Sugar is the number one craving in our society. There is a big difference between just liking sweets and craving sweets, and if you are one of them, you know what I mean!! If you are hooked, then it can be hard to stop but not impossible. Sugar contributes to serious short and long term health problems like obesity, hormonal imbalances, yeast infections, bloating, diabetes and even cancer.
There can be some real physical imbalances that can make you crave sugar such as insulin resistance, candida overgrowth, different hormonal imbalances, nutritional deficiencies, stress or fatigue. Once you find out the root cause of why you are hooked on sugar then you can determine which of the following tips will best help you.
1.- Eat more protein – Most of my patients are not eating a good amount of good quality lean protein – don’t skip it! It will have detrimental effects on your health. For those of you who exercise, then your requirement increases even more. Examples are: chicken, fish, cooked beans, lentils, plain greek yogurt, etc.
2.- Do a yeast cleanse – this is especially beneficial if you have a history of taking a lot of antibiotics or hormones or antacids in the past, if you suffer from yeast or bladder infections or if you experience bloating and bowel irregularity.
3.- Balance your hormones – You will need some professional help with testing your hormones. One good method is through saliva hormone testing. It can check your estrogen, progesterone, testosterone and your stress hormone called cortisol. An imbalance with any of these hormones can cause sugar cravings. This is especially important if you find that your cravings are cyclical or worse when you are tired or stressed.
4.- Drink your water – Yes, you need 8 glasses of water. Clinically we see patients benefiting from this all the time. No, your pop or coffee is not considered part of your water intake. You can include your herbal teas as part of it (as long as you are not adding sugar to it). Our bodies can misinterpret thirst for hunger.
5.- Go to sleep earlier- this is especially important if you crave sweets in the evening. There is an overwhelming body of research that has established that there is a link between lack of sleep and sweet cravings. We need 7 to 8 hours and most people are only getting approximately 6 hours.
My recommendation to you is to refrain from sugar for 3 days only. I have seen so many patients be able to significantly improve their cravings by just doing that. Most importantly, keep busy with fun activities because that will balance your biochemistry. If you are lacking positive energy and happiness, you will look to fill that void with sugar.
Remember that we are not striving for perfection but for progress. It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon!