Ask someone if the they regularly crave sugar, and they will likely answer, "Yes".
Over the last five years a plethora of research has been published on the negative impacts that the over-consumption of sugar can have on our bodies. Sure, this research is helpful in pin-pointing exactly what sugar does in the body, however, what it doesn't do is explain WHY we crave sugar, and WHAT to do about it.
Knowing WHY you crave sugar, despite the fact that we know it can harm our bodies, will help us to find the solution in preventing the cravings.
If you experience constant (daily/hourly) sugar cravings here are some of the culprits:
1. Lack of sleep
Sleep is super important in the blood sugar balancing act. When people are sleep deprived, they typically feel low energy. The feelings of fatigue and low motivation from lack of sleep, tend to push people toward eating sugary foods so that they can experience the infamous "sugar high".
Oddly enough, this becomes a vicious cycle. Why?
Well, when we are sleep deprived, our bodies don't control insulin as well. Insulin is the key that unlocks your cells so that sugar in the blood stream can be delivered into the cell to make energy (ATP). If the key is missing, then the lock on the cell can't be opened and sugar will stay in the blood stream. And, let me tell you, sugar in the blood stream does no good. In fact, sugar in the blood stream (high blood glucose) can be dangerous.
But, it also makes your cells "feel" low energy because they can't get any sugar to make into fuel.
What happens when the cells can't get sugar from the blood stream, and therefore can't make energy? Yes, you guessed it; what happens is that you crave more sugar. The body misinterprets the lack of sugar in the cell as a lack of sugar in the body. So, even though there is sugar in the blood stream, you crave more sugar (because your cells need it but it's stuck in your blood stream). Then you eat more sugar, and the whole cycle starts over.
Sleep is sugar's worst enemy. Sleep sleep sleep!
2. You are not eating enough protein
Protein increases leptin. Leptin is a chemical that tells your brain you are full. Leptin is your friend. Protein and leptin are friends too. Eat 15 to 40 grams of protein per meal and snack.
Eating protein also decreases ghrelin