Here I am, starting day four of my “No Sugar for 30 days Challenge”. And so far I’ve done really, really well.
But the cravings?
Yea, those are tough.
So let’s talk about them, shall we?
Why We Have Sugar Cravings
Our bodies can crave sugar for many reasons. One reason is a sign of hormonal imbalance caused by our diet. You see, when we don’t eat the right nourishing foods for our bodies, it causes nutritional deficiencies and bad digestion. When that happens, our hormones are out of whack. Both of these things (nutritional deficiencies and imbalanced hormones) lead to low serotonin.
And wouldn’t you know, sugars and simple carbs give us a short boost of serotonin. A quick mood booster if you will. It’s like your body is trying to tell you something.
Another reason for cravings is adrenal fatigue or lowered function of our adrenals. Again, this one is tied to our bodies trying to elevate our mood. When we are stressed for periods of time our adrenals have a very hard time regulating hormones and mood, which of course make us crave the things that can elevate it, even for a short amount of time. Unfortunately, these short little pick-me-ups, do more harm than good.
Reason number three for sugar cravings: Candida yeast overgrowth. What you need to know is all of us have bacteria and yeast in our digestive system. The problem comes in when the candida yeast grows too big for its britches! The overgrowth can easily start by a round of antibiotics since the rest of the good bacteria in your system is killed off along with the bad. After antibiotics you may be sick over and over again, unable to fight off future infections after taking them, as well as have symptoms of yeast overgrowth. (eczema, fatigue, cravings, unstable mood) This yeast actually feeds on sugar. So when you begin to cut sugar out of your diet, it begins to die off, which is a very good thing. Problem is, the yeast doesn’t want to die off, so your body then gets signaled to eat more sugar.
So how do we overcome them?
Dealing with Sugar Cravings
I’m no expert, but I’ll share with you the few ways I’ve always dealt with them.
- Removing all sweets from the home. Since I rarely buy sweets for home or bake sweets at home, this was quite easy for me this time around. In the past, I had to get rid of a lot!
- Have fresh veggies cut up, or have plenty of fruit on hand and ready to snack on in the fridge. This helps me out immensely when I just want something right now!
- Have a glass of water. Sometimes when I think I’m hungry, I really just need to hydrate myself. Need it flavored? Add a good squeeze of lemon.
- Drink a hot beverage. I’ve been sipping on cups of tea sweetened with honey as well as Teechino (available on Amazon)sweetened with maple syrup. And the fact that it takes so long to sip, seems to melt them away. (a small amount of natural sugars is fine in my book – I use about 1 teaspoon)
- I’m making sure I eat some homemade sauerkraut each day as well as yogurt and/or kefir smoothies. These fermented and cultured products are a wonderful source of good bacteria to help me balance my gut flora.
- Take probiotics for the same reason as above.
- Consume more coconut oil! One of my favorite oils is supposedly an antifungal which helps get rid of the yeast. I’ve also heard that coconut oil can help because the medium chain fatty acid breaks down and is rapidly metabolized to glucose thus providing a source of the energy your sugar craving is telling you that you need.
- On the same note, garlic does the same thing, so I think I’ll have to whip up some more garlic herb butter.
- Drink a mix of honey and apple cider vinegar in water. For some reason, this helps take away my “want” for dessert.
- I also made up some healthy, grain-free, made with sugar brownies that were pretty good. (making a sweet treat at home IS going to be better for you than a store-bought alternative. Just be mindful of how often you indulge.)
So tell me, how are you doing going without sugar? I’m excited that there are so many of you trying your best to give up sugar with me! Have you been dealing with cravings? Or what about ‘detox’ type symptoms (headache, fatigue, etc.)?
Looking for more help with sugar?
The last couple of years now, we’ve done a sugar detox challenge after the holidays. It’s been so popular that this year I turned our challenge into an easy to read ebook. You can check out the Sugar Detox Challenge book (available on Amazon). It even includes 18 recipes for “healthier” sweet treats!
I used to be quite attached to sugar as I’m sure some of you are, but I had no idea how to reduce my consumption and then replace refined sugars with natural ones.
Whether you’re just starting on your journey to ‘real’ and natural foods, or you’ve been on this road for some time and just need a bit of encouragement, this ebook is for you!
As our Standard American Diet dictates, most of us are addicted to refined sugars. Not only do we dump them into our coffee, and inhale cookies, it’s hidden in almost every processed food we buy. And the problem is, the more we eat it, the more our body craves it.
Along with the 8 weekly challenges you’ll also find:
- My Story with Sugar
- What’s Wrong with Sugar
- Know Your Good Sugars
- Dealing with Cravings
- Links to recipes using natural sweeteners