A member in our Haven membership program posted this question asking if I had any solutions for her sugar cravings. We all get them–that strange, relentless feeling in our body that is difficult to pinpoint. It feels like a bit of anxiety, mixed with anticipation, mixed with yearning. Sugar cravings have interrupted most of us at some point on our weight-loss journey. Once you can tune-in to your body and identify it’s root, you will be well on your way to ending this nasty diet saboteur forever.
An important principle to remember about food and our health is that your body is designed to be healthy. Cravings, especially sugar cravings, are your body’s response to some type of imbalance. They are not hunger, and therefore we should not feed as such. It is our body’s way of telling us that something is lacking. When you can understand this principle, hopefully you will take a better approach to satisfying your cravings the next time.
When you experience a sweet craving, the first step to take is to ask yourself if it’s emotional (and therefore spiritual) or physical.
If it’s emotional, then check out this post: How to satisfy your spiritual hunger.
Emotional hunger is a whole lot more complicated and requires a completely different response. Check out our free Weight Loss, God’s Way Program if you struggle with emotional eating.
If you’ve checked with your body and realize that there is no emotion driving you to want sugar, then go to Step 2 which is to look at your meal or your last few meals.
- Too many carbs? How many carbohydrates did you consume during your meal? Remember this quip, ‘you crave what you eat and you eat what you crave.’ So if you just finished polishing off a bowl of pasta with sauce, then you’re more likely to crave something sweet after your meal. To solve this problem, add some fat, fibre, or protein to your meal to satiate you and not leave you with the feeling of wanting more.
- Not enough protein? This may go hand in hand with consuming too many carbs, but is not always necessarily the case. Be sure your breakfast and lunches contain good servings of protein like eggs, chicken, tuna, or yoghurts to help keep your body balanced and feeling satisfied.
- Not enough water? Your body may actually be dehydrated and craving water which you may be mistaking for a sugar craving. Water will give you a sense of fullness and will also help your liver to function more efficiently, which will in turn, help you to lose weight naturally. Give it a try first and see if it helps your sugar cravings.
- Too much salt? Remember, God has naturally designed our bodies to be in good health and naturally balance itself. Too much of one thing will cause imbalances in other areas. If you’re craving sugar, it could be because you consumed too much sodium in your meal or previous meals.
- Deprivation? This can also trigger sugar cravings. In our attempts to lose weight, many of us restrict our carbohydrates too low. Remember that our body is wonderfully made and will always seek to re-balance itself. Carbohydrates are not the enemy. Over-consumption and eating the wrong types of carbs are the problem. In our program, we encourage women to eat 100-150 grams of carbohydrates depending on their body weight and a variety of other factors.
Here are a couple other interesting points on cravings other than sweet cravings:
- Chocolate can indicate a need for MAGNESIUM which can be found in raw nuts, dark leafy greens, tofu, legumes and nuts.
- Toast can indicate a need for NITROGEN which can be found in high protein foods.
- Salty foods can indicate a need for CHLORIDE which can be found in fish.
- Overeating can indicate a need for TRYPTOPHAN which can be found in cheese, liver, or sweet potatoes. It can also indicate a lack of MANGANESE which can be found in pecans, pineapple, blueberries.
To learn more about our meal plans and recipes for low-carb eating, check out our program here: Healthy by Design Meal Plan and Program
To your health,