Guest contributor Jen VanLandingham looks at the motivations behind sugar cravings and offers some tips in managing them so they don’t disrupt your #strong lifestyle.
Sugar cravings. Who doesn’t struggle with them?
I see sugary candies saturating the grocery store and eventually making their way to my watering mouth. Just like many people, I do sometimes have a desire for sugary things. I can simply glance at a package of Sour Patch Kids, and I salivate.
A sugar craving is the body’s way of signaling that it needs energy. We consume sugar, experience a “sugar rush,” and then we crash. This may lead to a cycle throughout the day where we consume something sugary, we become hungry again after an hour, and then consume more sugar.
These “simple sugars,” like Oreo cookies, sugary sodas, etc., do not provide the energy we need to get through the day. One simple solution is to increase intake of naturally sweet foods like cooked carrots, corn, beets, squash and fruits.
In some cases, a sugar craving may be a sign that we are craving something more from life.
It may be a sign that we are bored. When do you find yourself most craving sugar? Is it when you’re sitting in front of your computer at work all day? Or perhaps it’s at home when no one else is around, and the television wins out for the night’s entertainment.
I know that for me, a sugar craving comes when I’m feeling down or lonely. I notice that when I give myself the space to feel those feelings through, the sugar craving passes. It is just a temporary desire for something that I am capable of fulfilling without the need for unhealthy foods.
Here are some tips on how to curb sugar cravings:
Crowd Out: Instead of depriving yourself completely of sugary foods, try adding in more naturally sweet foods like raw honey with rice cakes, fruits, and sweet vegetables.
Add More Creativity: If you sense that your sugar cravings are linked to boredom, add a fun and creative project or hobby to your life. Daily journaling, knitting, drawing or taking cooking classes may add some spice into your life.
Practice More Self-Love: Take yourself out on a date. Buy yourself some flowers. Celebrate yourself. Sugar cravings may be a sign of needing more time for yourself.
Jen VanLandingham is a Certified, Integrative Nutrition Health Coach located in Cincinnati, OH.