In our practice, one of the most common complaints we hear is about sugar cravings. Carb cravings are not only common but an obvious obstacle to our weight loss goals.
How many of you have woken up in the morning and said, ‘today is the day that I am going to eat healthy.’ You start the day perfect. Breakfast is a good source of protein like eggs with some spinach and onions. Or maybe a smoothie with lots of greens, chia seeds, fruit and healthy protein powder.
Lunch is a salad or yogurt. You drink lots of water because we all know that is healthy for us. And then BOOM! 3 pm hits. You feel a little tired, and then the carb/sugar cravings kick in. You have a little chocolate or a cookie. And then you have another and another.
Dinner is protein and veggies and maybe a little carbohydrate like rice. You might eat a larger portion for dinner than you should, given the snacking before dinner.
You are not alone when I say after dinner, you still want to snack. Full from dinner, you still want to munch on snacks. Then this entire cycle repeats itself the next day and the next. You feel like it’s groundhog day. Unfortunately, this vicious cycle is about biology and has nothing to do with willpower.
Sugar tastes great, but it can be addictive. Like little bursts of dynamite on your tongue and in your brain. But why, when we know it is not good for us, we still indulge? When you eat sugar or any processed carbs, it raises dopamine in your brain.
Raising dopamine provides an instant feeling of pleasure. Dopamine is why people do drugs, gamble, sex addiction, and compulsively shop. When you think of dopamine, think of “sex, drugs, and food.” It’s not called “comfort food” for no reason.
Sugar and refined carbohydrates have a significant impact on the dopamine reward pathway. The more you have, the more you want. The best way to stop this vicious cycle is to stop sugar completely. That means no sweets, no treats, no refined carbohydrates, no processed food.
Sounds simple, but it is far from easy. Trying to stop eating sugar and carbs can be hard. Again, biology is stronger than willpower.
The saving grace is that if you can eliminate sugar and processed foods from your diet for two weeks, it gets easier the third week. If you can get to the fourth week without sugar, you are golden!
Besides going cold turkey, there are some simple things you can do to help minimize cravings. First, we like to use the mineral chromium, which helps to take the edge off cravings. Below are a couple of options we have used with our patients.
With ChromeMate GTF, it supports healthy insulin levels and helps to balance blood sugar. The target dosage to curb sugar cravings is at least 1,200 mcg daily. With FNX Zone, it also helps to gently curb appetite and minimize cravings, making the evenings easier to handle.
Please let us know if you are struggling with appetite or craving issues. Feel free to send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also access our Content Library for more healthy resources.