Most of us experience sugar cravings now and then; the trick to eliminating sugar cravings is to figure out what is causing them and take steps to fight back. Excess sugar in your diet can be detrimental to your health, body weight and even your teeth, but the good news is sugar cravings can be prevented if you know what is causing them. Below are some common reasons people crave sugar.
Many people experience hunger cravings when they’re bored. Eating is pleasurable for most people, and sweets are one of the most desirable foods available. If you find yourself eating while bored, try to stay as busy as possible doing things you enjoy such as hanging out with friends, going for a walk, watching a movie, or going shopping.
Stress is a major cause of sugar cravings and junk food binges. Many people eat unhealthy foods when they are stressed even if they’re not hungry. Try to reduce stress in your life by getting enough rest, performing relaxation techniques, going for walks, or removing the stressors in your life.
3. Emotional Eating
Emotional eating is a common cause of unhealthy eating and obesity nationwide. Sweets and other junk food can make us feel good temporarily, however, often cause regret afterward, especially when we see the number on the scale continuously increasing. If you’re an emotional eater, replace eating with other things you enjoy, or try talking about your emotions to a friend or counselor. Feeling or becoming obese can really take a toll on your self-esteem.
4. Lack of Essential Nutrients in Your Diet
Is your diet lacking in protein, fat (especially unsaturated fat), fiber, or essential vitamins and minerals? Sometimes food cravings (especially sugar cravings) occur when our bodies are deficient in something else. After a well-balanced meal, you should feel satisfied enough not to crave desert. Remember keep your fat intake at 30% or less of your total daily calories, but don’t deprive yourself of healthy fats since they help create satiety without overeating.
5. Food Deprivation
Although the cold turkey method for eliminating sugar works for some people, chances are you’ll still be eating sugar on occasion. Treat yourself to sweets (in moderation of course) sometimes to help prevent strong sugar cravings and binges.
Fatigue is a common cause of sugar cravings. Eating sugar does give us a short burst of energy, which we crave to help us stay awake. However, the energy from sugar is short-lived and lethargy soon follows. Instead if you’re feeling sluggish, try to get more sleep or reach for fruit instead of sweets when that sugar craving strikes.
7. Low Blood Sugar
Low blood sugar can certainly cause sugar cravings especially in people with diabetes. To prevent sugar cravings caused by low blood sugar, try to eat a meal or snack every few hours. Eating small frequent meals not only helps prevent low blood sugar and cravings, but will keep your metabolism in check and help you maintain a healthy weight.