Sugar Cravings Out of Control? Here’s Why, and What to Do
We know sugar’s toxic effects on the body, so it can be frustrating when our body screams out “I need sugar NOW”! That’s when it’s time to listen, understand what food cravings mean, and determine how we can best support the body.
If you crave something, it’s usually because you need something. It’s your body’s way of communicating with you – I promise it’s only trying to help and tell you something. You should never blame willpower for cravings; instead, we want to ask ourselves “Why” and “When” are these cravings occurring so that we can understand our sugar desires and build a supportive and balanced ecosystem to thrive on.
WHY are you craving sugar?
- We can’t access nutrients efficiently. Our body’s systems are first and foremost designed to protect the brain, the heart, and to keep blood flow and physiological functions working. Sugar is that core fuel that when all else fails, will keep the body running. Sugar is a survival signal, so if we’re not able to access nutrients, we turn to sugar to keep the body functioning.
- Your blood sugar levels fluctuate too much during the day. Stable blood sugar is one of the goals of all my programs. That’s why we don’t skip breakfast; we eat small meals throughout the day, and we consume natural sugars in fruits and grains along with protein, vegetables, and healthy fats, which help slow delivery of sugar to your blood steam, keeping your levels nice and even throughout the day. Read more in 7 steps to blood sugar repair.
WHEN do you crave sugar?
Do you have a ravenous appetite all day long? This tells me that the body’s ecosystem is off. You’ll want to team up with your doctor and look more closely into the balance of pH, yeast, and a possible parasite infection.
- Mineral Imbalance: Generally, any fixation on certain foods or flavors can indicate your body’s pH balance is off. It’s super easy to check your pH levels with urine test strips like these. From there, you can use foods like alkalizing vegetables, lemon, and apple cider vinegar to help balance acid and alkaline in the body.
- Yeast Overgrowth: Cravings are a common symptom of candida (an overgrowth of yeast in the gut). My 14-Day Candida Cleanse is a strategic protocol to bring balance and create homeostasis in the body to help reduce these symptoms.
- Parasites: Sometimes cravings can be due to parasites leeching nutrients from the body causing us to go into crisis mode. I have a whole article on the symptoms of parasite issues, and 5 steps for what to do about it. My 14-Day Parasite Cleanse is designed to relieve cravings associated with a low-grade parasite infection.
- Do you mainly get crazy sugar cravings around 3 or 4 pm? With my clients, this often indicates adrenal fatigue. With the body’s diurnal rhythm, the pancreas (an organ that regulates blood sugar), becomes less efficient in the afternoon. If you notice a fatigue response or intense sugar craving right around 3 or 4 pm that is the adrenal surge saying “I need crisis fuel fast.” Phase 1 of the Fast Metabolism Diet is a great place to start to nurture the adrenal glands. If you have more severe indications of adrenal fatigue, my eating plan, the Food Rx for Energy Repair is extremely effective to help get you back to balance.
Ravenous for sugar right before bed? This indicates to me that neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, L-dopa, and leptin need to be supported. Leptin signals fat cells (adipocytes) to release fat into the bloodstream, allowing the body to metabolize it for fuel. To best support leptin and to soothe the nervous system, you’ll want to focus on promoting good blood flow and adding magnesium-rich foods.
- Promote blood flow. Really simple things like soaking your feet in hot water, using a hot compress around the upper shoulders (the only area where adults still store brown fat), dry skin brushing, and trying a sauna before bed (if you have access to one) will help promote good blood flow. Also adding spices like cayenne to your meals can help promote vasodilation (a widening of the blood vessels which allows for increased blood flow).
- Add magnesium rich foods. Did you know craving chocolate is a signal that magnesium might be low or deficient? Magnesium helps to soothe the nervous system. Eat foods like dark leafy greens, pumpkin seeds, white beans, quinoa, and avocados to boost magnesium in your diet.
Something I give to my clients is my Metabolism Control. I developed this supplement specifically to help control cravings by supporting the body’s neurotransmitters. By treating the body with micronutrients, and stimulating those feel-full hormones, we urge the brain to reduce those craving signals. I find Metabolism Control to be helpful for those fighting sugar, caffeine, and alcohol cravings.
I want you to ask yourself “Why and when am I craving sugar?” Once we understand the root cause, then we can begin to support the body in what it truly needs.