Sugar addiction: 3 surprising ways to quit this habit forever

ATLANTA — If you look online, most of the advice you find about how to get rid of sugar cravings focuses on avoiding sugar altogether. This is not only impractical but also ineffective for reducing sugar cravings.

If you’re addicted to sugar, here are three ways you’re unconsciously setting yourself up for cravings, and how to fix them.

not getting enough sleep

Several studies, one of which Published A study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that sleep deprivation is linked to food cravings and weight gain. The reasoning behind this is based on the mechanisms that regulate metabolism and appetite.

Sleep is the time when our bodies make hormones that help control appetite and regulate blood sugar. When you are sleep deprived, the body increases the production of stress hormones called cortisol and insulin, hormones that regulate glucose processing and promote fat storage.

“Sleep deprivation can increase sugar cravings by affecting the body’s systems that regulate blood sugar levels,” says certified intuitive eating counselor Rachel Hartley.

“Getting less than seven hours of sleep increases insulin resistance and cortisol levels, and can also disrupt hunger and satiety signals, which can lead to sugar cravings.”

Several studies, one of which Published Studies published in the Journal of Sleep Research show that sleep deprivation is linked to lower levels of leptin, a hormone that tells the brain when food has been sufficient, and higher levels of ghrelin, which stimulates hunger.

This stimulation of hunger triggers your brain to crave quick energy, such as sugar. Simply making sure you are consistently getting enough sleep can make a big difference in sugar cravings.

“We all have sleepless nights sometimes, and it’s okay if it results in overeating the next day, but persistent sleep deprivation can have more serious health effects,” Hartley says.

Eating while distracted

Taking time to enjoy your meal without being distracted by technology will help you avoid mindlessly gulping down food, and also prevent overeating.

one of Study In a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers found that people who ate distractedly were significantly less hungry after lunch than those who ate without distraction. They ate almost twice as many cookies 30 minutes later than those who ate without distraction.

Similarly, Study A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that people who work and eat at the same time not only eat faster and have less memory of what they ate, but they also reported feeling less full than those who ate without distractions.

not eating enough or waiting too long to eat

If you eat less at breakfast or lunch – either not enough calories or lacking in macronutrients – sugar cravings will be stronger in the afternoon and evening. Make sure breakfast and lunch include a mix of carbohydrates, protein and fat. Carbohydrates include grains, fruit and starchy vegetables like potatoes. Choose meat, fish, beans and legumes for protein. And for fats, eat mostly plant-based fats like nuts, seeds and avocados.

If your diet does not have this balance of macronutrients, especially protein and fat, it will cause blood sugar to spike and then drop, making you feel hungry again after a while. This is because protein and fat slow down the digestion and absorption of glucose, keeping you full and satisfied for longer.

If you want to have a carbohydrate-only breakfast — like oatmeal made with water or cereal with protein-free almond milk — make sure you add some protein, like an egg or yogurt, and some nuts or seeds for fat. Or try a high-protein oatmeal variation made with milk and eggs.

Likewise, if you usually eat a salad for lunch, add some carbs to it to avoid cravings later in the day. Grain salad bowls made with whole grains like barley or farro on top of the salad work great here, or add your carbs in the form of crackers or bread on the side. Don’t forget to add protein and some fat like avocado or sliced ​​almonds.

Dietitian and intuitive eating counselor Kara Lydon says that if you wait too long before eating, it can make you crave sugar more.

“It makes perfect biological sense to crave something sweet when you haven’t eaten for a very long period of time. When your blood sugar is low, your brain seeks quick energy sources — such as simple carbohydrates and high-sugar foods — to quickly raise blood sugar back up,” says Lydon.

“Aim to eat something every three to four hours to better manage your blood sugar response so you don’t have big fluctuations in your blood sugar,” says Lydon.

Getting enough sleep, making sure you maintain a balance of macronutrients throughout the day, not waiting until you’re too hungry to eat, and minimizing distractions while eating are all simple ways to curb sugar cravings. No extreme restrictions are needed.


Disclaimer : The content in this article is for educational and informational purposes only.

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