Written by Dr. Sandra Miranda, ND
I know craving sugar can be a powerful urge. I talk to many women who are fully aware they are hooked and others who don’t think they eat a lot of sweets at all…until they start keeping track. Yikes! The truth is, that once you eat it, it becomes harder and harder to stop. Sugar can contribute to many health problems.
Here are some tips to help you stop:
1.- Commit to not eating sugar for 5 days! No way? If you eat a more protein then it becomes easier to accomplish this. For example, have more chicken, fish, eggs, cooked beans, lentils, plain greek yogurt with fruit, etc.
2.- Do a yeast cleanse – this is especially beneficial if you have a history of taking a lot of antibiotics or hormones or antacids in the past, if you suffer from yeast or bladder infections or if you experience a hard type of bloating and bowel irregularity.
3.- Balance your hormones – You will need some professional help with testing your hormones. The best method is through a saliva hormone test. It can check your insulin, estrogen, progesterone, testosterone and your stress hormone called cortisol. An imbalance with any of these hormones can cause sugar cravings. This is especially important if you find that your cravings are cyclical or worse when you are tired or stressed.
4.- Drink your water – Yes, you need 8 glasses of water. Clinically we see patients benefitting from this all the time. No, your pop or coffee is not considered part of your water intake. You can include your herbal teas as part of it (as long as you are not adding sugar to it). Our bodies can misinterpret thirst for hunger.
5.- Go to sleep earlier – this is especially important if you crave sweets in the evening. There is an overwhelming body of research that has established that there is a link between lack of sleep and sweet cravings. We need 7 to 8 hours and most people are only getting approximately 6 hours.
Most importantly, keep busy with fun activities because that will balance your biochemistry. If you are lacking positive energy and happiness, you will look to fill that void with sugar. Remember cravings only last 10 minutes – so when the urge hits, get distracted with a positive activity and the craving shall pass!