Sugar cravings are incredibly common.
They can be caused by physical, emotional or habitual reasons.
Many women find that sugar cravings are a BIG factor is derailing their best laid plans for healthy eating!
One of the most common contributing factors that I see from a nutritional perspective is that women are not eating the right ratios of macronutrients.
Macronutrients are protein, carbohydrate, fat and fibre.
Missing from the everyday diet, lack of macronutrients leads to blood sugar instability.
A meal or snack which is carbohydrate heavy without protein and fat, can mean that your blood sugar rises immediately after eating, but then drops again quite quickly. This signals the body to eat more sugar to bring the blood sugar levels back up again.
Habitual and emotional eating factors are really common when it comes to sugar cravings.
Many women crave something sweet after a meal which can indicate that their meal hasn't contained the right macronturients but is often largely habitual.
Mindfulness can really help with checking in to bring awareness to whether you are actually still hungry or whether it's just a habit.
I created my Blossom Infusions After Dinner Tea specifically for this, after so many women shared that they struggled with sugar cravings, particularly in the evenings.
The After Dinner Tea blend is naturally sweet (yet sugar free!) and also contains herbs to support digestion following a meal. Try it for yourself. Buy some from the Blossom Wellbeing Online Tea Store.
Some simple tweaks to your meals and snacks choices can make a real difference to your overall health and well-being.
Occasionally sugar cravings are caused by a nutritional deficiency.
This means that your body doesn't have enough of the necessary vitamins and minerals for optimal blood sugar balance. The body then struggles to regulate your blood sugar levels. This results in blood sugar and mood swings which leave you feeling terrible and wanting more sugar.
Other common causes of sugar cravings are:
There are a number for key nutrients for blood sugar regulation which many people are deficient in. These key nutrients include zinc, magnesium, chromium and Vitamin D.
Hormone imbalances of oestrogen, testosterone and progesterone as well as cortisol and leptin (appetite regulating hormone) can contribute to sugar cravings.
Candida is a yeast which is present in everyone's digestive system.
Candida can become problematic when not kept in check by good gut flora and may present acutely as thrush.
It can also cause more chronic problems as well as causing sugar cravings itself (candida/yeast requires sugar as a food source).
Insulin resistance can occur for a number of reasons. It is common in polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), obesity, Type 2 diabetes, chronic sleep deprivation and menopause.
The contraceptive pill and some other medications can also lead to insulin resistance.
When your cells become resistant to insulin, the sugar which is in your blood stream can't get into cells. A feedback mechanism then causes you to crave more sugar in an attempt to feed your cells.
Stress & Emotional Eating
Many of us crave sweet foods when we are feeling stressed or emotional. Blood sugar swings can also make us more susceptible to stress, anxiety and mood swings. It can feel like quite a viscous cycle!
When you cannot break down protein in your diet due to digestive issues, you won't benefit from it's blood sugar balancing effects. This leads to poor protein digestion and utilisation.
Fortunately there are many ways to naturally support your blood sugar balance and reduce sugar cravings.
Are struggling with sugar cravings?
Are they affecting your ability to stay on track with your health or weight loss goals? Make an appointment. I can work with you to discover what is driving your sugar cravings, and how best to manage them.