What can I do when I have sugar cravings?

Published: 5/28

Sugar cravings happen when you deprive your body of sugar. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s common in today’s society when people give up unhealthy processed foods and opt to live a healthier lifestyle.

Eating unhealthy foods that are high in sugar can create a type of addiction. Modern foods are high in sugar, which is one reason that obesity and diabetes are becoming predominant medical crises. Overconsumption of sugar not only is high in calories, but it leads to a type of addiction. Sugar interacts with the brain’s chemistry, affecting the level of dopamine. This makes us feel good. Because the glucose levels have to go back to normal, it causes a dip, which leads to a vicious cycle of eating sweets to attain the feel-good dopamine high.

When you start eating healthy and eliminate sugary and processed foods from your diet, your body starts to fight back. It wants the sugar it is addicted to, so it kicks and screams and gives you literally a headache. Fortunately, the withdrawal doesn’t last long, and within a week or so, your body will stop throwing a fit and settle into a healthy routine with better food.

If you are detoxing from sugar, there are some things you can do and eat to help ease the side effects.

  • Fruit– Remember that fruit is sugar, but fruit contains healthier sugars than processed foods. Fruit is also high in fiber, which is great for your digestion.
  • Berries– High in antioxidants and fiber, berries have a lower sugar count than most people would think. They are also high in anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Chia Seeds– Chia seeds are high in omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and have healthy plant compounds. The fiber absorbs in water and then swells in your stomach, making you feel full longer while also reducing sugar cravings. Consider a chia pudding dessert that is low in added sugar.
  • Legumes – While they don’t sound sweet, lentils, chickpeas and beans are high in protein and fiber. They make you feel full longer, which helps reduce your sugar cravings.
  • Yogurt– Low fat, unsweetened yogurt is a great snack to help control your sugar cravings. Look for one that is full of live cultures for added gut health benefits.
  • Sweet Potatoes– Sweet, nutritious and filling, sweet potatoes are mostly carbohydrates, but they also have vitamins and minerals. Consider roasting them with cinnamon and paprika for a quick snack that is sure to beat your sugar cravings.
  • Smoothies– Opt for a no-sugar-added green smoothie to tie you over between meals and help reduce your cravings.
  • Fermented Foods– A surprise to many, fermented foods such as kimchi, yogurt, sauerkraut and kombucha are great for helping even out gut bacteria and making you feel full longer. When reading labels, choose a kombucha drink that is very low in sugar.

Exercise is also a great way to produce a dopamine hit, which will trick the body into thinking it has what it wants – sugar. Laughter is also the best medicine so consider watching a funny movie to beat the sugar-time blues.



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