Fight those sugar cravings!

Do you crave a sweet treat after every meal? Or at the same time every day?

 Sugar cravings are common and can often be explained by simple things, like the side effects from certain foods in your diet or a bad habit that has reprogrammed your brain.

What Causes Sugar Cravings?

The most common triggers for sugar cravings include:

  • You’re Not Getting Enough Protein or Fat

A ketogenic diet is more than eating fewer carbs and avoiding added sugar.

You must replace the carbs you stop eating with adequate protein and fat. If you cut carbs and you’re not replacing those calories with enough protein and fat, you’re bound to have cravings.

And those will most likely come in the form of sugar cravings.

If you’re combining keto with intermittent fasting (IF), it’s possibly you’re not getting enough calories. If you’re suffering from sugar cravings while practicing IF, track your calories during your eating window. You may need to add more food.

  • Hard Workouts

Working out is the key to weight loss, muscle-building, better moods, and living a healthy life. But it can also lead to sugar cravings if you’re not fuelling correctly pre- and post-sweat sesh.

Make sure to get plenty of  fat before and after hard workouts.

If you’re still craving sugar after a hard workout, you may want to consider a keto expert

Hard workouts combined with this next factor double the chances of sugar cravings.

  • Dehydration

Sugar cravings may strike when you’re just thirsty.

Three grams of water are stored alongside every gram of glycogen[*]. So when your glycogen stores empty (a byproduct of getting into ketosis), you’ll also lose stored water and become more prone to dehydration.

Your body’s hunger and satiety hormones become unbalanced when you’re dehydrated. These hormones trigger hunger pangs and sugar cravings as a way to get more liquid into your system[*].

Your hormones also go a bit haywire when you’re short on snooze time.

  • Poor Sleep

Not clocking enough sleep will cause your body to crave quick “pick-me-ups” in the form of sugar and caffeine the following day.

Just one night of crummy sleep leads to

  • An increase in ghrelin, aka the “hunger” hormone.
  • A decrease in leptin, or the hormone that tells your body to stop eating when you’re full.
What to do?

Consider these  quick tips for success while you plan long-term behaviour changes to minimise cravings:

  1. Recognise bad habits. Have an alternative the moment you get a craving; it could be doing 10 jumping jacks or drinking a glass of water. Start a new healthy habit.
  2. Incorporate more healthy  fats into your diet. Avoid snacks/meals that are made up of all carbohydrates. And reduce artificial sweetener intake.
  3. Get sufficient, better quality, and consistent sleep.
  4. Seek serotonin from other sources. Try green tea, walnuts, eggs, cheese, or increasing your exercise routine to boost your serotonin level.
  5. Reach for foods or supplements that contain highly absorbable forms of magnesium, zinc, iron, and calcium.

Stay Healthy | Stay fit