Athleaders

Athleaders

Revealing the Root Causes of Sugar Cravings

Introduction

It might be tough to control our sugar cravings since they feel like an overwhelming desire that drives us to consume unhealthy sweets even when we know they’re bad for us. In this insightful investigation, we explore four lesser-known triggers of sugar cravings and offer doable strategies for dealing with them.

Dehydration

One of the most prevalent triggers for sugar cravings is likely dehydration. Oftentimes, the body’s need for water is misconstrued as a desire for sugar or even hunger. Inadequate fluid intake can hinder the efficient metabolism of glycogen, the stored form of glucose used for energy. Consequently, our bodies may seek out sugar as a rapid energy source, when in reality, what we truly require is a simple increase in water consumption.

Solution – The first step is to bring awareness to the situation. Have you had water today? Are you thirsty? Reach for your water before you reach for that donut, and aim to drink half of your body weight (pounds) in ounces of water per day.

Stress

 When delving into the topic of sugar cravings, it’s impossible to ignore the profound connection to stress. Stress manifests its influence on sugar cravings through two distinct avenues: emotional triggers and physical responses. Emotionally, sugar assumes the role of a comforting ally, offering a fleeting reprieve from the strains of stress. On a physiological level, sugar intake triggers a surge in dopamine levels, the brain’s feel-good neurotransmitter, instigating a transient sense of pleasure. Yet, this momentary pleasure dissipates quickly, leading our bodies to yearn for sugar once again, setting off a relentless cycle. In this cycle, stress initiates sugar cravings, sugar consumption contributes to stress, and stress perpetuates an intensified craving for sugar.

Solution – The more you can identify the source of your stress, the more you can identify the trigger of your sugar cravings. If you must opt for a natural source of sugar like fruit, that way at least you will get a little nutritional value along the way. If you want to learn about the benefits of yoga in reducing stress and anxiety, check out this blog. If you want to learn about the benefits of yoga in reducing stress and anxiety, check out this blog.

Underconsumption of Protein

Not getting enough protein can make you want sugary foods. This connection has to do with how your brain works. Protein is made up of building blocks called amino acids. These help create chemicals in your brain that can stop those strong urges for sugar. When these chemicals are at the right levels, you can think more clearly and find it easier to resist those cravings. When you eat protein, your body releases a hormone called CCK. This happens when you eat fatty foods too. CCK helps you feel less interested in eating lots of carbs, like sugars. But if you don’t eat enough protein, you might not have enough of this hormone and other important brain chemicals. This makes you want carbs more, especially sugars.

Solution – Always try to include a protein source in every meal. These include – tofu, tempeh, edamame, yoghurt, paneer, meat, and fish. Always finish your protein and veggies first and then fill yourself up with carbs as per your appetite.

Insufficient Salt Intake

Indulging in copious amounts of sugar undoubtedly fuels further sugar cravings—a well-known fact. However, an intriguing revelation lies in the connection between insufficient salt intake and the persistence of these cravings. This may come as a surprise, but the reality is quite intriguing. The underlying reason is that inadequate salt consumption heightens the brain’s susceptibility to addictive pathways. Consequently, resisting substances that trigger these pathways—such as sugar and even drugs—becomes a more formidable challenge when salt levels are depleted. Beyond its impact on addiction pathways, low salt levels set off a mechanism within the body termed “internal starvation.” Remarkably, salt plays an indispensable role in sustaining bodily functions. When salt intake falls below the necessary threshold, the body springs into action to ensure it maintains sufficient salt for vital operations. The kidneys, a prime example, require sodium for proper functioning. To secure this essential mineral, the body elevates insulin levels, allowing the kidneys to retain the sodium they require. Regrettably, heightened insulin levels interfere with the breakdown of stored fat and protein for energy. However, when insulin levels soar, the body shifts its preference to carbohydrates as an energy source. Hence, the insistent cravings for carbs—often sweet treats—as sweets are among the most carb-rich options. This explains the magnetic allure of the dessert spread at festive work gatherings, where carb-heavy delights take centre stage.

Solution – Amidst this intriguing interplay, a silver lining emerges. By replenishing the body’s salt reservoir, the irresistible allure of double-fudge brownies and frosted shortbread cookies could be considerably diminished.

Conclusion

Knowing what causes our sugar cravings gives us the power to break the cycle of craving and indulgence and make healthier decisions. By considering factors such as dehydration, stress, and eating enough protein, and salt, we may create a well-rounded dietary plan and gain greater control over our desires. Working closely with a personal trainer and nutrition coach can also provide valuable insights and support in making healthier food choices.