A craving is very different from hunger. Cravings are emotional, hunger is physical. Though they may both feel very real, hunger is the body’s warning system that it needs more energy, whereas a craving is merely the brain signalling that it needs “a reward” – an addiction. Ironically, cravings for sugar and carbs for example, can actually cause more discomfort than actual hunger.
Sugar is a drug
And it’s everywhere. In the obvious places such as sweets and pastries, but also in less obvious foods such as bread, canned food, barbecue sauce. In more than small doses, sugar is an addictive drug. When you eat processed white sugar your body thinks it’s getting nourishment, just as when your body gets heroin, it thinks it’s getting natural endorphins. Deprived, the body begs for more in ways that are very painful.
Fight back with…food
In the short run you can deal with the symptoms of sugar withdrawal, those horrible cravings, by exercising, drinking lots of water, taking a hot shower or eating fruit. However, the long-run ﬁght is to eat better:
• Eat protein at every meal. Eating lots of chicken, ﬁsh, meat and eggs to help balance your blood sugar, which is one of the main culprits for cravings.
• Eat more healthy fats. Replace butter with olive oil and add nuts and avocado. This will give you a sense of real fullness that replaces the artiﬁcial fullness that sugar gives you.
• Eat lots of vegetables. Try to eat a salad before dinner not only for the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, but also to increase the amount of healthy gut bacteria which can aid digestion and increase uptake of healthy nutrients.
Fight back with… sleep.
As you make your way out of the morass of sugar cravings, your body will help you, if you give it a chance. As much of the re-adjustment of your body chemistry is done at night, sleep is essential. Both quality and quantity are important.
Follow these steps, and you can beat those sugar cravings for good.