Sugar cravings are common, and it can take some effort to reduce your sugar intake. Your sugar craving may be due to an overconsumption of red meat, a diet of too many carbohydrates, an extremely restrictive diet or just a habit of eating sugar as part of your daily routine and social gatherings. Here are four reasons why your diet could actually be increasing your sugar cravings:
1. Too Much Red Meat
Eating too much red meat can lead to sugar cravings. Eating red meat can stimulate inflammation in the body and create an acidic condition. In some cases, the inability to properly digest red meat or other proteins can lead to sugar cravings. Limiting your intake of red meat and making sure to balance out your diet with all the food groups will help to lower your sugar cravings.
2. Too Many Carbs and Sugar
When you eat too many carbohydrates and sugars, your body becomes accustomed to increased serotonin levels. As a result, you will feel lower energy levels when you do not consume these foods. This becomes an up and down cycle where you do not feel energetic unless you are eating sugar, and results in a signal from your brain to eat more of the sweet stuff. By eating a diet that is well-balanced and not too lopsided with carbs, you have a greater chance of beating your sugar cravings.
3. Depriving Diets
Some people experience sugar cravings when dieting. This is especially true if you are on an extreme diet that eliminates one or more food groups. If previously accustomed to eating sugar, your natural tendency will be to eat more of it, especially when you are feeling stressed or deprived on a low-calorie diet. In this case, a sensible, well-balanced diet will help to reduce your sugar cravings.
4. The Sugar Habit
Sugar is in so many foods and is often a hidden ingredient in items ranging from stews to condiments. In addition, eating sugar is a habit. The sugar in your morning coffee, your afternoon cookie and your evening piece of chocolate as you watch television – it all adds up. Before you know it, sugar consumption has become a necessary part of your daily food ritual and your sense of well-being. Not to mention that sugar is a large part of many celebrations and social gatherings. Celebrating with a birthday cake, having dessert with friends at a cafe or sharing treats with co-workers to make it through a long day are all ways in which sugar sneaks into your daily life.
Overcoming sugar cravings can take some time and diligence. As you find yourself eating more well-balanced meals, drinking more water and exercising regularly, you will feel a greater sense of physical and emotional balance, which usually helps. The best approach to dealing with a sugar craving is to reduce your intake a little bit at a time. If you are accustomed to eating a sugary snack each night after dinner, for example, start by reducing your intake to four nights per week. From there, you can gradually lower your sugar intake until it becomes something you eat just once a week or on a special occasion.