Sweet tooth or sugar cravings " that intense and urgent desire for sugar" is a universal eating issue and bitter enemy for persons who are trying to lose weight.
So if you suffer from sugar cravings you are not alone, and there are ways to cut these cravings down and control your diet plan again.
Why do we crave for sugar?
Understanding why we crave for sugar from the first place is helpful for fighting these desires; we crave for sugar for one or more of these reasons:
- Sugar gives us happiness, it raises blood serotonin and endorphin hormones aka “the happiness hormones”, so when we feel unhappy our bodies crave for sugar to boos our moods.
- Blood sugar level dropped down.
- Low estrogen and progesterone levels in women around their periods, which cause increased sugar cravings, moodiness, fatigue and insomnia.
- Sometimes it is just a habit to eat sweets at a certain time of the day.
How to reduce frequency of cravings?
There are a couple of things you can do to reduce sugar cravings and avoid them before they happen:
- Take your meals on time and don’t skip meals.
If you take your meals on time you reduce cravings, because your body won’t be that hungry anymore and your blood sugar still hasn't drop, and small frequent meals even better.
- Cut down sweets and sugary fluids as possible.
The more sugar you consume the more craving you will have, because sugary food quickly raise blood sugar, then the insulin hormone acts to lower blood sugar in order to maintain normal blood sugar levels, here you are stuck in this vicious cycle of blood sugar ups and downs, which you can break by gradually reducing you daily sugar intake.
- Eat plenty of vegetables.
Vegetables –especially high fiber ones- fill your stomach and give you satiety, and doesn't raise blood sugar quickly, hens reduce cravings.
- Add legumes to your meals.
Legumes are slowly digested so they don’t raise blood sugar quickly, and improve satiety sensation.
Sometimes it is water that your body craves to, not sugar, so drink water regularly to help filling your stomach and reduces hunger episodes. Read more in Reward your Skin and body with water.
If you are one of these women who crave for sugars around their period, understanding your body cycle and habits can help you prepare yourself psychologically for that time, and maybe plan some healthy, low-calorie snacks ahead for these times.
What to do when I am in a sugar craving episode?
If you are in craving episode, and you want to eat something sweet to eat, here some example of foods that give the sugary taste that you crave for, yet healthy and low-calories so you can stay on track of your diet.
It taste naturally sweet, and are rich in fiber (which makes the stomach feel full). Also, apples are easy to carry and they don't need to be peeled or cut like other fruits, and they take time to chew, so believe it or not when you finish eating it you will soon start feeling no longer hungry!!
Corn taste sweet, and is rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber.
Sweet potatoes will not only satisfy sugar demand, but also supply the body with vitamin A, vitamin C, and fiber. A size of a fist of grilled sweet potato is an excellent choice for sugar craving.
The delicious sweet cinnamon helps satisfy your sugar cravings. A tablespoon (contains 60 Calories) of honey with cinnamon is a very nice, healthy and practical idea for dealing with sugar craving. Learn how to prepare Apples with Cinnamon.
- Small piece of dark chocolate
Even if you are on a weight reducing diet, that doesn't mean depriving yourself from all sweets, a small bites of chocolate or candy twice a week will keep you from feeling deprived.
Have a slow reaction time toward your cravings, and when you eat; savor every bite and chew slowly to fill your mouth with the sweet taste you crave for without over eating.