Melanie Grime/ December 3, 2015/ Melanie Grime

Cookies decorated

Beat the Dessert Table Temptation

We all know that sugar isn’t good for us and that it’s not essential to survive, so why are we still hooked? The top 2 reasons are

  1. Eating even a small amount creates a desire for more; and
  2. Sudden quitting causes withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, mood swings, cravings and fatigue.

It’s important to realize that sugar is an addictive substance – just like caffeine and even drugs & alcohol. We often put it all down to lack of willpower but this isn’t the case so don’t blame yourself for being “weak” or give up when you fall off the wagon.

When it comes to sugar, it is not simply that we don’t have the willpower or discipline to control our cravings – there are some deeper, physiological and biological reasons behind our urge.

I have helped numerous clients understand why they have those uncontrollable cravings, and what they can do to reduce them naturally and gradually over time. When we understand the reason behind those cravings, we have a much better chance to outsmart them and curb them using ways other than sugar and take back control!

Energy Fix

Cravings for sugar or refined carbohydrates can happen when our body needs an energy fix.  Our body can extract energy from sugar very quickly, and is therefore the “food of choice” when a quick fix is needed.

To avoid the need for an energy quick fix, eat for sustained energy. Eat meals that are low in glycemic load – whole unprocessed foods such as whole grains, vegetables, and beans are great choices. They are high in fiber, which moderates the speed at which the sugar is absorbed by the body. Also, make sure you include a moderate amount of good fat and lean protein to slow down stomach emptying and increase satiety.

To support the body’s energy production, increase intake of foods rich in vitamin Bs – they are vital in our body’s energy production cycle. Good choices are whole grains, wheat germ, and brewer’s yeast.

Dehydration

Cravings and fatigue can be caused by dehydration. Our body often misinterprets the sensation of thirst as hunger. Next time when you feel your cravings coming on, drink a glass of water, wait 15 minutes, and see if you are still hungry.

Nutrient Deficiency

Cravings can be a sign of nutrient deficiency. Cravings for different flavor or texture can translate to a lack of various nutrients. If you crave sugary food, you may look into deficiencies in chromium, sulfur and the amino acid tryptophan.

Low Protein Intake

If you have a relatively low protein diet and tend to crave sugar and feel fatigue easily, try increasing your protein intake, or experiment with the type of protein in your diet. Besides meat, poultry & fish you can try nuts and seeds, good quality cheese in moderate amount, as well as eggs, Greek yogurt, lentils and beans.

Melanie Grime is a holistic nutritionist serving the Orangeville, Dufferin, Wellington and Caledon areas. Melanie Grime RHN treats everyone as an individual with their own specific needs and helps clients suffering from health issues by looking for the root cause of symptoms and working with them to reach their health and nutrition goals. She specializes in weight loss, detox nutritional consulting and family nutrition.