Sugar Cravings and How To Stop Them Permanently!
Sugar cravings – do you have them? If so, you are not alone on this. Millions of people across the globe can’t seem to resist the temptation of sugary stuff. Consumption of sugar triggers a pleasurable feeling in your brain due to its ability to stimulate the release of dopamine. Subsequently, your brain ends up liking the pleasurable feeling leading to sugar cravings. It is undeniable that human beings derive pleasure from sweet-tasting foods. According to recent studies, sugar can be as addictive as cocaine, heroin, and morphine. Due to its addictive nature, many people encounter a myriad of challenges in their efforts to overcome sugar cravings.
Why do I have sugar cravings?
Sugar cravings can be triggered by several factors. The most common causes of sugar cravings are:
- Hormonal Fluctuation
Sugar has a reputation for its ability to upsurge endorphin and serotonin levels in the brain. Some people develop sugar cravings due to hormonal fluctuations. Most women showing premenstrual syndromes experience abnormal sugar cravings particularly when their endorphin or serotonin levels are very low.
- Digestive Ailments
Digestive ailments have the ability to cause sugar cravings.
Research has found that sugar cravings are common in people with fungal and yeast overgrowth due to their high sugar requirements. Overgrowth of fungi and yeast occurs due to beneficial bacteria imbalances in the intestinal tract. Food allergies and sensitivities can easily trigger blood sugar imbalances in the body resulting in sugar cravings. Nevertheless, digestive system affiliated sugar cravings can either be eliminated through allergens treatment or bacterial balance restoration.
Due to our modern lifestyles, stress has become a regular issue for many people. Unfortunately, stress triggers the release of cortisol leading to low energy levels. Many people opt for sweet foods to boost their energy levels when stressed. Increased stress hormone levels have the ability to trigger sugar cravings among other compulsive behaviours in individuals.
- Inadequate proteins or fats
Consumption of carbohydrates should be backed up with enough proteins and healthy fats. A lack of adequate proteins or fats results in low energy levels in the body. When that happens, the vast majority of people turn to sugary snacks to boost their energy levels. Unfortunately, consumption of sweet stuff leads to sugar cravings gradually.
Why should I break sugar cravings?
Well, there is no doubt that sugar can be very satisfying on both emotional and physical levels. While sugar is an excellent energy booster, mood enhancer and stimulates the release of both endorphins & serotonin in your body, excessive sugar can be dangerous to your health. Sugar is associated with chronic health complications including insulin resistance, tooth decay, type 2 diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol, kidney damage, cancer, inflammation, depression, insomnia and heart ailments. The bottom line is that you have every reason to avoid sugar cravings to reduce the risks of suffering from chronic ailments.
Sugar craving symptoms
You probably have a sugar addiction if you are showing the following symptoms:
Hunger and cravings for carbohydrates, salty stuff, meat
Muscle aches and pains
How to curb sugar cravings
Are you wondering how to reduce sugar cravings? Well, don’t stress yourself. Here are vital tips of stopping sugar cravings. They include:
1. Implement a sugar awareness campaign
Consider implementing a sugar awareness campaign to beat your sugar addiction. Reading food labels empowers you to kick your sugar cravings while making the right choices.
Sugar awareness is imperative for those seeking practical ways of kicking their sugar addiction habits.
2. Avoid Processed Foods
While processed foods are not necessarily unhealthy, they may contain added sugar, fat and salt. Staying clear of processed foods is one of the best ways of overcoming sugar cravings effectively. If you avoid eating processed foods such as Oreos, crisps, soft drinks, tinned vegetables, bacon, cheese and canned meat, among others, it can boost your chances of beating sugar addiction. Processed foods may trigger the production of pleasure neurotransmitters known as dopamine in the brain. A drop in dopamine levels results in sugar cravings.
3. Get enough sleep
Getting plenty of sleep can help you stop sugar cravings naturally. All it takes to accomplish this goal is to ensure that you snooze for a period of between 8-10 hours every night. A lack of adequate sleep continues to be associated with low energy levels, depression and anxiety, stress and sugar cravings. Enjoying adequate sleep helps in boosting your serotonin levels and detoxing from sugar effectively.
4. Vitamins & Minerals
Consumption of foods rich in certain vitamins and minerals such as zinc, amino acids, chromium and vitamins C & B can help reduce sugar cravings successfully. Vitamin C can be derived from Kale, strawberries, bell peppers, cauliflower and broccoli. Vitamin B can be found in dark leafy greens, beans, whole grains, eggs, dairy and fish. Foods such as egg yolks, spinach, pumpkin seeds, shrimp, salmon, turkey, flax seeds, broccoli, cheese, fish, mushrooms, chicken and whole grains are perfect sources for Zinc and Chromium.
5. Drink Enough H2O
Did you know drinking plenty of water stops sugar cravings effectively? Well, you know now. Dehydration can easily cause sugar cravings related complications such as stress, depression, hormonal fluctuations and insomnia among others.
6. Increase your Protein intake
Lack of enough protein in your body can make you crave sugar. Increasing your protein intake can make all the difference in fighting sugar cravings. Protein plays a massive role in balancing blood sugar and regulating brain chemicals that trigger hunger and cravings.
7. Exercise Regularly
Incorporating regular physical fitness activities such as swimming, weight lifting, jogging, evening walk, yoga, meditation, cycling and football into your lifestyle can help to fight against sugar cravings. Engaging in regular exercise helps in uplifting energy levels, boosting mood, immunity strengthening, prevention of chronic diseases and sugar detoxification among others.
According to a recent publication in the American Diabetic Association journal, it is believed that chocolate cravings are very common among the Americans. Millions of people can’t resist the temptation of chocolate due to its mouth -watering and nutritious nature. After all, who doesn’t like the rich taste of chocolate? The truth is that chocoholics find themselves salivating at the sight or thought of chocolate. While too much of it can be dangerous to your health and wellness, consuming chocolate in moderation has many health benefits including prevention of heart diseases, improving blood flow, enhancing skin health, improving brain function and lowering blood pressure. In addition to that list, chocolate is an excellent source of antioxidants.
What causes chocolate cravings?
While there no specific causes of chocolate cravings, they could be triggered by several factors including:
1. Minerals deficiency
Chocolate is an excellent source of magnesium, fibre, manganese, copper and iron, among other minerals. Some of these minerals have the ability to regulate moods and cravings. If you suffer from minerals deficiency, it is easy to find yourself hitting the chocolate vending machine around the corner to deal with your cravings.
2. Emotional problems
Chocolate cravings can be caused by emotional problems such as depression, anger, disappointment and anxiety. The majority of those suffering from emotional problems turn to chocolate to uplift their mood and energy levels. Due to their overdependence on this nutritious product, chocoholics develop weird chocolate cravings.
Chocolate has a vast wealth of mood elevators and stimulants such as theobromine, caffeine and beta-phenyl ethylamine among others. These chemicals have the power of enhancing your mood, particularly if you are stressed or depressed. Health experts have found that stress or depression victims are more likely to develop chocolate cravings as compared to those who are relaxed and happy.
Are you aware that boredom can lead to sugar or chocolate cravings? Well, it is true that boredom causes chocolate cravings. People develop an attraction towards chocolate when they are idle. Boredom is more likely to push you into finding pleasurable distraction in chocolate when trying to pass the time. Chocoholics find consolation in chocolate, especially when they feel too bored to read a book, watch a movie, or go out for an evening walk.
How can I curb chocolate cravings?
Chocolate cravings can impact on your health and wellness negatively. Nevertheless, it is possible to beat chocolate cravings through various tactics. They include:
1. Boosting your magnesium levels
Incorporating magnesium-rich foods such as tofu, dark leafy greens, legumes, wheat, nuts, oats, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, soybeans, figs, bananas, spinach, broccoli, kidney beans, rice and black beans in your diet can help you stop chocolate cravings effectively. Most people develop chocolate cravings as a result of magnesium deficiency. Increasing your magnesium intake helps in relieving stress, improving sleep and boosting your energy levels.
2. Embrace physical fitness activities
Exercising on a regular basis can be invaluable for chocoholics. Adopting a sedentary lifestyle can put you at risk of developing chocolate cravings. Embracing physical fitness activities such as yoga, meditation, martial arts, weight lifting, push-ups, jogging and swimming can help you curb chocolate addictions, enhance blood circulation, eliminate inflammation, improve your memory, strengthen your bones/muscles and boost your immune system.
3. Drink enough water (again)
Do you want to stop craving chocolate? Well, drinking plenty of water can reduce chocolate addiction. Drinking adequate water is the secret to suppressing chocolate cravings. In fact, health experts continue to emphasise the need to drink enough water in between meals to curb weird emotional cravings such as sugar and chocolate cravings.
4. Go for very dark chocolate only
Consumption of dark chocolate ensures that your body is supplied with the right minerals and nutrients. Milk chocolates are more addictive as compared to very dark chocolates. As a matter of fact, dark chocolate contains lower sugar content and higher antioxidant levels as compared to milk chocolate. In conclusion, moderate consumption of dark chocolate is good for your health.
5. Vegetables and Fruits
It is imperative to substitute chocolate cravings with plenty of vegetables and fruits. These foods are rich in vitamins, zinc, proteins, magnesium, chromium and copper among many others. There is wisdom in incorporating plenty of vegetables and fruits into your daily diet to curb your chocolate cravings successfully. Chocoholics can benefit immensely from consuming spinach, broccoli, kale, strawberries, apples, bananas, avocados, mangoes and sunflower seeds among others.
How to stop chocolate cravings
1. Identify and deal with emotions behind your chocolate cravings
Determining the root cause of your addiction is a vital step of dealing with chocolate cravings permanently. Well, it may take a while to overcome your addiction but it’s a good start. Is your chocolate craving triggered by hunger, stress, anxiety, depression, loneliness, boredom, anger or disappointment? OR is your chocolate addiction fuelled by a sense of memory? These are vital questions that can help you unravel your chocolate addiction permanently. Sometimes seeing chocolate pictures, paintings or displays online can trigger your cravings. Identifying all factors behind chocolate cravings makes it easy to deal with them effectively.
2. Acknowledge your emotional needs
It is vital you acknowledge your emotional needs and take the necessary actions to deal with chocolate addiction properly. Consider finding different ways of meeting your emotional needs without consuming chocolate and you will gradually overcome your craving.
3. Eliminate all addiction recovery blocks
It takes effort, time, commitment, resilience, courage and willingness to overcome any type of addiction including chocolate cravings. It is imperative to eliminate all beliefs, doubts, thoughts and perceptions that you cannot survive without chocolate in order to beat your addiction.
4. Talk to a specialist
Are you still struggling to stop chocolate craving? Well, it is time to seek help from a health expert. Persistent chocolate cravings should be treated like other addictions. Talking to a reputable specialist can make all the difference in your effort to curb chocolate addiction.
Overcoming sugar and chocolate cravings can be a very liberating and empowering experience for anyone. It is possible to achieve abundant happiness, emotional satisfaction, relaxation and increased productivity without relying on sugar and chocolate intake to boost your energy levels.
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