Learning how to stop eating sugar and overcome the sweet tooth battles is not something that can be done overnight. In fact, craving sweets is usually cyclical and can happen after a bad day at the office, during peak hormonal changes for women, and even seasonally when the days become shorter. Here are 5 surprising reasons you may be craving sweets:
While it seems like a daily part of life, stress leads to less than optimal eating habits. When a person is feeling stressed, their cortisol levels increase and lessen their hunger pains. Once the stress is gone, the body produces more hunger hormones which can lead to late night snacking, overeating, weight gain and adrenal imbalance. Once this imbalance occurs, the person experiences extreme amounts of exhaustion and find the only way to make it through their day is by grabbing for their sugary snacks for the quick bursts of energy they provide. The cycle then repeats and sugar cravings increase. To reduce your stress levels, practice mindfulness and reach for healthier snacks that will give the real energy you need to get through tough times.
During peak hormonal phases, women are prone to craving sweets. The serotonin and endorphin bursts provided by sugary treats give the body a natural high and temporarily improve moods.
Leptin & Insulin Resistance
When you have survived on a diet high in refined carbs for an extended period of time, your body is not able to access the glucose it needs to produce energy. The glucose remains in your blood stream instead of entering cells and signals the brain to increase insulin levels. When insulin levels are increased, so are cravings for sweets.
Leaky Gut Syndrome
This is becoming more and more common as the American diet includes more processed foods. Leaky gut occurs when partially digested food particles get into the blood stream through damaged digestive track linings. These particles are seen as foreign by the body and in response, the body launches an attack with antibodies. When these antibodies combine with the substance the body deemed foreign, it leads to immune complexes which can also cause intense cravings.
Lack of Positive Energy
Perhaps the most surprising of the five, a lack of positive energy in our lives impacts our biochemistry. When a person is exercising regularly, eating a balanced diet, feeling fulfilled in their career or family responsibilities, developing positive relationships and enjoying sunny days their serotonin and endorphin levels are high as well. It’s when happiness and positive energies are missing from one’s life that they are more likely to turn to sugar to fill the void.