10 Natural Ways to Beat Sugar Cravings
We all have the best intentions of limiting our intake of refined carbohydrates and sugars, but sugar cravings can make it hard to resist temptation.
Sugar cravings can be a signal that our blood glucose levels have dipped too low, and having an occasional craving is normal. According to the USDA, the average American consumes 156 pounds of added sugars per year -- this is not including natural sugars found in foods! These excessive amounts of addictive sugars cause glucose levels to spike and surge, leaving us with intense cravings that are hard to resist and put us at increased risk for chronic health conditions such as diabetes. Below are some easy ways to help manage these cravings.
High fiber foods can help you feel full faster and longer. Be sure to drink lots of water when consuming large amounts of fiber to prevent constipation.
Be sure to get proper sleep. Lack of sufficient sleep causes an increase in hunger hormones cortisol and ghrelin, while decreasing leptin, an appetite suppressing hormone.
L-Glutamine is an amino acid that helps produce neurtransmitters related to satiety. I often recommend glutamine to manage overall hunger in addition to sugar cravings. Athletes and individuals under high stress often have low glutamine levels as it is easily depleted by high cortisol (the stress hormone) levels. This is also an important nutrient for the gut and immune system.
Inositol is in the B-vitamin family and helps to manage hunger. An inositol deficiency can present as sugar cravings.
Chromium is key in blood glucose regulation and is needed to balance blood sugar levels. Taking proper doses of chromium can help prevent blood sugar dips and spikes that lead to cravings.
Increase your serotonin. Many times we reach for carbohydrate rich foods to increase our serotonin. This hormone makes us feel good, and is the exact reason why we enjoy eating carbohydrate rich foods. Exercise is a great way to increase serotonin levels.
5-HTP is a natural supplement that increases your body's own production of serotonin. (Not recommended for individuals taking prescription meds, especially SSRI's)
Gymnema Sylvestre is a botanical that is very potent at reducing sugar cravings. It can stop carb cravings within minutes (with proper dosing). Because such a high dose is needed to be effective, I prefer taking this in tincture form for potency.
8. Slender Shot
Our "Slender shot" is a custom nutrient injection containing inositol, methionine, choline, and various B vitamins to help to control cravings, utilize fat for energy, and support the liver and brain.
9. Ditch the artificial sweeteners
Do NOT try to replace sugars with artificial sweeteners. Although, they may not have any calories, these sweeteners still create a spike in insulin, leading you reach for high calorie foods.
10. Vitamin D
Check your Vitamin D levels - inadequate levels may cause you to feel tired and hungry all the time. Proper Vitamin D levels support leptin levels (the satiety hormone), immune function, and hormone balance.
Constant hunger and sugar cravings can be a sign of diabetes or prediabetes so be sure to regularly check these markers with your doctor.
This content is not intended to be a substitute for diagnosis or treatment.
For personalized medical support, schedule a consultation with Dr. Wills.
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