People often talk about having a sweet tooth. They struggle to say no to their cravings and overindulge in sugary foods and drinks. But what if it’s more complicated than that to try and stop sugar addiction?
Diets high in sugar have been linked to conditions such as heart disease, diabetes type 2 and obesity. More recently, it has also been shown to cause problems such as hormone imbalances, migraines and depression, so it’s really important to stop sugar addiction to reduce your risk of those conditions.
The more sugar you eat the more you crave. Your tolerance becomes higher which means you need more each time to satisfy you so you don’t give in to those cravings. Sugar releases the feel good chemicals in the brain, serotonin and dopamine, so the sugar ‘high’ that you get after eating it, is very real. It doesn’t last though and the crash a couple of hours later can make you feel tired and lethargic.RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
5 Steps to stop sugar addiction
1. Balance your blood sugar levels
Low levels have been shown to reduce resistance to cravings. Keeping blood sugars balanced helps to reduce these cravings;
– Ensure you eat regular meals and snacks, every 3-4 hours, to stop the blood sugar dip which causes the cravings and for us to reach for the nearest sugary snack
– Eat protein with every meal, to help promote satiety and reduce the release of glucose into the bloodstream
– Eat plenty of fibre to reduce the transit time of food being digested and therefore keeping blood sugars stable
2. Eat plenty of good fats
They increase overall satisfaction after a meal, reducing sugar cravings and help to stop sugar addiction.
Healthy fats are important for insulin regulation and when we don’t get enough we crave sugary foods to satisfy us.
3. Cut out all added sugars and sweeteners
Going cold turkey is the best way to stop sugar addiction. Cutting out all sugars and sweeteners may sound hardcore but following the other tips will help to reduce the pain!
Sweeteners trick the body into thinking it has had sugar and then when it realises, cause it to crave more, so replacing sugar with sweeteners only makes the situation worse.
4. Ensure your body is getting all the nutrients it needs
– Vitamin D; if levels are low it affects the hormone which effectively switches off your appetite when you are full, causing cravings and for you to overeat
– Amino acids such as glucosamine, 5-HTP, tyrosine help reduce cravings
– Chromium, magnesium and zinc, also helps balance your blood sugars, regulate insulin and reduce cravings
5. Get a good night’s sleep
Insufficient sleep has an impact on the hormones that control your hunger and fullness, known as ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin tells your brain that it’s time to eat but when you don’t get enough sleep, your body makes too much of this hormone.
Leptin is the hormone that tells your brain that you’re full and to stop eating. Lack of sleep means leptin levels reduce and your brain doesn’t tell your body it’s not hungry. Both of these combined can make cravings worse and mean you make poor decisions when it comes to food!
Hopefully these tips will help reduce cravings and enable you to stop sugar addiction!