Why do I crave sugar?
I have serious sugar detoxed more than a handful of times only to be good for literally months and then get hooked back into a sugary spiral. I even have discovered some delicious sweeteners to replace sugar. Yet, I still have cravings. So, I went into research mode, and I found some caritative information. My findings- I’m not craving sugar. Other issues are making me think I want sugar. Of course, which had me thinking, does anyone else know that they may be an easier way to beat the sugar monster than complete abstinence? What if you got to the root of the problems:
Is it possible to live sugar-free? Yes, I have done it for months at a time. So, I know it can be sustainable, but if I am intentional. It’s like becoming a Vegan or Vegetarian. At first, it takes an adjustment, but then it becomes a lifestyle.
There have been health campaigns, research, and evidence to educate people on the damage and effects of sugar, yet; Sugar is still about a THIRD of people’s daily caloric intake. Usually, the other TWO-THIRDS of their diet are processed, artificial food-like products. So many obesity-related diseases are connected to sugar. Recently, multiple studies have concluded and connected sugar to cause rapid progression in cancer patients.
Sugar is becoming an Epidemic.
Most people don’t realize the added sugar in products that you wouldn’t even be considered. Ingesting sugar also affects the part of our brain that controls impulse, like the impulse to eat the entire ice cream container instead of a healthy serving.
It’s somewhat of a vicious circle. You ingest more sugar because you crave what you eat. I have found many women; once they start to change their pallets, they begin to change their cravings. There are many other reasons that you may crave sugar that can either be a warning to see your doctor or a warning to make better food choices. Your sugar cravings may be telling you to go to bed earlier or take better care of yourself. There are so many reasons that your sweet tooth can become a sugar demon.
Sugar Addiction is a real thing.
People have been found to fall into several categories when it comes to Sugar Addiction. We all have different triggers and causes, meaning it’s not just an evident cut terrible habit. It all depends on our diets, health, activity, and even hormonal changes. I am going to start with my affliction.
1. Dehydration affects sugar consumption
Dehydration is often related to sugar addiction. For me, I am usually dehydrated. I am rarely thirsty but often dehydrated. Why? I associate the feeling of thirst with hunger. Often when I am thirsty, I think I am hungry. I search for snacks that never satiate, and I remain thirsty, never quenching my craving.
When you are dehydrated, your liver releases glycogen and other energy stores. This release results in a craving for sweets. You desire sweet foods because to produce glycogen; you need water and glucose. Glucose is your sugar storage your body uses for energy. When you are dehydrated, it difficult for your body to produce that sugar like an energy st. Thereforeore, it craves sugar.
Dehydration can also hinder the production of serotonin in the brain. When you are low on serotonin, it also can affect whether you feel full or not. When your serotonin levels are low, it will send signals your hungry even if you are not, and what’s the first thing you want to grab? Yes! Something with lots of carbs, and please add sugar. It’s probably one of the main reasons I struggle with sugar because I don’t drink enough. I have written about the importance of hydration; I guess I should follow my own advice. Drink up and lots of it. You may even want to try Electrolyte water that may help with hydration.
2. Is your Adrenaline on Overload?
If you were suffering, are you aware, or are you confusing it with other symptoms? Most people don’t realize that they are enduring Adrenaline overload for a few reasons. It can resemble a rapid breath, jumbled thoughts, dry mouth, sweaty palms, thought confusion, sore throat, Hangry or annoyed when you’re hungry, often feeling stressed or dizzy when you are standing. Also, maybe urinating frequently without reason. Hello, Adrenaline overload and another reason your sugar cravings are out of control.
Have you heard of your adrenal glands?
Think of it as the gland that secretes hormones when your body is under stress—specifically, Adrenaline and Cortisol. I think of these two hormones as the “flight or fight” signals. When our body is stressed or feels it’s in danger. It prepares itself for two options: Fight, at which your Cortisol is preparing you by getting you prepared to fight. Or flight at which your body is preparing itself to be as fast as possible. Both hormones are put into action depending on the situation and how your body feels it needs to react.
Adrenal overload is when the adrenal glands either become slow to boost our energy, it’s natural for our body to crave a high energy source-yes, sugar! How do you prevent this-never stress out! Haha, just kidding, but honestly, taking time to rest, eat properly, exercise, and relax are all vital to your physical and mental health. Prioritizing time for these things made need to be considered if you feel the effects of adrenaline overload.
If you think you are, I would also double-check with a doctor.
3. Is your Thyroid gland working correctly?
One thing I have realized in the last three years is the importance of hormones. With more education, I think that many people are learning the value of hormones and their effect on your body. Within the last four years, I have had four of my friends diagnosed and undergo treatment for Thyroid cancer.
According to ACSO POST, “Thyroid Cancer diagnoses are increasing at a rate faster than any other malignancy in the United States. In 2017, there will be 56,870 new cases, accounting for 3.4% of all cancers, and 2,010 people will die of thyroid cancer. This represents a more than 200% increase in incidence since the 1970s.”
The New Rise in Thyroid Cancer
Researchers attribute the rise to overdiagnosis, and others have said that Thyroid cancer diagnosis is increasing by 3.74% annually. Studies are currently being conducted to see if the growth is due to better indicators or environmental exposures and diets. The increase is something to be aware of and how it is associated with sugar dependency.
If you feel like your thyroid could be an issue, I want to encourage you to speak with your doctor. There is ongoing research on thyroid cancer and diseases. It has a high mortality rate, and doctors are positive with early detection and treatment, you can combat this thyroid gland disease. It’s something to consider when your sugar desires aren’t satisfied despite you giving in to cravings. It may be something more severe than you want sweets because you have had a stressful day.
4. That time of the month?
Can you use your menstrual cycle as an excuse to why you crave sweets? Yes, you can, but it doesn’t mean you have to give in. But Monthly cycle, menopause, and PMS can all be the cause of your desire for an ooey-gooey brownie.
During your menstrual cycle, your insulin levels are decreased. If you have low estrogen and progesterone, your insulin levels deplete. Low insulin levels are called insulin resistance. Your sugar craving may be the result of your body wanting to supplement the low levels. Usually, you are low on energy, spirits, and more likely to give into cravings.
Eating the right foods instead of sugary treats will not only help improve your energy, spirits, and cravings. There are many options other than a snicker. Try turning to raw nuts, seeds, yogurt, fresh fruit, raisins, avocados. Have you had a good meal? Maybe try lean meats, asparagus, cheese, mushrooms, or parsley. Adding these foods to your diet during your cycle can help curb the sugar cravings.
5. Why does stressed spell dessert backward?
It seems like when we are stressed, that is when we reach for the sweets. I know that I can find comfort in a cupcake. There has been researched that revealed women who are stressed are more likely to crave sweets. The study found that the cortisol hormone, which attributes to regulating our stress, prefers sweet foods. Say what?
We can’t always avoid stress, but we can work intentionally on our reaction to stress. There are many ways to manage stress without divulging to sugar. Stress management is also not one size fits all, so I would recommend exploring the things that bring you peace. Prayer and devotion help calm me when stressed or anxious. I also believe in getting regular massages and taking time to be with friends and family. When we put everything ahead of ourselves, we don’t function at our best — never giving anything else our best because we don’t have anything to offer.
6. You’re tired and need sleep
Sleep is how our body recovers and is essential to restoring our body. Lack of sleep affects several different hormones that make you want sugar even more than when you are well-rested. Sleep deprivation will weaken your glucose metabolism and increase your insulin. This causes your blood sugar levels to lower and increases your sugar craving.
On top of that, you are sleep deprived, which also triggers two other hormones, your ghrelin and leptin hormone. These two hormones tell you-you are hungry and monitors your fullness. When they are off track, not only do you crave sugar the cravings can become insatiable.
It’s an easy fix for sleep deprivation. Get more sleep! If you are having issues, I will seek a professional for help. Changing bedtime habits, creating a routine, and working your way up to 7-9 hours of sleep is what is needed. Not every situation is the same, but lack of sleep affects many people similarly, and craving sugar results.
7. Are you getting enough Micronutrients?
There is much focus on macronutrients on Social Media, which are protein, fats, and carbs. It is essential to get your micronutrients as well as your significant nutrients. Food was meant to be fuel, but when you are not getting what you need, your body will respond adversely.
In my Fight your Food Cravings E-book, I share what minerals and vitamins you may be lacking when you tend to crave sugar. When sugar cravings arise, it’s usually these top 3 minerals that you need to get more magnesium, chromium, and zinc.
God made many foods that can help give us these nutrients without a multi-vitamin, but not getting these from your diet. Your sugar cravings maybe your body requesting these minerals instead of that donut. Check out the FREE DOWNLOAD to get a copy of ways to FIGHT AND KILL YOUR FOOD CRAVINGS!
If you are trying to avoid sugar and manage cravings, I would add more vegetables and fruit to your diet. If you are looking to detox from sugar, I would like to give my Sugar Detox and Devotion a try for 21 days.
It’s not your typical detox where you use supplements, but you use prayer and whole foods to change your palate, desires, and heart inside and out. It’s a struggle trying something on your own. So I am there daily encouraging you with Scripture, Devotion, Prayer, Meditation, and daily 20 minute workouts through the FaithFueled Life App. I also equip you with a 7 Day Prep, E-book and Video Content and a 42 Recipe Cookbook with Low to No Natural Sugar Recipes for Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and Snack or Dessert!
You can start your 21 Day Challenge TODAY!! Use coupon code “faithfueledmom” for $10 off!
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Do you need help with your sugar cravings?