Do you crave sugars and starches all the time? Here are 5 ways to beat the cravings

Functional Nutritionist Deepa Kannan lists five steps towards beating dreadful sugar cravings, and towards feeling more calm and less angry.
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If you are someone who constantly craves something sweet and struggling with control, the first thing that you have to know is that it is not because you are weak. When you crave sugars and starches, there is something deeper going on within your body.

Craving sugar means that your blood sugar is imbalanced. Instead of gentle waves as blood sugar should be, your blood sugar is spiking and crashing through the day. Each time your blood sugar crashes, you end up craving sugar!

Why are the signs that you do need blood sugar balance?

There are so many ways to know that your body is desperately seeking blood sugar balance.

If you are trying to quit sugar all the time, if you crave carbohydrates, if you end up eating even more sugars and starches when you make an attempt to quit, if you get irritable when your daily quota of sugar is taken away, if you get angry when someone takes your share of sweets, if you feel tired or fall asleep after eating sugar and if your whole life is controlled by sugar, then you definitely have something going on within.

If this is such a vicious circle, where might you begin the journey to beat your sugar cravings?

Prioritise proteins

Sugar cravings occur when your blood sugar is not stable.

The reason your blood sugar is unstable is because it is spiking with higher starches and sugars in your diet.

It might be very challenging to force yourself to quit sugar. Begin the first step by prioritising protein.

Proteins are wonderful to stabilise blood sugar. They allow any starches in the meal to create less havoc on blood sugar. If you make sure that every single meal has some form of protein, especially at breakfast, you begin the process of blood sugar balance.

Protein helps to stabilise blood, sugar, maintain adrenal function and balance hormones. You will be fascinated to see that within a month of prioritising protein you do not crave as much sugar!

Clear your home of sugars

The truth is throwing out sugars from your environment is a great tactic!

Removing temptations from the path helps tremendously with your intention to beat sugar cravings. Out of sight can truly help with out of mind. There is a reason mothers start to get blood sugar imbalance.

The reason is having sugars around the house when children are present. It starts with taking one mouth of a dessert. Eventually, it becomes a daily behaviour of seeking something sweet.

Clearing out the sugars can help, but you may not be completely ready for it. Begin by removing refined sugar. Replace it with a little jaggery. This is not going to be the solution long term as all sugar behaves similarly in your body.

But it can be the first step. Then taking baby steps and going further each week will gradually help you move you in the right direction.

Find some me-time

When you have sugar cravings, your blood sugar itself is spiking and crashing. This also triggers a higher release of cortisol, the stress hormone. High cortisol in turn makes you seek sugars. It is a vicious cycle.

A high-stress environment within your body raises ghrelin and reduces leptin. Ghrelin is the hunger hormone, which makes you feel hungrier than you actually are. Leptin is the satiety hormone which makes you feel as if you are never full even when you keep eating. All of this becomes highly challenging on your cravings.

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Taking some time of the day where you prioritise yourself works wonderfully to lower cortisol. This takes you away from a sympathetic dominant state. When you are sympathetic dominant, your stomach secretes more acid, and you may find yourself craving more.

Check your liver

Your liver regulates blood sugar.

One of the signs of fatty liver disease is excessive sugar cravings.

Recent research is finding more links between sugar cravings and liver health. Supporting your liver can be the first step towards beating your sugar cravings.

Start by including some bitter leafy greens. Getting a bitter taste on the tongue can help you seek less sugar.

Fasting

As tough as this sounds, fasting for just one full day can help restore some blood sugar balance. On the other hand, you may be craving more sugar if you have started intermittent fasting without having blood sugar balance.

By fasting, I do not mean constant fasting every day. For one full day, skip eating food and drinking water. By the evening, you will find that your blood sugar is more stable, you will feel less jittery, have fewer cravings and feel mentally calm. When you break your fast you must ensure you have plenty of protein so that you can help your body to feel more grounded.

Edited by Rekha Balakrishnan

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