Aaaargh. Here they come again! You know the feeling. The overwhelming desire for something sweet. A desire that can only be satisfied with chocolate, or cake, or sweets, or a soda. You get the picture.
There are literally millions of people getting those exact cravings every single day, and just like my mother used to say, they have what is called a sweet tooth.
It's crazy isn't that the term 'sweet tooth' literally sounds so sweet and innocent yet to describe it as a sugar addiction sounds so much more serious.
But unfortunately an addiction to sugar can be very serious.
There are a whole host of negative health issues caused by excessive sugar consumption and cutting sugar out of your daily diet it's pretty much one of the most effective dietary changes you can make.
I have a blog here: 17 Amazing Things That Happen When You Stop Eating Sugar which outlines some of the incredible benefits of cutting the white stuff out of your life.
So if you are one of those millions of people who gets sugar cravings on a daily basis this comprehensive guide is designed to help you deal with those cravings, cut down on your sugar intake and get back in control of your eating habits.
Why do we get cravings?
You may have asked yourself in the past "Why do I crave sugar?" There are all sorts of reasons why you might find yourself craving sweets or chocolate, but an addiction to sugar or more specifically fructose, is often the main reason.
All sugars, no matter what they are called, be it table sugar, honey, maple syrup, brown sugar, all break down to two substances once you digest them - 50% glucose and 50% fructose.
Glucose is the power source for all living things and provides the energy to every living cell in every living thing. Fructose however is not needed at all, and can only be processed by the liver, and often gets turned into fat once it’’s eaten. It is also very addictive as lab tests have shown.
...because it feels good!
The other reason we eat too much sugar is because it feels so good when we do, making it an easy habit to fall into. Sugar releases the ‘happy hormone ‘ dopamine when we eat it which is what makes us feel happy and good.
So we keep on eating sugar because it make us feel good, we start to crave that feeling if we haven't experienced it for a while.
So sugar is addictive and it makes us feel good - no wonder we crave the stuff! But would you believe, there are also lots of other factors that drive us to eat sugary foods.
Low blood sugar
We can often get tricked into eating sugar when out blood sugar gets too low, maybe because we haven’t eaten for a while, or because the last thing we ate was high is sugar, causing a spike and then consequently a crash.
Our brain then looks for a quick source of blood sugar which triggers a desire for something sweet - and we experience it as a sugar craving.
I have written a blog here going into more detail about blood sugar levels: Sugar Crash! How Low Blood Sugar Can Ruin Your Day
All sorts of people have all sorts of bad habits they have developed over the years, and eating sugary treats is just one of them. You might have been eating a mid morning muffin, biscuits with your afternoon tea, or always eating dessert after dinner for years without even thinking about it.
Habits are things that we do without thinking about them - they become automatic. And because we don’t think about them, that’s when they can become dangerous.
I had all sorts of bad habits when it came to sugar. I always ate biscuits with my tea, and I always craved something sweet after my evening meal. I’d eat chocolates and sweets without giving them a second thought.
It’s only when I became aware of my bad habits that I decided to do something about it.
So becoming aware of habits, and understanding that's just what they are, is an important step in combatting cravings.
Other reasons for cravings