How to Stop Sugar Cravings – Understanding the Root Causes for Better Health

Those of us that crave sugar know just how addictive sweet foods are and how they can lead to weight gain and low self esteem as we continue to eat and eat even though we do not feel hungry. This craving for saccharin food has a number of different sources, some physical and some psychological and understanding these causes is key to understanding how to stop sugar cravings.

There are two physical reasons for sugar cravings:

Adrenaline

When our body needs energy it secretes a hormone called adrenaline which boosts our awareness, reaction speed and other functions to deal with an emergency. This was a defense mechanism when we relied on our fight or flight instincts but that we rarely use in today's society. We do however trigger the need for energy in other ways primarily being stress. Stress caused by dealing with work situations or relationships also release adrenalin even though we perhaps do not need such energy hits. The downside to this is that these stressful situations drain the body of energy and it leads to a need for a quick energy hit such as sugar. In a high stress environment this can happen many times leading to a vicious cycle of sugar cravings and addiction.

Serotonin
The hormone serotonin is the feel good part of our bodily system. Sugars release short bursts of serotonin making us feel good for a while but it quickly fades, this can be dangerous when our body has low serotonin levels as the short high we get from a sugar hit does not change the naturally low levels which lead to more and more hits of sugar to feel good again. Hormonal imbalanced and poor nutrition are the main culprits when it comes to serotonin levels and changing your diet and exercise to fix your metabolism is the only real cure.

There is also a psychological aspect to sugar addiction. Sometimes this is started by a physical craving listed above but can become a habit to eat sugar and while there is no physical craving there is a mental craving as it feels comforting even if your serotonin levels are high. Usually eating sugar is then a response to some problem in your life or it has become a structure of your life. Always eating desserts can leads to this being a habit after every meal or even snack for instance. Sometimes it may be a response to being bored and the small sugary high you get alleviates this for a moment and still others may be triggered by advertising or by situations that have a pavlovic effect on us.

So, on how to stop sugar cravings we still do not have a definite answer as it can be a multitude of things. However making sure you fix your diet and exercise regime so that you increase your serotonin levels is essential to this. Also if you are living or working in a high stress environment you need to find ways of lowering that stress so you do not release so much energy in situations that do not require it. Lastly if your think your cravings are more psychologically based you need to find some other more healthy and constructive outlet to replace this habit.

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