“Craving — and eating — sugar is not simply about willpower or emotions. (That’s true because I’ve not had willpower for a long time and because I am a therapist I am in COMPLETE control of my emotions . . . ) We now understand that there may be several underlying physiologic causes feeding what feels like a desperate desire for sugar. For one thing, it can affect our brains in the same ways drugs and alcohol can, making it addictive.”
“Can’t lose weight — no matter what you do?
Extra sugar and carbohydrates that aren’t being used by the body are generally stored in the liver as glycogen. If the liver is full, your body will make fat from the extra sugar and store it in existing fat deposits around your body, (AROUND my body like a bloated hula-hoop) which is why there is such a direct link between sugar and weight gain.”
“Sugar can also directly affect you hormonally by turning off a gene that controls your sex hormones. Without this sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) gene, levels of testosterone and estrogen can become unregulated, leading to symptoms like fatigue, anxiety, irritability, and more.(MORE, there’s MORE?!)”
So here’s what you can do to stop your sugar cravings and all the corresponding health effects:
Bob Blobfish sez: “Here she goes . . .again”
“Step 1: Balance your hormones. Just before menstruation, when estrogen is low and progesterone is on its way down, beta-endorphin levels in your brain are at their lowest. These cyclical hormonal and neurotransmitter fluctuations may explain why many women who experience PMS and perimenopause also have sugar cravings and the accompanying serotonin–endorphin bursts that high-sugar foods can provide.” (Hormones? – at my age there aren’t any left to balance)
“Step 2: Add nutrients. Specific micronutrients like zinc, vitamin C and the B vitamins are particularly helpful in calming sugar cravings by influencing serotonin production. Equally important are omega-3’s, which are crucial for regulating mood and inflammation — factors that are both associated with cravings.”
“Step 3: Mix protein (or fiber) with pleasure. Combining treats with a stick of cheese, a few nuts, a glass of milk, or some vegetables will help balance the sugar and insulin surge and allow a gentler increase in blood sugar and insulin. Protein shakes make great snacks, too.”
“Step 4: Investigate intestinal yeast. (Investigate? Sounds like yet another TV show – Intestinal Yeast Miami) Yeast thrives on sugar. If your intestinal (and vaginal) bacteria are out of balance, they are more likely to welcome yeasts like Candida.(Isn’t Candida is one of the stars on the TV show Mistresses?) An overgrowth of yeast in the intestine (or system-wide) can lead to extremely intense cravings for sugar, fatigue, fuzzy thinking, and digestive issues. Going on a yeast-free diet is the first step to eliminating these sugar-hungry cells because they can’t live without sugar and refined carbohydrates. Take away their food and they go away.”
“Step 5: Avoid acid-forming foods. Red meat is high in a pro-inflammatory molecule called arachidonic acid. Eating a lot of meat and refined carbohydrates tends to increase inflammation and acidity, causing the body to crave sweet foods in an attempt to maintain balance. Choosing anti-inflammatory foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, as well as those that are alkalizing and antioxidant-rich, such as fruits and vegetables, can offset the damage and the cravings associated with this dynamic.”sensitivities
“Step 6: Explore food sensitivities. Food are more and more common these days and they can lead to extra sugar intake by leaving us foggy-headed and fatigued. These symptoms logically drive many of us to a sugar pick-me-up to feel better or complete our daily tasks. (ah it is logical why I drive to Ben & Jerry’s to pay a social visit) The most common food allergies are to gluten and dairy, but others to explore are corn, eggs, soy, peanuts, and citrus.
“Step 7: Lower your stress. Any stressful situation can lead to less than optimal eating habits, but stress itself increases cortisol levels, which eventually increases hunger hormones. This can push many women with stressful jobs and lifestyles into a pattern of nighttime cravings, over-eating, and unwanted weight gain. (Tell me about it . . . ) Over time, these women reach adrenal imbalance and extreme exhaustion. And they find the only way to get through the day is to drink lots of caffeine and consume sugar for quick energy bursts.” (not to mention the only way to get through the night)
“Step 8: Refrain from sugar for 3-5 days in a row.We know how hard it can be to do, but avoiding sugar for just three days can make a huge difference for some women. Trust us on this one! For others, it may take longer for their cravings to diminish. But eliminating the cyclical crash-and-burn bursts of serotonin and beta-endorphin from sugar and refined carbohydrates can help your body normalize its receptors and neurotransmitters. This way, your brain isn’t constantly sending the message that it needs more sugar.” (I’m blessed that even with a completely fogged-out brain the message I need sugar still gets through)