Everybody loves a bit of sugar which is fine in moderation; however some people do find it hard to curb their cravings and will not be able to stop themselves from eating 1 too many chocolate bars.
When we eat something to satisfy that sweet tooth, the sugar releases endorphins in our brain that make us feel happy and full of life. We all know this as the sugar rush.
The opposite end of this is the sugar crash where our bodies release insulin quickly to devour the carbohydrates. Usually this is too much too fast hence the sugar crash.
What we then do is eat some more sugar to get that good feeling back and the cycle starts all over again.
The issue with this is, the more the up and down cycle happens, your body will start to get what’s called insulin resistance and your body will need more and more insulin to deal with the sugar.
It will come to a point where your body cannot generate enough insulin and you will end up with Type 2 diabetes.
“A lot of us don’t realise that a teaspoon of sugar contains 4 calories per gram and on overage we will have around 18-22 teaspoons of sugar a day! That is a lot of calories!”
The American Heart Association advises that men are supposed to add no more than 9 teaspoons of sugar to their diet a day, and 6 for women.
It is important to read nutritional labels on products, as that is the only way to know how much sugar is in products and that way you can adjust your additional sugar amounts accordingly.
If you are like the majority of people and get regular sugar cravings, take a look at these ways to help reduce them:
1) Chewing gum – research has shown that if you chew a piece of gum you will reduce the need for sugar.
2) Do not deny yourself sugar – Reduce the amount of sugar that you have been having. Have a smaller chocolate bar as if you deny yourself the sugar your craving will take over you will end up eating double.
3) Eat regularly – If you eat 5-6 smaller meals each day rather than 3, a lot of what you eat will have the added sugar therefore this will reduce your cravings. (As long as you make sure you are not going over your daily calorie goal, eat smart and healthy!)
4) Have some fruit – You will get nutrients and fibre from eating fruit and the natural sugar that is in fruit will curb your cravings.
5) Quit sugar all together! – Sugar is an addiction and if you find yourself not being able to control that sweet tooth, sometimes it is better to bite the bullet and go cold turkey! 48-72 hours will be the hardest and when you will want to eat more sweet things than ever before, however it will get easier and your sugar cravings will be gone! It works in exactly the same way as any other addiction so be prepared for tough times ahead!