Good Wednesday to you! Today my blog post is dedicated to all those women out there who are constantly dealing with sugar craving. And with that, not only I refer to chocolate, but also pastries likes donuts, cupcakes and any other ultra processed treats the market may offer (yes, I'm blaming them for our pain! lol!). So, let's dive into it!
WHY DO YOU FEEL SUCH STRONG SUGAR CRAVINGS?
My fellow women, we can experience sugar cravings for various reasons, including physiological, psychological, and lifestyle factors. So, let’s bring awareness into this information. Read and bring your attention to your body. The idea is not to create disease where there’s none (let's avoid to turn into a hypochondriacs), but bringing your attention to your current symptoms may help you find the root causes of your sugar cravings.
Here are some common reasons why we, women, may suffer from sugar cravings:
1. Hormonal fluctuations: hormonal fluctuations throughout the menstrual cycle can influence sugar cravings in us. Changes in estrogen and progesterone levels can affect our mood, energy levels, and appetite, leading to an increased desire for sugary foods (nooo!!)
2. Emotional state: We may (and we do!) turn to sugar as a way to cope with emotional stress, sadness, or anxiety. Why this happens? Because consuming sugary foods can provide temporary comfort and a sense of pleasure due to the release of feel-good neurotransmitters like DOPAMINE. And this is where the cycle of emotional eating and cravings begins! No worries, we’ll see how to prevent and/or overcome this vicious cycle. I don’t mean to start a riot here (or maybe I do…) but I just cannot understand why isn’t every single neurologist, psychiatrists and any other mental health professional, prescribing brain supplementation for their patients as the basic and mandatory tool-kit to start with a treatment.
3. Nutrient deficiencies: certain nutrient deficiencies, such as low levels of magnesium, chromium, or zinc, can contribute to sugar cravings. These minerals play a role in regulating blood sugar levels, and inadequate intake may lead to imbalances that trigger cravings for sweets.
4. Reward system response: The brain's reward system responds to sugar consumption by releasing dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and reward. This can create a cycle where the brain craves the pleasurable experience of consuming sugar, leading to cravings for more. This is exactly what I mean when I tell you that there is more than the will power to achieve healthy habits in your daily life.
5. Stress and cortisol: Chronic stress can disrupt hormone balance, specifically the release of cortisol, which can increase appetite and lead to cravings for sugar and high-calorie foods. The body seeks quick energy sources during stress, and sugary foods provide a rapid energy boost.Therefore, is crucial that you can identify your stressor and find a way to release stress.
6. Habits and learned behaviors: Over time, habits and learned behaviors can contribute to sugar cravings. If consuming sugary foods has become a regular part of one's diet or daily routine, the body and mind may become accustomed to it, leading to cravings when attempting to reduce sugar intake. And to overcome old habits, you need to be aware of them. Bring your attention to yourself on a daily basis.
7. Social and cultural influences: Social and cultural factors can also influence sugar cravings. Celebratory events, gatherings, and even advertising can promote sugary foods, making it harder to resist cravings and choose healthier alternatives. And this is a big challenge and requires from you to be all in with your life transformation process.
WHAT CAN I DO TO OVERCOME SUGAR CRAVINGS?
Eat a balanced diet
One of the most effective ways to reduce sugar cravings is to eat a well-balanced diet. This means including plenty of whole foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean proteins in your meals. These foods provide essential nutrients and help stabilize your blood sugar levels, which can reduce cravings for sugary foods.
Dehydration can sometimes be mistaken for hunger, leading to cravings for sugary foods. Therefore, it is important to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. You can also try drinking herbal teas or adding slices of lemon or cucumber to your water for added flavor.
Get enough sleep
Getting enough sleep is crucial for overall health and wellbeing, including managing sugar cravings. When you are sleep-deprived, your body produces more of the hormone ghrelin, known as “the hunger hormone” which can lead to sugar cravings. Aim for at least seven hours of sleep each night to help reduce cravings.
Avoid artificial sweeteners
If you have a sweet tooth but want to reduce your sugar intake, consider using alternative sweeteners such as stevia or monk fruit. These sweeteners are lower in calories than sugar and do not have the same impact on blood sugar levels. Just make sure they are not mixed with other products like aspartame and others who are highly inflammatory for your gut.
Practice Mindful Eating
Mindful eating involves paying attention to your food, savoring each bite, and being fully present in the moment. By practicing mindful eating, you can become more aware of your hunger and fullness cues, which can help reduce cravings for sugary foods.
Acknowledge your stress levels
Stress can be a trigger for sugar cravings, as many people turn to sugary foods as a way to cope with stress. Therefore, it is important that you identify your stress levels, what are your stressors, how do you feel about it and find healthy ways to release that stress, such as practicing yoga, meditation or deep breathing exercises.
These are the general recommendation. And, as a Health Coach, I must say that to defeating your sugar cravings problem for good, you should start by paying attention to your emotional and mental health.
MY SECRET TRICKS THAT HELPED ME OVERCOME SUGAR CRAVINGS ONCE AND FOR ALL!
There are 2 things that I did to speed up the process. Apple cider vinegar and a specific order to eat every single one of my meals.
3 years ago, when I committed to heal my metabolism, I incorporated the practice of drinking 1 glass of filtered water (200 cc) with 1 tbsp organic apple cider with the mother.
Scientific studies have shown benefits on glycemic indices and oxidative stress in people with insulin resistance and diabetes type 2. The recommendation is to drink it 10 to 15 minutes before every meal. After 1 year I could verify with lab tests that my metabolism was healed and sugar cravings and even binge eating disappeared.
In addition to that, I have incorporated a specific order to eat my food. This is something I had to practice applying full attention and concentration and making all the efforts that any new habit requires, but today it comes out naturally. The order is as follows,
first, eat the fiber (cooked or raw vegetables).
second, eat protein (animal or vegetable) and fats.
Last, eat starches and sugars (understanding that sugars refer to natural sugars from fruits, for example, not refined sugars).
These are 2 simple things you can do now, to start “domesticating” your glucose spikes (you gotta be a like a lion tamer with your glucose spikes, what can I say...lol!))
There is a French Biochemist and author that I love! who writes about the importance of balancing blood sugar for optimal health. Her name is Jessie Inchauspé and if you’re interested to read her work, I recommend you start with the book “Glucose Revolution”.
I hope you enjoyed today's reading. And if you are serious about start working on achieving your healthy weight by finding the root causes of your weight gain struggle, don't forget to check out my Free Class here.
To your good health!