Tonic Newsletter Curb Sugar, Curb Cravings


Sugar cravings are the worst. It’s like a li!le army of critters tormenting you until you feed them M&M’s. Eating sugar creates a vicious cycle spurred on by addiction. There are many different theories on the causes of sugar cravings, including food allergies, adrenal fatigue, monthly hormonal changes in women, and plenty more. In the case of food allergies, we can crave what we’re allergic to in order to avoid withdrawal symptoms. When adrenal fatigue is involved and your system is overworked, your body asks for the “pick-me-up” that sugars temporarily supply. Unfortunately, sugar stresses your body, so this only worsens the condition. A hormonal imbalance might cause you to reach for chocolate, chips or bread. So what’s going on?

1. You didn’t eat enough, or you ate the wrong things. When you don’t eat enough calories, your body starts looking for fuel as a way to catch up. That’s when sugar cravings comes out to play. Sugar gives you quick energy, even though it’s not necessarily good

energy. One way to get around this little puzzle is to just choose something sweet with artificial sweetener in it, right? Wrong! Artificial sweeteners might momentarily satisfy that sweet craving, but they trick your body into thinking it’s getting fuel when it’s not. Your body soon goes looking for more calories in the form of sugar, and boom, you’re right back where you started. Calories are the only thing that provide real energy so eat them consistently, in the form of whole foods, and break the sugar cravings cycle once and for all.

2. You’ve picked up a bad habit. Some people check their mobile phone without even realising it. Some people bite their lip or pick their nails. And some people have tea and biscuits everyday at 3pm. All of these are just habits. When something becomes a habit, especially when it comes to food, you have to ask yourself if you are even aware you’re doing it? Do you really want to be doing it? When you’re hungry and you haven’t eaten enough throughout the day, breaking a 3pm tea and biscuits habit is going be challenging. But if you start to eat more consistently throughout the day and get in enough of the right types of calories, then your defences are up and it’s easier to change the habit. One suggestion to change the habit is to go for a sweet herbal tea when you have a sweet craving. Not sweet like sugar, but rather naturally sweet teas such Teapigs liquorice and peppermint or apple and cinnamon that has no calories and nothing artificial in it. I’ve tried this and it works.

3. You ate too much starch and not enough fat and/or protein. When you eat a heavy, starchy meal, like a big bowl of spaghetti, you’re pretty much setting yourself up for a sweet craving. All that pasta with no fibre or protein (and depending on the sauce perhaps not enough fat) is like a big bowl of sugar. Those calories are absorbed fast and they do not keep you feeling full or satisfied. In other words, that bowl of pasta doesn’t provide satiety like protein or fat does. To change this first practice proper portion control, then add a portion of lean protein. You need a little protein to help you feel satisfied, and/or a little olive oil for some healthy fat. I also suggest lots of veggies, with lean protein topped off with a little pasta versus the other way around.