6 Strategies to Curb Sugar Cravings
We have all been there. That itch we all get to go to the cupboard or refrigerator in search of something sweet. We all know that sugar is highly inflammatory and that all of us would benefit from cutting it from our diet. Sugar feeds unwanted overgrowths, be it parasitic, fungal, or bacterial, it increases our chances for chronic issues such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. It also inflames the brain which in the short-term causes concentration and memory issues, but in the long-term can make us more susceptible to degenerative diseases of the brain such as Alzheimer’s.
So, to say the least, it is a good idea to cut sugar. What about, however, if we have tried to cut sugar, but we still have very strong cravings for it? The good news is that there are a few simple things you can do to cut the cravings:
Stop using sugar alternatives. Fake sugar is just as bad as real sugar, if not worse. Artificial sweeteners, even natural ones like Stevia, can interfere with the normal hormonal signalling that dictates when we are hungry and when we are not. If our brain thinks we are eating something sweet, it still produces insulin, the hormone responsible for taking sugar from the blood and putting it into the cells. The problem here is that if insulin is released and there is no sugar (because you just ate fake sugar), it drops blood sugar further making you want, you guessed it, more sugar. The secret here is not to replace a sweet taste, but to learn how to live without the sweet taste.
Eat real food. If you are a person who depends on processed snacks like bars, crisps, chocolates, and other sweets, your body will crave more sugar. If you feed your body with foods your body recognizes, however, your need for sugar will slowly decrease. Eat a high fibre diet from colourful vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, good fats like olive oil or avocado, and watch your pangs for something sweet deteriorate.
Use glutamine. If you are in an afternoon rut and your sugar craving is so strong you are thinking of robbing a grocery store to get some chocolate, try some glutamine. You can drink some glutamine powder in some water. This helps to curb those intense sugar cravings and allows you to choose better food than something sweet.
Eat more protein and fat and less carbohydrate. The more sweets you eat, the more you want. If you have cut the obvious sugar from your diet, but still crave sugar, you may be still eating too many carbohydrates from starchier foods. For example, foods like bread, pasta, chips, crisps, rice, rice cakes, and white potatoes all turn to sugar in the body. If your diet consists mostly of these foods, switching to a diet higher in protein and healthy fats is the answer. For example, create a smoothie bowl with healthy fruits and veggies, and avocado, and your favourite protein powder and top it with some walnuts. Automatically, you eat more protein and fat, feel more satiated, and decrease your need for sugar.
Take some supplements. Many people crave sugar because they feel low in energy. This is our body telling us that we need more nutrients to deal with the stress of the day. Some general ones that you can take to help curb sugar cravings are chromium, vanadium, b-vitamins, and magnesium. As always, please check with your naturopath or functional medicine practitioner to tailor-make a supplement protocol specifically for you.
Use Smart & Sassy Essential Oil - Another product we recommend to our guests who are struggling with sugar cravings is using Smart & Sassy Essential Oil blend. This blend is an effective natural diuretic and stimulant and can help you manage cravings. You can add 1 drop to water, tea or a smoothie to take internally or you can put 4 drops into a diffuser so you can benefit from the inhalation of the blend and keep the cravings at bay. It’s completely natural and contains no calories but adds a sweet taste to drinks making it a great alternative to artificial sweeteners and sugary drinks.
Cutting sugar may seem difficult, but it isn’t. If you can eat a nutrient-dense diet higher in protein and fat for 3 days without sugar, you are on the path to recovery from your addiction. The question is, are you up for the challenge?
If you would like more help with curbing sugar cravings you can now book an online video consult with Tina our Functional Medicine Practioner or you can book a consultation in person in our clinic here in Cyprus. Use the form below to contact us for more information.