Have you been dealing with sugar cravings for a while now? Maybe it’s time to figure out the reason why it has been a persistent issue for you- most likely, it’s not just because you have a “sweet tooth”. There are many reasons why your body is telling you to eat sugar. In our previous blog posts, we have touched on a few reasons, but here is a more comprehensive list to help you reevaluate!
If in addition to your persistent sugar cravings, you are experiencing excess fatigue, bloating, GI irregularities, moodiness, and brain fog, you could be experiencing candida overgrowth(1). We all have some level of candida in our bodies, but under certain conditions, this yeast can thrive and grow out of control, causing these symptoms, especially GI issues. Since yeast thrives off of sugar, it will be telling your body to eat more to help it thrive and stay alive. If you suspect, or want to rule out candida overgrowth, make sure to find a trusted healthcare practitioner to do testing and help with treatment.
As mentioned in our “Why Stress Could Be the Source of Your Sugar Cravings” blog, we explored how prolonged stress increases your cortisol levels, releasing higher levels of glucose into the bloodstream, and causing insulin sensitivity. This blocks your body’s ability to properly use glucose for energy, causing you to crave energy spikes by eating a quick source of fuel- sugar.
Poor Gut Health
Similar to candida, the bacteria in your gut could be dictating your cravings for sweetness. When we get less variety in the diet, or eat a diet high in processed oils, carbs, and sugars, we are feeding certain types of bacteria, and killing off others. This then leads to less diversity in the microbiome, causing something called dysbiosis (or an imbalance of the bacteria in the gut). Now that a lot of the good bacteria are killed off, there is more room for harmful strains that can wreak havoc on digestion, and cause you to continue feeding only them- hence, the sugary, carby, fatty foods cravings.
Not Enough Fuel
If your body is not getting as many nutrients as it needs throughout the day, it will likely be craving an energy source to keep everything up and running! That’s why it is important to make sure your meals are nutrient-dense and balanced, to ensure proper breakdown and utilization of nutrients to keep your energy levels up as you go about your day. A good start is to look at your meals and assess if you are getting all the proper food groups to sustain you for the next few hours. Ask yourself- do I have a protein, carbohydrate, non-starchy vegetables, and fat source? If so, you’re good to go! If not, make sure to add whatever is missing from your plate to fill you and fuel you to be productive during your day.
One place you may not have assessed in a while is your sleep hygiene. Do you notice on the days where you get less sleep, you crave fast food, or more processed carbs throughout the day? Similar to how stress affects the hormone cortisol, studies show that sleep deprivation is directly correlated with hormone regulation- specifically with leptin, our hunger and satiety hormone (3). Therefore, when we get lower quality sleep, it can be harder for our bodies to recognize hunger cues, leading to overeating of high caloric foods throughout the day. Overtime, this can lead to insulin sensitivity, weight gain, and development of chronic illnesses.
After completing our 7 Day Sugar Detox, if those stubborn sugar cravings still aren’t going away, start working on finding the root cause to help you get rid of them for good! Not sure where to start? The best way to find a root cause is through biochemical testing, and working alongside a functional healthcare practitioner. You are most certainly not the only one experiencing these symptoms, and more than likely, they have worked with similar cases to yours, multiple times over! Check out our full list of providers and testing here, and give us a call to see how we can help you dig deeper into your wellness journey to totally vitality!
Not quite ready to work with a provider? Check out our 4 week Eat Your Way to Health program as a great starting point for finding out root causes, and getting more intune with your body and how it is responding to your current diet and lifestyle.