What Can You Do To Get Rid Of Sugar Cravings?
Sugary flavors like ice cream, candy, cola, and even breakfast cereals appear to dance on the tongue, leaving one wanting more.
Sugar is addictive, according to studies, and those who are hooked to it may experience withdrawal symptoms such as melancholy and mood swings if they try to totally eliminate it from their diets.
This can be troublesome for diabetics, who are unable to adequately metabolize sugar and must regulate their desires in order to maintain optimal blood sugar management.
This article will show you how to get rid of your sugar cravings and quit for good!
What makes sugar so addicting?
Many individuals are perplexed as to why sugar is so addictive. There must be a reason, because not many individuals claim to be addicted to broccoli. The chemical release of hormones in our brain when we ingest sugar is the cause behind this.
Dopamine is released from our brain into our bodies with each delectable meal. This is the link between added sugar and addictive behavior, which can also be found in alcohol, cigarettes, and illegal drugs.
The neurotransmitter dopamine is a component of the brain's "reward circuit," which is linked to addictive behavior. The “high” one gets from eating sugar (and the extra dopamine released) makes one addicted to that action (eating sugar), resulting in a vicious cycle.
Your body adjusts to release less dopamine when you perform the behavior more frequently (ice cream after dinner every night, for example). Increased dopamine release, which in this case implies eating more and more sugar, is the only way to feel the same "high" as previously.
People with drug and alcohol addictions exhibit similar behaviors, but sugar is far more accessible, available, and socially accepted than illegal narcotics, making it far more difficult to avoid in everyday life.
Eight out of ten Americans, according to the American Heart Association, are attempting to reduce their sugar intake.
In the United States, the average adult consumes roughly 77 grams of sugar each day, or about 60 pounds of sugar per year!
Why is sugar such a problem?
If sugar wasn't so detrimental for your health, this wouldn't be such a huge deal. Every year, more information on how harmful sugar is to our minds and bodies becomes available.
Increased sugar intake not only contributes to poor blood sugars in diabetics, but it also contributes to the development of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes in people without diabetes, as well as the development of dental cavities, higher blood pressure, heart disease, whole-body inflammation, dementia, weight gain, fatty liver disease, and even cancer in the general population.
How much sugar is acceptable?
Is any amount of sugar good if sugar is so unhealthy for you? Sugar is not a nutrient that is essential in the diet (except, of course, for treating hypoglycemia for people with diabetes).
The Institute of Medicine, which establishes the Recommended Dietary Allowances, has yet to provide a definitive estimate for the amount of sugar that should be consumed per day.
According to the American Heart Association, the average man should take no more than 9 teaspoons of added sugar per day, while the average woman should consume no more than 6 teaspoons per day. That's about the amount of soda in a 12-ounce can.
Natural sugars, such as those present in fruits and dairy milk, are excluded from the equation. The focus is on "added sugar," which is found mostly in ultra-processed foods such as ice cream, candies, cakes, cookies, conventional sodas, and other sweetened beverages.
How to Quit Sugar Addiction & Stop Cravings
Stopping your sugar cravings can be difficult after you've become hooked, but these tried-and-true methods will assist you.
Don't confuse hunger with exhaustion, boredom, or anxiousness.
People eat (and eat sugar!) for a number of reasons, and hunger isn't necessarily the driving force behind their choices.
If you're exhausted, take a break. If you're bored, try knitting, reading a book, or going on a bike ride with your hands instead of snacking on sweets.
Instead of a sugar-laden candy bar, try deep breathing, meditation, or yoga to soothe your nerves if you're suffering from anxiety.
Pure water should be consumed.
We frequently misinterpret hunger for thirst! Soda, energy, and sports drinks are the most common sources of added sugars in the American diet.
The simplest way to reduce your sugar cravings is to eliminate any added sugars from your drinks and replace them with plain water!
If ordinary water isn't cutting it, try mixing it with chopped lime or lemon, or try seltzer water.
Eat a good and filling dinner if you're actually hungry.
If you absolutely need some energy and calories, reach for a protein-rich snack like a hardboiled egg, celery, and all-natural peanut butter, or an apple with some cheddar instead of a cookie.
Make sure you're not depriving yourself of excellent nourishment throughout the day; most cravings will naturally subside if you eat a balanced balance of macronutrients.
Protein and fat, rather than added sugar, will keep you fuller for longer, reducing the desire to eat empty calories and sugar, and it'll be better for your blood sugars!
Remove the source of temptation.
You can't consume what you don't buy, so avoid buying sweets and snacks with added sugar when you go grocery shopping! Fill your shopping with nutritious fruits, veggies, lean proteins, and dairy products.
If you're craving something sweet, try seasonal fruits and vegetables like watermelon, cherries, or berries, which are high in flavor but also contain many important vitamins, minerals, and fiber for a balanced diet.
Pro tip: never go grocery shopping hungry, as you'll be more tempted to buy items you want (such as sugary treats) rather than the nutritious foods you require.
Distract yourself from your work.
Make a phone call to a friend, compose some poetry, take a hot shower, or work in the garden!
Cravings come and go, so you'll be pleasantly delighted to find that your sugar cravings have mostly vanished after around 20 minutes of distraction.
If you're still hungry, use it as a hint that it's time to eat something more substantial.
Endorphins, the brain's "feel-good" hormone, are released during exercise. They also help with cravings.
Getting out of the house for a 20-minute walk, run, or bike ride can not only take your mind off your desires, but it will also help you feel better in general.
Improve your sleeping habits.
When we're weary, our bodies seek carbohydrates and sweets to compensate for the lack of sleep. Getting a good night's sleep, with no interruptions, can help you fight sugar cravings and stay on track.
According to studies, heavy sleepers cut their sugar intake by up to 10 grams each day, which can lead to highly healthy results over time!
Cold turkey is the way to go!
If you're very addicted to sugar, you'll have to cut it out of your diet for around 21 days. A new habit takes roughly 21 days to form, and three weeks without additional sugar is usually enough to disrupt your desires' dopamine cycle.
If three weeks is too much for you, the Mayo Clinic suggests a two-week sugar fast to reset your taste buds. Limit yourself to foods with little to no added sugars, and aim for a portion size of less than 5 grams of sugar.
It's acceptable to indulge in a delicious treat with added sugar now and again, but as more research becomes available, people are becoming more aware of the true hazards of sugar and sugar addiction.
Cutting down cravings might be challenging, but following these guidelines will help you kick the habit and improve your diabetes, as well as your brain, heart, teeth, liver, waistline, and overall health!