Are you are a person who is often overcome with sugar cravings? If so, it is important for you to look out for ways in which you can control it. Sugar cravings occur for numerous reasons such as stress, lack of sleep, genetics and a personal tendency towards being addicted to sweet food. Sometimes, when you eat sugar you might notice that sugar makes you feel more energetic, alert, and helps improve your mood. But, if you consume sugar in excess, chances are that you will come across many health problems, including obesity. Let’s take a look at some of the things sugar does to your body.
Effects of Uncontrolled Sugar Cravings
Excess sugars in the body are normally converted into fats. These fats are the ones that accumulate in the adipose tissue leading to increased weight gain and obesity. Fat, once it becomes excess occludes the blood vessels leading to hypertension. When you eat sugars regularly, the insulin becomes weak, and it will not be in a position to break down all the sugars in the body. When insulin becomes inactive, you end up being diabetic. Insulin receptors might as well fail leading to increased blood sugar levels. Sugar cravings can be controlled by setting up diet goals and habits.
Here are some ways to beat your sugar cravings.
1. Eat Enough Macro Nutrients
Sugar cravings often occur due to lack of food intake, especially foods that contain magnesium, zinc, and chromium. So, adopt a diet of nutrient-dense food like leafy vegetables, fruits, and nuts to maximize the amount of sugar your body is able to burn. This will prevent excess fat from forming in your body and ensure good health while preventing obesity. Keep in mind, that a balanced diet can keep your sugar levels more stable and make you have fewer cravings.
2. Manage Your Stress Levels
Stress is a key factor that can potentiate sugar cravings, and therefore it is helpful to manage the stress in your life first. Engage in breathing exercises regularly for a span of 15-20 minutes to help improve your stress. You can also engage in some activities like jogging or gardening that will relax and energize your body. These can help a lot in maintaining good health while also taking your mind off the sugar fix.
3. Get a Good Nights Sleep
Another important factor is to have adequate sleep at night if you need to get rid of sugar cravings the next day. Experts point out that a fatigued body is what will make you crave sugar the next day. So if you are having sleep issues it would be a good idea to address the root cause so you can sleep better.
4. Schedule Treats
If you are eating sugary treats in the afternoon, you will just end up craving them the rest of the day. It is recommended that you eat any type of sweet snack after dinner. Another option is to reward yourself with a nice treat like ice cream only twice a week, or a chocolate chip cookie on Friday after work. Keep in mind that you have to be committed to following this plan and keep healthy snacks on hand for the last-minute-munchies.
5. Reduce Caffeine Intake
Drinking coffee alone in the morning without eating breakfast will lead to sugar cravings the whole day. When you wake up, the body is supposed to secrete cortisol, which is the stress hormone. It will help the body start the day. People who are tired or didn’t get enough sleep don’t produce enough cortisol.
They try to get their morning hit by drinking coffee that can result to an unnatural spike in cortisol and insulin in the body. Once the cortisol level drops, the cells will be looking for insulin in form of sugar to stop the state of emergency that the body is experiencing. So, make sure to eat a healthy breakfast packed with beneficial nutrients that will keep the body fueled for a good part of the day without requiring a quick fix of sugar or carbs.
6. Eat Good Fats and Protein
If you want to improve your health and at the same time stop sugar cravings, you should limit your intake of processed carbohydrates and eat lots of good fats and protein. Carbohydrates provide energy to the body but eating lots of it can lead to blood sugar fluctuations.
On the other hand, proteins are composed of amino acids that are important in maintaining the balance of hormones and stop sugar cravings. Good fats are also good source of energy and help make you feel fuller longer.
When you consume enough good fats and proteins, along with plenty of vegetables, you provide the body with enough fatty acids, micronutrients, and amino acids that will help you stop craving unnecessarily.
7. Seek Help through Acupuncture
Acupuncture has proven to be one of the ideal ways to cure many kinds of health problems and diseases. Therefore, it offers a solution to help reduce sugar cravings by reducing stress and harmonizing and balancing the digestion. There are even acupuncture points along the meridians and in the ear that can help curb sugar cravings. We would love to help you achieve your health goals at Hummingbird Community Acupuncture in Boulder, CO.
In summary, sugar cravings are not be treated as minor occurrences in your life as it can make you consume lots of sweetened items. This will pose a potential threat to your body in many ways and can even be severe if not treated properly. So, remember to identify the root causes of your sugar cravings and try to eliminate them. This can promote an energizing lifestyle which ensures that your body is in good health.
Joaquina Cante, L.Ac., Shaman, is a nationally board certified acupuncturist and holistic healthcare practitioner in Boulder, Colorado. Owner of Hummingbird Community Acupuncture, she is a believer in the innate power of each individual to heal and become a better human being.