Usually it happens in the afternoon, sometimes also after dinner. Actually, at any moment when we feel depleted or energy-less. The need for something sweet, and right away, causes many of us to take another bite from our dessert, break another piece off the chocolate bar or just go through, mindlessly, a package of cookies in front of the TV.
As I’ve mentioned previously, sugar is one of the substances that helps us with emotional issues, regardless of hunger. Moreover, neglecting our basic metabolic requirements such as drinking water, getting enough shut-eye and a balanced diet, is likely to increase cravings for anything sweet.
Sugar triggers release of dopamine (a neurotransmitter that increases energy, mental concentration awareness and creativity) in the brain. Our brain, which enjoys this sensation will make us reach out to sweats again. However, as with any addiction, we develop tolerance which leads to needing higher and more frequent doses and the cravings increase.
Here are some pointers how to balance the cravings:
Keep your energy reserves in check. Ensure enough sleep, water and protein consumption. A lack of either one will increase cravings.
Proteins for breakfast: A protein focused breakfast is likely to keep hunger at bay for loner.
A balanced diet: Eat mostly whole, non-processed food. It will keep your satiety for longer.
The gut-mind connection: be tuned to internal sensations and stay away from grazing.
Resist: to make sure you don’t get hooked on sweets and sugar, reduce the frequency and quantity of consumption. It’s better to have one king size dessert once a week than a habit of frequent reaching out to the sweets.
Diversify: when you use repeatedly consume the same type of food, dopamine secretion declines, therefore it’s better to have a variety of foods in a mindful and planned manner.
Don’t be too strict: staying on a flexible diet rather than a too strict one is the key. You may even have some junk-food from time to time, just make sure that most of the time you don’t.