Do you struggle with sugar cravings? A lot of women believe they’re addicted to sugar. Read on below to see how you can stop sugar cravings in a way that leaves you feeling satisfied.
Firstly, I get it. I love chocolate probably a little too much.
Does this sound familiar? You went out with friends, and everyone was eating cake. You held out for a bit, but finally gave in and grabbed a piece.
Then all of sudden, you’ve “blown your diet”, so you may as well keep eating…aka “The Stuff it Effect!!”
Then, cue the binge. Followed by the guilt. Followed by the diet. And the cycle begins.
Eating by the rules almost always leads to overeating (eventually), because once you deviate from the plan, there’s nothing left to guide you and let’s be honest: you can only deny yourself your favourite foods for so long.
Can you imagine a life where you don’t overeat and you are in control of your cravings?
For most people, “giving in” to food and cravings represents a loss of control.
Craving’s are wrongly thought of as bad and should be eliminated as soon as possible. The only thing correct about this statement is the later: cravings should be dealt with sooner rather than later.
That means: EAT! Eat what you’re craving – Mindfully.
You’re much more likely to eat less and feel satisfied quicker, when you’re present and in the moment whilst eating.
Cravings and the brain?
Cravings are a sign that your body needs something (ie: food – perhaps you’re hungry). NOT that you’re addicted to sugar or carbs.
Sweet foods are highly desirable due the powerful impact sugar has on the reward system in the brain. The neurotransmitter dopamine is released by neurons in this system in response to a rewarding event.
Drugs such as cocaine, amphetamines and nicotine activate the system that leads to intense feelings of reward that can result in cravings and addiction. So drugs and sugar both activate the same reward system in the brain, causing the release of dopamine.
Unfortunately, what many health experts fail to understand, is that while it is indeed true that drugs and sugar light up the same part of the brain, so do hugs and small puppies and smelling flowers and getting a compliment and basically anything that brings humans, pleasure.
So many of us FEEL addicted to sugar. However, it turn out though, just because we ‘feel’ addicted, doesn’t mean we are PHYSICALLY addicted.
When we’re physically addicted to drugs it’s potentially life-threatening to withdraw from. Alcohol withdraw can kill you. Heroin is a horrendous to come off.
We don’t get life-threatening symptoms when we stop eating sugar. We might get a headache and feel lethargic for a few days. That’s it.
How to handle cravings?
Cravings usually kick in because when we deny ourselves something, when we tell ourselves we’re never going to eat again or we try and detox it, we automatically can’t stop thinking about it. Food is literally on the brain.
Don’t think about a pink elephant.
Bet you thought of a pink elephant!
If you think of cravings as your body’s way of communicating with you, then indulging your cravings would mean giving your body what it’s asking for – this is intuitive eating.
In this case, indulging your cravings is something to be celebrated (yep!): it indicates that you’re in tune with your bodies cues, and that you’re able to decode your cravings and decipher what you really want and need.
You probably want (and need) food (if restricting).
You probably need self care, to stand up for yourself, rest, a holiday, setting boundaries, talk to a counselor, pleasure or getting back into a hobby, for example.
When you have a craving for something sweet for example. It’s better to allow yourself to eat one or two biscuits mindfully. Because if you ignore the craving, what could have been a couple of biscuits, often end up being the whole pack later on.
Can you relate?
If you want to stop the self-sabotage with food, you must stop the deprivation.
No deprivation = no binge!
Explore these questions:
1. Why do I overeat?
2. Would I still eat this way if it didn’t impact my weight?
Food, eating and body image are deeply entwined. Many women report to me that they would still continue to eat the way they do (especially emotional eating) if they didn’t put on weight.
So are we worried about the eating or the weight gain? Food for thought there ♥
If you’re trapped in a vicious cycle with food, weight, dieting, and you’re NOT seeing results, you may want to open your mind to the possibility that a new way of thinking (NOT a new diet) could actually change your relationship with food permanently.
If you’re curious about working with me, the next step is to get in touch with me here.