How to stop Sugar Cravings?


Most of people regularly experience sugar cravings. Cravings are driven by brain's need for a "reward" not body's need for food. Health professionals believe that this is one of the main reasons it can be so hard to stick to a healthy diet. If you can have only one bite and stop there, indulging a little when you get a craving is absolutely fine. But if you tend to binge and overeat as soon as you get a taste of sugary foods, then giving in to the cravings is the worst thing you can do.

Side Effects of Sugar Intake


Sugars does not necessarily mean desserts and sweets. Most of the processed foods like condiments, chips, sauces and packaged bread contain hidden sugars. Also, the sweetened beverages like sodas, fruit juices, sports drinks are added with artificial sweetening agents like high fructose corn syrup which gives 286 calories for every 100 grams. Consuming excess sugars can impact our body weight, skin texture, mental health, dental hygiene and also increase the risk of chronic disorders like type-2 diabetes and obesity. Let us have a simple glance at how sugars affect our overall health-


Weight Gain


People who drink more sodas, beverages and fruit juices weigh more than the ones who does not. This is because of fructose called (HFCS) found in the processed foods which leads to a condition called leptin resistance where leptin (a hunger regulating hormone) that signals the brain to stop eating does not respond and it leads to weight gain.

Learn More: Weight Loss

Cause Diabetes


Sugars cause resistance to insulin - the hormone that regulates blood sugar levels. Also, excess sugar consumption can lead to obesity which is one of the risk factors for the development of type-2 diabetes. There are other factors like lifestyle and genetics which play a major role in the disease.

Effects on Skin and Ageing


Collagen, a protein found in our tissues is majorly responsible for the maintenance of the skin's elasticity. Collagen production declines in old age which results in the formation of wrinkles. But, collagen can get damaged at an early age due to the consumption of sugars since they produce certain harmful compounds when combined with proteins in the bloodstream (the process is known as glycation).

Learn More: Healthy Skin


Risk of Cancers


Excess sugar consumption is not directly related to the possibility of cancer occurrence but it may cause obesity which raises cancer risk. Also, excess sugar consumption causes chronic inflammation, a condition that occurs continuous change in the cells which may cause damage to DNA, thereby resulting in cancer. Studies and researches suggest that added sugar consumption may increase the risk of endometrial cancer, esophageal cancer, pleural cancer and cancer-related to the small intestine.


Risk of Depression


Simple sugars found in processed foods like cakes, candies, sodas, pasta can increase the risk of depression due to inflammation. A chronic Inflammation can result in several disorders including depression. Sugars can be found as complex carbohydrates in fruits and vegetables; these are intrinsic sugars and there is no scientific evidence to say that they harm our mental health. The consumption of complex carbs during the middle ages decreased the depression risk in the long term.

Learn More: Depression Let's Talk

Causes Tooth Cavities


Occasional consumption of sugars does not cause cavities because the temporary damage is repaired by itself. Excess and continuous consumption of sweetened foods causes the bacteria in the mouth to react with sugars from the drinks/eatables, which results in the formation of acids which damage the teeth, thereby resulting in cavities. Cavities are caused as a result of damaged or weakened tooth enamel which cannot be cured but can only be prevented. One major step to prevent cavities is to cut down on sugar consumption.

Effects on Brain


Sugars can also increase your cravings apart from depression and inflammation. Moreover, sugar addiction can be as intense as the addiction to drugs and alcohol. Sugar is so addictive that Sugar withdrawal can cause symptoms like insomnia, bloating, headaches, anxiety, lethargy, nausea, and chills. Sugars are also hidden in sauces, sandwiches, condiments and baked foods. Consuming more than the recommended sugar intake may also cause cognitive disabilities like loss of memory and inability to be attentive and focused.

Sugar Intake Per Day


Sugar intake varies based on the calorie intake. For an average adult, consuming 2000 calories per day, the recommended sugar intake would be less than 5% of total calorie intake. Means that not more than 100 calories should be consumed from sugars.

1 gm of sugar gives you 4 calories. So, 100 calories would be obtained by consuming 25 gm of sugar. 25 gm of sugar translates to 6 teaspoons which are the recommended sugar intake per day for a person who consumes 2000 calorie diet in a day.

Processed foods like candies, sodas, granola, condiments, jams and jellies, breakfast cereals, canned fruits, baked goods, packaged bread, frozen junk foods are all added with artificial sugars which make you exceed your daily recommended sugar intake. The worst thing you can do to your body is to consume more than recommended sugar intake, for it adds to extra calories apart from all above-mentioned health issues.

Avoid Sugar Cravings

Here is a simple steps plan to stop sugar cravings. 



Eat a Healthy Meal


Have to realize first that a craving is not the same as hunger. It is not your body calling for energy,  your brain calling for something that reward system. If you get a craving while hungry, one of the best tricks is to eat a healthy meal immediately. Stock your kitchen with healthy snack foods or pre-made meals. Protein-rich foods, such as meat, fish and eggs are especially good for curbing hunger. Eating real food may not feel very appetizing when you have a craving for sugary junk food. But if you truly need to lose weight, resilience is worth it in the long run. When you experience a craving and hunger at the same time, force yourself to have a healthy meal rather than junk food.






Take a Hot Shower


Some people who experience sugar cravings have found that hot showers or baths provide relief. The water must be hot enough to turn your feeling uncomfortable. Let the water run over your back and shoulders so that it heats you up. Stay there at least 5–10 minutes.At that point, your craving will most likely be gone.





Go for a Walk


Another thing that can work is to go outside for a brisk walk. If you are a runner, running will be even better. This serves a two-fold purpose. First, you are distancing yourself from the food that you are craving.Second, the exercise will release endorphins, or "feel good" chemicals in your brain, which can help turn the craving off. If you can't go outside, do a few exhausting sets of burpees, push-ups, body weight squats or any other body-weight exercise.


Other Things That May Work

Pretty sure the three steps above would work for most people to shut down a sugar craving. Throw out all junk foods of your house. If you keep them within close reach, you are asking for trouble. Instead, keep healthy foods within easy reach. Here are 11 more useful tips to stop sugar cravings:
  • Drink a glass of water. Some people say that dehydration can cause cravings.
  • Eat a fruit. Having a piece of fruit may help satisfy sugar cravings for some people. Bananas, apples, oranges work great.
  • Avoid artificial sweeteners. If you feel that artificial sweeteners trigger cravings for you, you might want to avoid them.
  • Eat more protein. Protein is great for satiety, and it may help with cravings as well.
  • Talk to a friend. Call or meet someone who understands what you're going through. Explain that you are going through a craving and ask for a few words of encouragement.
  • Sleep well. Getting proper, refreshing sleep is important for overall health and may help prevent cravings.
  • Avoid excess stress. Same as with sleep, avoiding stress can help prevent cravings.
  • Avoid certain triggers. Try to avoid specific activities or places that give you cravings, such as walking past McDonald's.
  • Take a multivitamin. This will help prevent any deficiencies.
  • Read your list. It can be very helpful to carry a list of the reasons you want to eat healthy, as it can be hard to remember such things when you get a craving.
  • Do not starve yourself. Try to prevent yourself from becoming too hungry between meals.

Takeaway


If you can junk food every now means you are ruining your progress. But if you just cannot control yourself at all around such foods, try to avoid them as much as possible. Giving in to a craving will just feed the addiction. If you manage to resist, the cravings will get weaker over time and eventually disappear.

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10 Comments

  1. It's very tough to overcome sugar cravings. Thanks for sharing

    ReplyDelete
  2. Nice info and sugar is really fatal

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  3. My whole family is not having sugar last 2 years. It has significant difference.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Superb information

    ReplyDelete
  5. I try to have a fruit to curb my sugar cravings
    But it doesn't always work. I need to have a control on my tongue

    ReplyDelete
  6. Even after knowing sugar is white poison I find it difficult to stay without sugar..

    ReplyDelete