How to stop sugar cravings
Sugar cravings are one of the most insidious temptations. It is a rare person who can go past mouth-watering confectionery shop windows without buying a couple of sweets. However, sugar addiction does not always come in the form of a beautiful cupcake or a delicate chocolate bar; many processed foods and snacks are made with large amounts of sugar. “Sugar Season. It’s Everywhere, and Addictive,” an article published in the New York Times on December 22, 2014, is a testament to how addictive sugar can be. According to Sean C. Lucan and James J. DiNicolantonio, the authors of this article, 75% of packaged foods in the USA contain sugar. But are there any methods described on how to stop sugar cravings? There are but you should first understand the reasons why we are craving sweets so much.
Understanding reasons for sugar addiction
Over the past decade, sweet addiction has turned into a hotly discussed issue in everyday life as well as in science. The research data is terrifying: scientists compare sugar lovers with drug addicts and warn that alongside the fleeting pleasure sweets bring, they are addictive and very harmful to our overall health. Before answering the question “how to stop sugar cravings,” let’s discover what makes a us so drawn to sugar.
Most often, people are craving sweets when they are under stress. From the point of view of physiology or medicine, this happens because of a lack of energy, overwork, stress, hunger and a decrease in blood glucose. Sweet foods quickly relieve hunger and provide people a burst of vitality. Sugar addiction can also indicate a hormonal imbalance (for example, the body may lack serotonin or endorphins). Sometimes the cravings for sweet and baked foods can be a sign of an unbalanced diet or a very strict diet which is low in carbs. As a result, the body tries to fill that gap in the easiest and fastest way: by consuming sugar. Over time this can turn into a real sugar addiction.
What is sugar
Today, the market for sugar is very rich. Types of sugar differ in composition and appearance. The most widely used and at the same time the most harmful is white refined sugar. It is not a food product but a chemical substance, which, due to its excellent soluble characteristics, is added to many types of foods including dairy, semi-finished food, pastry, meat, etc. With the number of possible ways of obtaining sugar, the most economically profitable one is processing it from beets and sugarcane.
The truth about refined sugar is that it is pure sucrose. The process of making white sugar turns it into a sterile product from the point of view of dietary value. Because of this, uncontrolled use of sugar adversely affects the immune system, intestinal microflora, teeth, and the effective assimilation of important micro elements. Doctors explain the current tendency for insulin resistance with the fact that the modern diet is oversaturated with fast-digesting carbohydrates. This can lead to various heart diseases, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. With all the side effects of sugar enumerated, the dilemma people face now is: how to stop eating sugar.
7 steps to end your sweet addiction
In addition to some mental preparation and control of your daily stressors, the following tricks will help you successfully tame your sugar cravings:
Add more sources of protein to your diet
Protein’s satiating ability and slow digestion help cope with bursts of hunger and desire to grab something sweet. Quitting sugar can be tricky, that is why it is important to always have alternative foods at hand such as chicken, fish and nuts.
Visit an endocrinologist and a gynecologist
How may a visit to a doctor help to stop sugar cravings? The thing is, craving sugar can be one of the symptoms of thyroid dysfunction or candida infection. In that case, giving up sugar without any medicine is nearly impossible. So first make sure that sugar addiction is not caused by internal conditions. Next, alter your food preferences.
Start taking B vitamins
Get your doctor’s advice on how to take this group of vitamins. They can help the nervous system to withstand some of the daily stress of life. This is stress often provokes sweet cravings and causes inadequate production of cortisol, the hormone responsible for fat stores and cravings for harmful food. Taken as a part of therapy, vitamins will assist you in quitting sugar.
Do not opt for artificial sweeteners
It is a myth that these products help with sweet addiction. Studies have shown that, on the contrary, they increase sugar cravings. Moreover, according to the research published on Health.com, long-term consumption of artificial sweeteners may be a cause of some types of cancer. So, cutting out sugar with the help of artificial substitutes is not an option.
Eat dark chocolate (no less than 70% cacao)
A diet with no sugar, or a No sugar diet, can be harmful. In order not to get depressed because of withdrawal from your favorite foods, treat yourself with dark chocolate! The benefits of this delicacy are recognized by many nutritionists. The rich taste allows you to savor the foods, while cocoa protein helps you to be satiated with even a small piece of chocolate. Moreover, dark chocolate contains antioxidants, which are really beneficial for your health. It will also help you cope with sugar withdrawal symptoms.
Do not buy sweets
Logically, if you are looking for a solution on how to stop sugar cravings, you should not buy candies, cupcakes, soda, and other foods high in sugar. That is why once in a shop, avoid the bakery department and strictly follow your shop list. If quitting sugar is really challenging, follow the advice #6 and buy a bar of dark chocolate.
Avoid low-fat foods
Most often the manufacturers add sugar to low-fat products to improve their taste. Otherwise, if you decide to stick to a low-fat diet, it will seem like a vicious circle – when you think you are cutting out sugar, when in fact, you can’t fight your sugar cravings.
Now that you know what sugar is and how it affects your body, do you still want to eat it as much as you did before? Hope, these simple tricks help you to get rid of your sugar addiction and feel happy regardless of your daily menu.