How to manage sugar cravings when it hits
Intense sugars cravings is the primary side effect when you undergo sugar detox or cleansing. The drive to consume sugary and salty foods is due to the positive association we have to them.
Why do we feel intense cravings?
I know we all agree that foods that are high in sugar or salt are delicious and provide pleasurable emotions. Whenever you’re down or happy, sugar provides companionship on every event. We just can’t get enough of it!
And the reason for such behaviour is the stimulation of dopamine production. It’s a neurohormone that acts as both a neurotransmitter and/or hormone-which are responsible for the feelings of happiness. When you eat high sugary foods, it triggers the area of the brain where the reward-motivated behaviour is located. When you continually succumb, it activates pleasurable association to sugary foods. In effect, making it difficult for us to resist sugar cravings as it occurs. This neural mechanism works the same as those with nicotine, alcohol, or substance abuse.
What can you do to stop sugar cravings?
Are we hopeless once the positive associations to sweets are activated? Is an intense sugar craving a cause of concern? Fortunately, there are numerous ways you can control sugar cravings once it hits. If you’re under a sugar cleansing program, then you may do following tips and tricks to combat these cravings.
- Eliminate sugar from your diet gradually – sugar detox promotes healthier living by eliminating sugar. However, undergoing a new diet also means that the body has to go adjustments. In psychology, adjustment periods put a lot of burden to us—both physically and mentally, causing stress and anxiety.
Thus, sudden limitation of sugar isn’t a good idea. This is because the intensity of cravings may come back as strong. Eliminating sugar progressively somehow eases sugar cravings and helps you get through the sugar detox process smoothly.
- Drink lots of water – Part of staying healthy is drinking at least 8 glasses of water daily. Proper drinking of plain water helps the body detoxifies harmful toxins and promotes healthy a gastrointestinal tract.
Also, drinking about 2 to 4 glasses of water a day can lower blood sugar levels. Insufficient intake of water leads to dehydration which also causes the blood sugar to increase and blood volume to drop.
In addition, drinking water as soon as the sugar craving starts to hit lessen its intensity. Hence, it helps you to get through the symptom.
- Eat proteins in the morning – eating protein-rich foods such as lean meats, eggs, beans, and tofu. Consuming enough proteins is known to induce feelings of satiety which can effectively relieve sugar or salt cravings.
It reduces ghrelin production—it’s a hormone that promotes hunger and thirst response. At the same time, it also stimulates the release of another hormone called PYY (peptide YY or peptide tyrosine). This compound is responsible for the feelings of fullness.
- Practice good eating habits – what we mean by this is that you must eat at least three times a day. By doing so, you’ll ensure any types of cravings at bay. Aside from eating 3 times daily, a healthy eating pattern also involves at least 2 light in-between snacks. Thus, your daily diet shouldn’t exceed 5 sets.
It’s also advisable to consume whole and unprocessed foods during the sugar detox program.
- Distract yourself when sugar cravings hits – both sugar and salt cravings typically last around 10 to 20 minutes. Thus, you could relieve cravings if you can distract yourself for at least 20 minutes.
- Remove sugar in your household – remove sugary foods and beverages from your household to maintain your sugarless diet.
You may also try other methods like using essential oils to calm your nerves.
Opting for a healthier lifestyle through sugar cleansing is no easy feat. As mentioned, sweets activate the reward system of the brain. This effect is similar to the effects of nicotine and substance abuse. With this being said, sugar detox may require sheer determination and will power in your part.
No matter how hard it is, focus on the goals you’ve set. Remember the reasons why you’re doing sugar detox in the first place. Also keep in mind the positive impacts it can provide in your life. Not only the benefits on your health but to your overall wellbeing as well.