How To Eliminate Sugar Cravings

How To Eliminate Sugar Cravings

Visiting Florida on vacation, I passed by an adorable bakery. Sweet warm aromas wafted through the air enticing me to step inside. Delighting in the scent, I turned my head to look inside the glass doors. Stopping only momentarily, I kept on walking. Tempted? Not really. But admittedly, there was a time in my past when I would have certainly opened the door to that fresh sweet bakery making an impulsive sugary purchase.

So, how did I change that pattern to break my sweet cravings? It took a few steps. 

Step One: Hunger vs Craving

I began to realize that hunger pain is not the same as a craving. Cravings are your mind telling you it desires a certain food. It’s the brain calling for something that releases a lot of dopamine in the reward system. A craving combined with hunger is a powerful drive that most people cannot control. If you’re deficient in macro and micronutrients, this can certainly lead to those unhealthy sweet sugar cravings.

If ghrelin, insulin, leptin, and other hormones are imbalanced, you might feel a lack of control regarding your hunger. When these hormones are not aligned, your brain and belly don’t communicate well, and you may feel the constant urge to seek out a sweet snack.

Hunger on the other hand is maintaining your center and sense of having control over your appetite. Biological hunger happens deep in your abdomen and high within your upper chest. Typically accompanied by belly growling, low energy, and foggy thinking.

Step 2: Change Your Palate

My perceptions of hunger changed after my diet significantly improved. Changing my diet changed my palate cravings. Specifically, I ate an organic nutrient-dense diet. 

The organic piece reduced the toxic burden placed on my liver and overall body burden. Enhancing the macro and micronutrient quality of my diet changed my experience of hunger and a reduction in uncomfortable symptoms and cravings. 

When people try to go “cold-turkey” on sweets, it typically fails. Sugar cravings are linked to nutritional deficiencies.  Nutritional deficiencies have a love affair with the empty white substance.  Because sugar is a pro-inflammatory food, it must be eliminated from the diet.

The body needs the balance of about 30% protein, 30% healthy fats, and 40% complex carbohydrates. This ratio is a good first step in supporting the body to resist the sugary temptations. The addition of healthy fats (which are satiating), clean proteins and an ample variety of organic complex carbohydrates (in the form of primarily vegetables and some fruit) will strengthen the bodies resolve. The insulinogenic carbs  must be completely removed from the diet as these produce glucose.

Dr. Joel Fuhrman, from the National Institute of Health stated, “It appears that a high nutrient density diet, after an initial phase of adjustment during which a person experiences “toxic hunger” due to withdrawal from pro-inflammatory foods, can result in a sustainable eating pattern that leads to weight loss and improved health.”

Step 3: Intentional Eating

Intentional eating is about cultivating mindfulness around your food. Your body responds positively when it is in parasympathetic mode. This is your resting and digesting stage. It teas up your digestive system to work effectively releasing the proper digestive enzymes. Intentional eating is a technique used to treat many negative food-related behaviors such as binge eating, anxiety, and guilty food eating including sweets.

Intentional Eating Involves:

Eating slowly and without distraction. Being present. 

Listening to physical cues, including hunger and fullness.

Distinguishing between real hunger cues and emotional eating cues.

Using all five of your senses during a meal.

Overcoming negative emotions that have been tied to food.

Appreciating your food by giving thanks before a meal.

Noting positive feelings tied to your body and your food.

Keys to Healthy Snacking

If you feel you must snack in between meals try these ideas for healthy snacking. All of these suggestions are loaded with protein and healthy fat ingredients which keep you satiated. Healthy snacks don’t upset or encourage blood sugar spikes but actually, keep the body in a low-glycemic state.

A small handful of soaked and roasted walnuts, almonds, or organic nut butter.

A spoonful of coconut butter

Avocado slices drizzled with olive oil sprinkled with Celtic salt and pepper.

A small handful of organic blueberries, blackberries or raspberries.

A small mixed green salad dressed with drizzled olive oil and a squeeze of lemon.

Tahini spread on organic celery or carrots. 

Raw Coho Salmon mixed with real mayo or cream cheese served on zucchini slices.

My recipe for Easy Moringa-Roons, satiating and antioxidant-rich. https://www.nourishedpure.com/recipe/moringa-roons/

By making smarter food choices you can kill sugar cravings without ever feeling deprived. After all, you are sweet enough! 

 

References:

Clean Eating Kitchen; How to Beat Sugar Addictions, Stop Cravings and Feel Better, April 16, 2019 By Carrie Forrest, MPH

National Institute of Health; Hungry? True Hunger versus Toxic Hunger, Dr. Joel Fuhrman May 25, 2016

Chef Works Insider; Simple Ways To Improve Your Palate, 2014

Healthline: A Simple 3-Step Plan to Stop Sugar Cravings, Kris Gunnars BSc April 20 2018

Harvard Health Publishing: How To Break The Sugar Habit-And Help Your Health In The Process, July 2013

Psych Central: What is Real Hunger? Caryl Ehrlich, Author, Conquer Your Food Addiction Last updated: 8 Oct 2018

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