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Sugar Addiction

– Symptoms, Causes, and How to Break Free

This article first appeared on Sweetdefeat.

 

The latest health and fitness trends all seem to relate to some kind of a cleanse in order to change something about your diet. Typically, a cleanse is used to assist in purging sugar or other so-called toxins from the body, but how effective are these cleanses? When it comes to sugar addiction, the body is under constant pressure to consume something sweet or sweet-tasting, which can cause a myriad of symptoms and cravings.

While many tend to ignore the symptoms of a sugar addiction, a sugar addiction can have similar effects on the brain that illicit drugs do, thus suggesting that adults ought to take this addiction seriously. Listed below is a complete list of what you need to know about sugar addiction, its causes, and how to fight the addiction.

What is Sugar Addiction?

The big question in the debate of sugar addiction is to first define what sugar addiction is. When thinking about what effects sugar has on your body, it should be noted that your brain depends on glucose (sugar) for immediate energy. Without glucose, the brain would struggle to work properly. In particular, it appears that the hypothalamus plays a role in sugar cravings and addiction. For some people, the cravings may cause them to eat or crave certain foods more than they should, and it could encourage them to make poor dietary choices.

In contrast to simply craving sugar throughout the day, there are instances when your sugar addiction shows itself in certain meals in which you overeat. Overeating in any meal or snack can be a quick sign that you may have some addiction. Usually, overeating sweet foods, beverages, or treats is the route people take. For some, this is not a big deal, but it could be an issue that masks a sugar addiction. Here are some of the most significant symptoms of sugar addiction that you should be aware of.

Sugar Addiction Symptoms

Sugar addiction shows itself in subtle and obvious ways and this can vary for each individual. Paying close attention to the symptoms of sugar addiction is important if you want a better understanding of your energy levels as well as your health. Let’s take a closer look at the symptoms of sugar addiction.

You Crave Comfort Foods at Dinner

One of the first signs that you have a sugar addiction is when you crave comfort foods at dinner time. For some people, the idea of heading home or out to dinner with friends and enjoying a big bowl of pasta, bread, or other simple-carbohydrate-rich foods can be enticing, especially if you have a sugar addiction.

For starters here, carbohydrates are not necessarily to blame for your sugar addiction, but your brain may be craving the glucose that is processed from the carbs you eat. Similarly, addiction may be apparent when you crave salty and fatty foods as well. Keeping a close eye on these subtle signs may help you to recognize what form your sugar addiction takes.

You Crave Soda and Other Sweet Beverages

Soda has long been under fire for causing ill health, and usually sodas and sugar-laden beverages contain high amounts of sugar (in the form of high-fructose corn syrup). Are you drinking diet soda instead? Well, the sweetened sodas you consume throughout the day contain high amounts of artificial sweeteners that are estimated to be about 600 times sweeter than regular table sugar (sometimes even sweeter).

At this point, consuming a beverage that is much stronger than sugar can trick your mind into thinking you’re eating sugar, but actually it is causing you to crave more of the sweet stuff. Sodas are not the only kinds of beverages to look out for: most coffee shops add sweeteners and sugar to drinks as a way to enhance the flavor. Also, many flavored teas and calorie-free products contain sweeteners, so you need to pay attention to all of these possible sources.

Making Excuses for Your Sugar Habit

You may notice that you come up with reasons why it’s ok to eat or a drink a specific food to justify consuming it. For some people, this may be as simple as saying “it’s calorie-free” or “it’s organic.” The excuses you make for consuming sugar could be your way of trying to ignore how much your brain wants the white stuff, not to mention, it helps to cover up that perhaps there might be an addictive part of your personality. Regardless of what kind of excuses you make about sugar, chances are you may have a sugar addiction if you notice that you are making excuses at all for eating or drinking sugary foods.

Rewarding With Sugary Foods

Your brain is a smart organ. One sign that you may have a sugar addiction is if you make a bargain with yourself to reward yourself with sugar for completing something. The best example of this is going to the gym. Deciding that if you complete a challenging workout, you can have a sugary treat, is perhaps the single most common pattern. While it is good to reward yourself with something as a way to motivate you throughout a workout or something you have been meaning to do, using sugar as the reward is only reinforcing a good habit with a bad habit.

You Have Tried to Kick Sugar and Failed

This is a common sign that you could have a sugar addiction. Similar to how drug users and alcoholics struggle with kicking the habit, cutting out sugar from your diet only to fail and increase your intake again is a symptom that you have an addiction to the sweet stuff. Considering the amount of sugar that is around in daily life, fighting the urge to eat sugar is certainly a difficult challenge.

You Eat or Binge on Sugar When Alone

The last symptom in this list is comparable to other addictions. A sugar addiction can present itself for many when others are not around. If you live alone, have a night alone away from a spouse, or simply have some time to yourself, you may find yourself craving sweet foods and drinks. Ice cream, cakes, and cookies are commonly the sugary food of choice when adults are alone for a given time and have a sugar addiction.

What Causes Our Sugar Addiction to Sugar?

So what exactly causes us to get addicted to sugar? After all, sugar is not an illicit drug, but the brain acts in a similar manner to other substance abuse and addictions. One of the first and most noticeable causes of sugar addiction is that the brain wants sugar. The brain needs sugar (glucose) as a fuel source and your brain will continuously attempt to get glucose as a way to prevent a potential shortage of this nutrient. If you notice that you have a sugar addiction, the primary culprit is your brain controlling your movements and thoughts.

Sugar Rush

Another reason you could be craving sugar regularly is due to how it makes you feel after consuming it. Generally, a sugary treat causes a rush of both glucose and endorphins in your blood, which initially causes a short burst of energy. However, the euphoria you get from eating sugar does not usually last for too long. It can cause a fast crash in your energy levels, which can cause you to feel lethargic, weak, and potentially even depressed, all due to a sharp decrease in your blood sugar levels. This leads to a vicious cycle that may have you craving sugary foods. Consider taking a look at our guide discussing in greater depth the causes of sugar cravings.

The Taste

Let’s face it, sugar tastes great, and this is part of the reason why you may be hooked on it as well. Your taste buds are small receptors located on your tongue and inside your mouth, and they respond to various substances that you consume. Interestingly, if your taste buds are not working properly, you could have a stronger affinity towards sugar and sugar addiction.

Smoking

It seems that smoking pops up in virtually every health issue. Smoking has been linked strongly to lung cancer, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), among  others, and now it appears that smoking may have an effect on your taste buds as well. A recent study of more than 60 smokers found that taste buds are greatly diminished as a result of regular smoking. It appears that the diminished taste buds may be due to a reduced blood circulation to the taste buds or tongue.

So if you have been fighting sugar addiction or have noticed that you may be addicted to sugar, it is important to find ways to quit smoking. Smoking can affect your health in various ways, and regardless of how long you have smoked, quitting is the best thing for your health. Consider seeking professional help when you decide to quit as a way to make the process more successful.

The Price of Convenience

One of the downsides to a sugar addiction is that you may have never had a choice in the first place. The truth is that sugar is added in high amounts to virtually every food you can find in the grocery store, including bread, pasta sauce, and foods that have no reason to have sugar. As a result, purchasing foods that contain sugar is a far too easy thing to do. If you take a look at the price of certain foods in the store, you may notice that healthier foods, organic, or sugar-free foods have a higher cost.

Why is this? A big reason is that corn is subsidized in the U.S., which means manufacturers include high-fructose corn syrup in foods because of their lower cost. Also, adding sugar to foods increases the chances that you, the consumer, will continue to purchase that food because it tastes great and it is cheaper for your budget. The price of this convenience probably has had a major impact in your life, and sugar addiction is likely not something you could have controlled in the first place.

How Sugar Addiction Negatively Affects Your Body

Now that you have a bit of information of what causes sugar addiction, now is the time to take a look at its consequences. As described above, sugar addiction is similar to drug or alcohol addiction in the sense that your desire to consume sugar is aggressive. In addition, breaking the habit is a lifestyle change that certainly takes time and effort (there will be further explanation below).

There are many consequences to sugar addiction that may not be obvious to the layperson, and these consequences may have serious implications for your health. Before getting started on how sugar can harm your body and health, consider checking out our article on how eating too much sugar affects your body.

1. Potential Heart Problems

A recent study outlined the negative effects of sugar on your health and its relation to premature death. This study, which looked at subjects over the course of 15 years, found that individuals who consumed 25% or more  of their calories each day from sugar were twice as likely to die from heart disease as those who got less than 10% of their calories from sugar. The takeaway here is that sugar can have a harmful effect on your health, and while it may not directly cause a heart attack, it is linked to heart disease and other conditions.

2. Increased Fat Storage

Too much sugar—or any nutrient, for that matter—can increase the amount of fat your body stores. Even though sugar is not in itself fatty, the excess you eat is converted to fat and stored for future energy needs. The body will continue to do this practically forever; it is capable of storing virtually endless amounts of fat.

Excess body fat is associated with cancer, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and other health conditions, so regulating fat accumulation in the body is important. So even though you may have switched to a low-fat diet in the past in an attempt to shed  weight, it is important to keep an eye on your sugar consumption.

3. Sugar Addiction Can Contribute to Depression

Your mental health can be greatly affected by sugar addiction. Consuming regular amounts of sugar due to addiction can cause your blood sugar to drastically fluctuate throughout the day. In addition, the highs and lows associated with that fluctuation can cause your mood to swing all over the place.

Recent studies have shown that consuming high amounts of sugar can lead to an increase in depression, and the effects may be worse among individuals with schizophrenia. This effect on depression has to do with certain hormones in the blood, and the suppression of a hormone known as BDNF seems to be affected by high amounts of sugar in the diet.

4. Inflammation

One of the biggest influences on  chronic health conditions is inflammation. Inflammation is a natural process that is caused by your body’s reaction when fighting infection or during the healing process; however, your diet can drastically contribute to inflammation as well, and that can be harmful to your health.

Certain foods, including sugar, can cause your body to be in a constant state of inflammation that can cause your entire body to act as if it’s sick. It can affect your arterial walls, heart function, stroke risk, cancer risk, as well as contribute to arthritis and other debilitating conditions. Inflammation is not something that you can see with your naked eye, but it’s a major consequence of sugar addiction.

5. Reduced Immune System Function

Your immune system is the main line of defense against invading organisms in your body, and it is always working hard to keep you healthy. However, there is a link between sugar addiction and reduced immune system function.

High sugar consumption can have multiple impacts on your immune system; it can prevent you from getting adequate sleep at night as well as increase inflammation (which can negatively impact your immune system). If you are struggling with sugar addiction and have noticed that you have been ill more frequently, chances are you could be feeling the negative effects of sugar addiction on your immune system.

6. Insulin Resistance

A lot of people are quick to state that sugar can cause diabetes. While there is a bit of truth to this, sugar addiction may have other consequences. Your body releases insulin in response to sugar in your blood, which occurs shortly after a meal (this is why you may feel sluggish after eating). As the day goes on, your body becomes less sensitive to the insulin your body releases. This is true even in people who are not diabetic, but it’s As a result, you become insulin resistant, which is associated with type 2 diabetes and obesity.

7. Diabetes and Amputation

Wait a minute, how can a simple sugar addiction lead to amputation of a limb? Amputation is the severing of a body part, usually to preserve health and prevent future health issues, and it’s a possible consequence of diabetes. In the case of sugar addiction, there is a chance that excess consumption of sugar can lead to type 2 diabetes.

With the continuing consumption of sugar (because addiction isn’t allowing you to stop) in the setting of type 2 diabetes, there is a chance that your peripheral areas stop receiving blood in adequate amounts. When blood supply is reduced to areas (usually the legs and feet), your cells can die and cause infections. When this occurs, an amputation may be needed—and that’s how it could be a major consequence of sugar addiction.

8. Hypertension

Approximately 34 percent of adults over the age of 20 years in the U.S. have hypertension, and this may be vastly underestimated since many adults have no clue they have hypertension. Defined as a blood pressure of at least 130/80 mmHg, hypertension can cause increased pressure in your heart chamber walls, which can lead to  the heart muscle to thicken (this process is called hypertrophy), which can then result in a life threatening condition known as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. While not every individual responds in this manner, there is a risk for individuals to be diagnosed with hypertension, especially if the sugar you consume is combined with caffeinated beverages such as coffee and sodas.

9. Decreased Fitness Levels

High amounts of sugar consumption and sugar addiction can make you less likely to exercise. How does this happen? Sugar addiction can cause such drastic fluctuations in your blood sugar levels that you get a quick sugar high followed by a harsh crash later in the day.

Typically, this crash can occur prior to dinner time, which is when many adults hit the gym for a workout. As a result, many adults tend to skip the gym, since fatigue or lethargy sets in. The more you skip on the gym, the quicker your fitness levels will dip, which ultimately has an impact on your health.

How to Break Sugar Addiction

There are many health consequences to sugar addiction and while it may seem like it should be easy to just stop eating sugar, remember that sugar is as addictive as illicit drugs. With that said, there are some things you can do to break sugar addiction.

Some of the most challenging parts that adults face when trying to break the addiction is when cravings set in. Cravings can be a major challenge in the fight against addiction, but there are ways to fight them. For starters, consider reading our article on what to eat when craving sugar. In addition to those foods, read on for some helpful tips to help in your successful journey to breaking a sugar addiction.

1. Choose Healthy Alternatives

One of the best things you can do to fight your sugar addiction is to start by swapping sweet foods for healthy alternatives like vegetables. Yes, vegetables can be sweet, but the natural sugars you find in carrots, beets, sweet potatoes, and peas are so much lower than what you’ll find in treats such as gummies, cookies, or donuts. At the same time, they’ll satisfy your craving for sweetness and you can train yourself to eat these healthier choices over addictive sugary desserts.

2. Clean Your Pantry

In order to succeed in your fight against sugar addiction, it is important to eliminate any and all temptations in your home. Your home is where you are likely to cave in to a craving before bed or after a long day at work, so keeping  tempting foods out of reach can make it much harder to succumb.

Consider ditching all cookies, crackers (yes there is sugar in crackers), candy, chocolate (sorry, it is for the best), fruit snacks, dried fruit, and cereals that have any added sugar in them. This is not meant to be a punishment or a way to completely change your diet; rather, it is meant to give you every opportunity to succeed against your sugar addiction so that you can be as healthy as possible.

3. Cut Back on Alcohol

There are a few reasons to reduce alcohol consumption, and generally it relates to the fact that it’s harder to make healthy decisions when you drink. Many alcoholic drinks, especially mixed drinks, contain sugar as a way to enhance the flavor. And having something sweet makes you crave more sweets. That means when if you drink a few too many, your inhibitions are lowered and you’ll likely be tempted to eat sweets and other foods you shouldn’t.  Consider drinking in moderation, and if you are having a drink to be social, have a beer, a glass of red wine, or a spritzer as preferable options.

4. Be Aware of Sugar Substitutes and Alternative Names

Cutting sugar addiction is a challenge, and the first thing people cling to is “sugar-free” products. However, be aware of marketing ploys such as “no sugar added,” or “sugar free” because they artificial sweeteners in them. The best example of this is a sugar-free dessert. If you see this in a grocery store, chances are that cupcake is not sugar-free, but rather made with a sugar substitute. The rule of thumb is to read all food labels and  take extra care when you see foods labeled as sugar-free.

5. Have a Food Plan

The last small tip for fighting your sugar addiction is to generate a plan for how you will eat. You can write this plan out, post it somewhere, or simply keep a mental note of it, but a plan can help you to succeed in various situations.

For example, keep carrot sticks cut up in your fridge so that  after work, you can plan to snack on those instead of cookies. Or if you’re going out to brunch, decide that your plan is to order an omelette with vegetables so that pancakes (basically, a maple syrup delivery device) is not an option. The idea here is to have a plan for how you will succeed in various scenarios that typically create problems for you.

Bottom Line

The information presented here is a guide on what sugar addiction is, how it affects you and your health, and some helpful tips for success. While every situation may vary, many with a sugar addiction struggle in similar ways. While it appears that simply cutting sugar from your diet should be  easy to do, there are some barriers that can prevent you from meeting your goals.

Consider taking a look at what happens when you stop eating sugar altogether for more information on how to cut it from your diet. The best chance you have to quit sugar  and fight sugar addiction is to take it day by day and to make baby steps. The will is within you to improve your health, and the results will be amazing once you achieve success.

What Are Phytoceramides?

Phytoceramides


Phytoceramides might be one of the best anti-aging products for your money. If you’ve never heard of them, that may change soon if for no other reason than this: ceramides make up close to 40% of your skin’s structure.

And you lose them with age, which explains much of the wrinkles, sun damage and visible skin aging that people experience as they grow older.

Ceramides are lipids. They’re fats that occur naturally throughout the body, including the scalp, bones and skin. For an analogy, think of a brick wall. The bricks are held together by mortar. Ceramides are like the ‘mortar’ that holds your skin together, but they’re lost with age.

Phytoceramides are plant-derived molecules that allow you to replace lost ceramides, from the inside out, giving structure back to skin, which lets you fill in wrinkles and fine lines.

Benefits of Phytoceramides

Products like Phyto350 absorb into the bloodstream. This is very effective, because it stimulates change at the cellular level. Skin is strengthened, starting from molecules in the blood, which absorb into and buffer your inner and outer layers. This permits:

Fewer wrinkles and fine lines – You’re essentially ‘filling in’ wrinkles with phytoceramides.

Less hyperpigmentation – Complexion becomes smooth with phytoceramides because it heals damaged skin.

Better moisture retention – Phytoceramides allow skin to absorb and hold moisture, which gives skin a thick, more youthful appearance.

Stronger skin barrier – With stronger skin, it becomes less susceptible to sun damage – the leading cause of wrinkles.

There are the intangibles with phytoceramides too. Clients look younger without surgery or procedures like Botox. That increases confidence – even a little sex appeal – which helps make life more enjoyable.

The convenience of phytoceramides is great as well. They help customers fill in wrinkles and take years, sometimes decades, off their appearance with an all-natural capsule that is safe for clients with no specific health concerns or conditions.

Dr. Oz and The FDA

You’ve no doubt heard that Dr. Oz likes phytoceramides. In his words, they’re like “faking a facelift” because you take them orally. They’re powerful little molecules that go to work the moment you ingest them, and repair, restore and moisturize damaged skin.

They’re very well-tolerated. Japanese consumers have used phytoceramides for over a decade. The FDA approves of them too – with a 25 page analysis of phytoceramides in 2004, in which it concludes they are safe for most consumers because they occur in foods and are found naturally in human skin.

Of course, these combine for a marketer’s dream. So bear in mind that neither the FDA nor does Dr. Oz endorse any particular phytoceramide product. You need a place to start, however, so let’s review how to choose the best phytoceramides supplement for your needs.

How to Choose the Best Phytoceramide Supplement

A few things to look for when choosing a phytoceramide supplement

Dosage – As Dr. Oz says, phytoceramides at roughly 350mg per serving should be enough to produce soft, smooth skin in about 4 weeks.

Skin-Friendly Vitamins – Some phytoceramide products are formulated with skin-friendly vitamins like vitamins A and C. These are good to have, because you may see even better results.

A Quality Name – Yes, there are bandwagon jumpers with phytoceramides. Look for a product offered by a label that’s been around for at least 5 years and that has a good reputation.

A 60 Day Guarantee – If the company offers phytoceramides with a guarantee, that’s a sign they stand by the product and it offers peace of mind.

Note that many consumers report Phyto350 shows good results. The product works quickly and appears to actually live up to the hype of truly ‘faking a facelift’. If you’re looking for the best antiaging products, you might start there.

Sugar Cravings

Why We Crave Sweets and How to Stop It

This article first appeared on Sweetdefeat.

sugar-cravings-990x500

The human body emits a lot of signals, and sometimes we can pick up on these signals to improve our health. However, sometimes the body gives off subtle, yet challenging signals that we tend to ignore or push aside.

In world of health and wellness, sugar cravings are one of the most subtle and challenging. Generally speaking, people get sugar cravings, act on it, and feel some guilt afterwards, only to repeat the whole cycle all over again. Sugar cravings have a way of getting to people at just the right time of the day, and while some people can make quick changes and overcome them, others need a bit more help.

Listed below is a detailed guide on what sugar cravings are, why you could be craving sugar, and how to potentially fix the issue with simple tips.

Why Do I Crave Sugar?

The human body craves sugar for various reasons, and generally each craving is different for each person. Your brain may experience an intense craving because it needs sugar for energy and to function properly.  But beyond meeting a need, sugar cravings for adults tend to be habitual, rewarding, or even just physiologic. Let’s take a look at this with some of the reasons on why you crave sugar when you do.

Habitual

Your daily habits are formed deep within your brain, and while some sources may say that it takes 21 days to form a habit, the truth is any habit can form as long as the brain is satisfied with the end result. Certain neurochemicals in the brain can cause addiction to sugar, similar to that of illicit drugs, opioids, and alcohol. In addition, changes in dopamine receptors in the brain appear to have an impact on addiction to sugar, as described by a recent study on food addiction. Dopamine gets released by when you experience some sort of happiness and results in a feeling of euphoria. As a result of this hormone response, your brain will habitually desire sugar the way it does other harmful compounds like drugs and alcohol.

Reward Systems

Too often, adults looking to stay fit, get fit, or maintain any fitness at all use a reward system for motivation. Actually, a reward system is a great way to motivate a workout and push you to the next level. However, in the case of using sugar as a reward, this may not be the best idea. There is a lot of talk about how sugar addiction is similar to that of illicit drug addiction, and the following research findings may shock you. A 2007 study comparing a  cocaine reward system and a sugar reward system showed that sugar can be a stronger draw than cocaine, even for cocaine addicts. The implication of this is that using sugary treats in a reward system is a bad idea. While a sugary reward system at the gym may seem harmless, the results are anything but.

Pathologic

The brain needs glucose to properly function, so it makes sense that the brain will crave sugar in order to get it. Though the body breaks down all carbohydrates into simple sugars, so you don’t literally need to eat sugar to feed your brain glucose, physiologically speaking, the brain could be craving this nutrient as a way to get what it wants, even if it doesn’t need it. Perhaps your blood sugar is low and your brain is asking for sugar? Your mind could be tricking you into thinking you need sugar when you really don’t.

What Causes Sugar Cravings?

It seems that sugar cravings are becoming more and more common in today’s world. Sometimes people call these episodes as being “hangry.” Rather than accepting that you are hangry, there is a chance that you could be having a sugar craving instead. What are some of the factors that are causing a sugar craving? Listed here are some potential reasons you could be craving sugar.

You Finished a Hard Workout

Working out does quite a bit to your mind and body, and for the most part you gain valuable rewards for your hard efforts. Many people are likely to experience a sugar craving following a workout, and often this may be after you had a personal best in a run, lifted heavy weights, or tried a new high intensity interval training workout. Whatever your reason, as long as you depleted the glycogen stores in your body, you are likely to be craving sugar to replenish this. This would be considered a pathologic or physiologic reason as to why you are having a craving, and it serves a valuable need for the brain and cells.

Your Diet is Not Right

There is no right or wrong when it comes to your diet, but if you are having sugar cravings then it could be due to a diet that is not optimal. If your diet already includes donuts, bagels, candy bars, and soda then chances are your sugar cravings are because of how you have been eating. The more you eat these simple sugars, the more  your brain will want them, which can continue the vicious cycle of sugar cravings.

You Use Artificial Sweeteners

The artificial sweetener debate is starting to become clearer in recent years. The use of these alternatives to sugar may save on calories, but they trick the mind into thinking you ate something that is extremely sweet—far sweeter than sugar. For this reason, your brain will crave foods or beverages that are as sweet as what you just had.

It Has Become a Habit

Again with the habitual part. Consider the scenario where you grab a sugary coffee every morning before work at your favorite coffee shop at the same time of day. Now, your body adjusts to these cues. Every weekday morning, your mind will automatically write this into your daily routine. This is the quickest way to start a habitual sugar craving, and chances are if you were to stop going to get coffee, your brain would crave the sugar that you would normally have at that time of the day.

Common Reasons for Craving Sweets

Now that you have some information on what causes your cravings and why you are having them, now is the time to jump into some common reasons for craving sweets.

Poor Sleep Quality

A common reason for a sugar craving is when you have poor sleep quality at night. Typically, the body needs a certain amount of REM and deep sleep as a way to replenish the mind and body, but when you have inadequate amounts, your body is susceptible to craving sweets the following day.

High Stress

Another reason for craving sweets could include high levels of stress throughout the day. Typically, a little bit of stress in your day is considered healthy and necessary; however, chronic levels of high stress could lead to your sugar cravings increasing in intensity following your stressful event or day.

Meal Skipping

The last common reason on this list involves a common practice among people trying to lose weight. As a way to conserve calories for a future meal or to make up for being “bad” on a prior meal, some adults skip meals. While this seems logical as a way to prevent weight gain, skipping meals can cause you to have sugar cravings as a result. Generally, this is caused by reduced blood sugar levels.

What Your Body Could Be Telling You

Now that you have some information on what could be causing your cravings and why you may be having them, you should take the time to understand what your body could be trying to tell you. Here are a few examples of what your body could be trying to tell you about your sugar cravings.

Lack of Nourishment

Your body could be telling you that you need to get more nourishment for your brain and the cells in your body. If you take notice of this sign, there is a chance that your blood sugar levels could be low to the point that it is harming your health.

Sugar Addiction

Another signal your body could be sending is that it is in full-blown sugar addiction mode, and the cravings you are having are a result of sugar addiction. If this is a signal you pick up on, it could indicate that perhaps you do not need sugar, but rather your brain is demanding you  to satisfy its yearning for euphoria.

Boredom

There is a chance that you could be having a sugar craving simply because you are bored. Are the kids out of the house today and you have no idea what to do with yourself? Well, if your sugar cravings are setting in when this happens then it could mean you are bored and having a craving.

How to Stop Sugar Cravings

Fighting and putting a stop to sugar cravings can be a challenge at start. Initially, you may notice that your cravings are in a vicious cycle that only causes you to crave sugar more often. However, there are some things  you can do to set your body up for success. Generally speaking, making a modification to your diet is necessary to succeed. Consider reading our article on what to eat when you are craving sugar for even more suggestions. Here  are some tips to help you to succeed in putting a stop to sugar cravings.

1. Eat More Fiber

Fiber is an underestimated ally that serves a valuable role in your health and wellness. High fiber intake tends to be associated with better colon and cardiovascular health, as well as a reduced risk of cancer and obesity. Unfortunately, the typical American diet is lacking in fiber. The average fiber intake for all Americans over the age of two is 16 grams a day, with women consuming about 18 grams daily and men 15 grams on average. Current guidelines recommend that adults consume between 25 and 30 grams of fiber every day. Fiber is a starchy substance that passes through the digestive system untouched, meaning that fiber is not processed at all in the stomach or intestine. Fiber helps to slow the absorption of the foods you eat and it can also help to curb cravings you have by keeping you full for longer. Consider eating foods that are naturally high in fiber—like vegetables, beans, legumes, and whole grains —to help curb cravings.

2. Consume Lean Protein

Lean protein options are beneficial for health for a variety of reasons. Eating lean proteins such as salmon, halibut, and chicken can help to fill you up at a meal and keep you feeling full for longer. This means that your blood sugar levels are better managed, which means a possible reduced risk for a sugar craving before the next meal. Include lean protein options as much as you can to help fight off your sugar cravings.

3. Drink Enough Water

Your body is mostly made up of water; it is the most abundant substance in your body  by far, which means you need to replenish your water stores as much as possible each day. Many of the body’s processes are associated with your overall hydration status. In addition, the more dehydrated you are, the greater the chances that you will have some hormonal imbalance. Your sugar cravings may occur as a result of being thirsty, so replenishing the water in your body is often a quick fix. Consider drinking about six to eight glasses each day to stay hydrated and avoid sweetened drinks as much as possible with.

4. Make Healthy Substitutions

Another way to stop sugar cravings from affecting you throughout the day is to  swap healthy foods for unhealthy ones. This is perhaps the most challenging of all these options, but it is one of the most effective ways to cut out cravings. By switching out your chocolate or candies for some fresh fruit or vegetables, you are telling your brain that you no longer want to load up on sugar and you’ll avoid setting off  sugar cravings as well. Consider cut up fruit or vegetables as a snack, nuts to curb appetite, or even hot tea (unsweetened of course) to turn your midday treats healthier.

5. Cut Out Artificial Sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners are becoming quite common in today’s world, and now it seems more people are consuming more of the artificial product rather than sugar. Many of these users are attempting to cut sugar out of the diet to lose weight (by saving calories) and improve wellness. However, studies have shown that the use of artificial sweeteners in foods and beverages can lead to weight gain, as well as strengthen and encourage sugar dependence and cravings. With this in mind, it seems that one of the best ways to cut out sugar cravings from your life once and for all is to stop eating both sugar and artificial sweeteners. While this lifestyle change may take some time to completely master, the rewards will be worth it when successful.

Bottom Line

Sugar cravings can be a challenging part of your everyday life and when they set in, they can take over your mind in a hurry. Some of the most common causes of sugar cravings include a poor diet and the use of artificial sweeteners, both of which can lead to fluctuations in your blood sugar levels as well as cause you to crave sugar. While a sugar craving can happen to anyone at any time, there are some simple things that you can do to help stop them from occurring in the first place. Making small adjustments to your diet can be effective. Typically, adding more fiber and protein in your diet can cause you to feel full throughout the day while maintaining stable blood sugar levels. In addition, ensuring that you keep hydrated every day is essential for regulating your hormone balance, particularly your hunger hormones. Making these small changes can go a long way, and they will hopefully help you to win the battle against your cravings.

 

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