I've always wondered why I crave sugar so much -- especially after I eat a meal. I have not gone one day without finding something with sugar in it to satisfy my urge. Some days I get a little carried away.
Why does this happen?
Sweet cravings come about for a number of reasons. In order to defeat these cravings, it is important to understand why they occur.
Part of your cravings exist due to habit. You must have satisfied this craving in the past following a meal with something sweet. Then suddenly it becomes a part of your mindset. After every meal must come dessert. The good news is that all habits are learned, so this habit cam be unlearned with practice and repetition.
Your cravings will continue to exist if you eat simple, refined carbohydrates or high-sugar foods. The day you cut out the sweets is the day you take control and stop the cravings. Cravings exist because we feed them and allow them to exist. Yes, it is an addiction, but one we choose to have.
Take a peek at what is happening inside your body when you choose to eat sweets. My hopes are that you will think twice before giving in.
Eating simple carbohydrates causes a spike in your blood sugar because these kinds of foods are quickly absorbed into the blood stream. This in turn gives you the temporary sugar high. It feels good, but our bodies do not like this imbalance and a series of hormonal responses take place. We produce an increased amount of the hormone Insulin -- a storage hormone. In order to facilitate this rush of Insulin, Glucagon -- a release hormone -- is diminished.
What does this hormone game mean? Each time you consume simple sugars or refined carbohydrates, you are doing nothing more than locking in fat. Even worse, this cycle will continue until your blood-sugar levels hit bottom -- you crash because of the extra Insulin your body has produced. And then the cycle starts over: Your energy level bottoms out, you have trouble thinking clearly, and you end up with cravings for sweets since they raise blood sugar the quickest, getting you out of your slump.
Think of a roller coaster. This is what is happening inside your body every time you eat sweets.
The only way to stop the cravings is to get off the ride. These strategies can help.
1.) Clean out the Kitchen. Keeping sweets in the house will actually sabotaging your chances to be successful. Replace the junk with supportive options. For example, fresh fruits and vegetable, nuts, string cheese, high fiber crackers, etc.
2.) Keep a food log. Are you eating every three to four hours? Skipping meals will cause your blood sugar levels to drop. Be sure each meal and snack includes the right balance of protein, fats, and carbohydrates. Sometimes a craving occurs due to a lack of protein and/or fats in your meal and snacks. Simply eating an apple is not enough. Pair your apple with a handful of nuts or some cheese cubes.