravings can often lead to adverse health effects in the long run. In this blog, let’s analyze the causes of such cravings and learn how to fight sugar cravings to lead healthier lives.
Cases of Frequent Sugar Cravings
We’ve collected some answers from our co-workers regarding the question, “Why are my sugar cravings so bad?”
Elmira says, “I crave sweets when I am stressed or anxious. Sometimes, I have cravings when I feel sad. And, when I have a couple of sweets, my mood changes and I am back to normal!”
Sounds familiar? Let’s see what Sarah tells us often.
“Yes, I do have sugar cravings now and then. I satisfy my cravings by having a few pieces of chocolate, and then burn those calories later by working out!”
Another co-worker says, “I watch Netflix every day, and when I do, I feel like eating something sugary. So, I take whatever sweet is available and just pop it in my mouth.”
What do you understand from the above cases? Sugar cravings are pretty common, but many people need help and support to combat them. So, let’s look at the 10 ways to combat sugar cravings!
How Can I Stop My Sugar Cravings?
You cannot keep on satisfying your sweet cravings endlessly. Excessive sugar consumption can lead to severe health complications. Did you know that sugary drinks cause bowel cancer? Firstly, you need to identify the root cause of your sugar cravings. Only then can you address the problem with a proper course of action. Here are some common causes of sugar cravings and the techniques to combat them.
1. Check for Hormonal Imbalances
Hormonal imbalance can have a direct impact on the insulin levels in your body, which in turn, can destabilize your blood sugar. This is one of the major causes of sweet cravings. Although you can battle the cravings with sheer willpower, they might indicate that something is not right in your body. Consult your doctor/healthcare provider to find out if the balance in your hormonal levels is affected. Proper lifestyle decisions, like having a balanced diet, sufficient exercise, and adequate sleep, can help balance your hormones so that you stop having frequent sugar cravings.
2. Minimize Stress/Anxiety
As Elmira mentioned earlier, sweet cravings may indicate stress or sadness. Instead of having a candy, eat a whole fruit. By the time you finish it, your mood will be back to normal. Opting for fruits is also a healthier option when compared to hogging on candy or a high-calorie sweet. Do you know the 8 foods having more sugar than candy?
A fruit acts as one of the best sugar craving suppressants.
3. Opt for Dark Chocolate
Lots of people experience sugar cravings at night. They are even worse when binge-watching their favorite web series. Instead of eating a bar of milk chocolate, they can have a piece or two of dark chocolate. It contains more cocoa than normal chocolates. It is one of the foods that curb sugar cravings. But dark chocolate also contains sugar and fat, so people must restrict the number of pieces to a minimum.
4. Choose Dry Fruits/Nuts
If you have some dry fruits and nuts handy, you can consume them as alternate food for sugar cravings. They are a healthier option, and they can also do wonders for your body and mind. A handful of nuts and dry fruits can help combat your nighttime sugar cravings.
5. Try Some Sugar-Free Chocolate
It’s chocolate without added sugar. Sugar-free chocolates contain artificial sweeteners. These chocolates also have fewer calories when compared to the normal ones. So, satisfy your evening sugar cravings with some sugar-free chocolate. Sugar-free chocolate for diabetics is the recommended choice since the sugar content is very low.
6. Drink Water
Do you drink a sufficient amount of water for the day? At times, your brain will tell you that you are hungry. But in reality, you will be feeling thirsty. So, your frequent carbohydrate cravings might be a sign of you being thirsty/dehydrated. So, make sure you drink enough water. Even when you have a candy craving, try drinking a glass of water. The craving might just go away!
7. Check for Deficiencies
If you crave sweets at night, or at any other time, you must get checked for mineral deficiency in your body. Many studies have shown that magnesium deficiency can cause mood changes. These, in turn, can trigger sugar cravings. So, the best way to curb the cravings is to increase your magnesium intake. You can consult your doctor to know how to do that. So, you have now got the answer to your question, “What deficiency causes sugar cravings?”
8. Practice Mindful Eating
If you have your meals in a hurry, you might start craving sweets soon after you finish the meals. So, practice mindful eating, where you chew slowly and spend some time while you eat, without hurrying the process. This type of eating can, sometimes, stop your carbs cravings.
9. Delay the Craving Period
When you feel the sudden urge to eat something sweet, try to delay the time of craving. Go out for a walk, or try calling a friend. If you stall the time, the craving might just go away. This is one of the answers to the most common question related to cravings in many people’s minds – “How to stop sugar cravings instantly?”
10. Have a Protein-Rich Meal
Protein reduces the secretion of the hunger hormone known as, “ghrelin.” So, a protein-rich diet can serve as a sugar craving suppressant by making you feel full for several hours. Therefore, have meals with food items containing pulses, fish, eggs, and other sources of protein. These can act as supplements to curb sugar cravings.
How to Stop Sugar Cravings Naturally?
One of the natural ways of dealing with your sugar cravings is by eating without leaving long gaps between meals. As mentioned earlier, eating fruits is an effective and natural way to address sugar cravings. Yet another technique to combat sweet cravings is by eating chia seeds. They contain antioxidants, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and minerals. Thus, they serve as a healthy and natural food item to stop your cravings.
Watch What You Eat and Keep Track of When You Eat It
Do you now have a list of food items to keep your sugar cravings away? Watching what you eat and keeping a diary of your food habits will go a long way in having a healthy lifestyle. We hope this blog on the techniques to fight sugar cravings helps stop your urges to consume unhealthy foods and switch over to more balanced diets.