Extreme Sugar Cravings

I have already mentioned cravings in my previous post about The Difference Between Hunger and Cravings as well as the post Weaning Off Sugar that talk about how to know when you are suffering from a craving and how to get rid of it. If you haven't read them, check them out.

But on top of these posts, I would like to talk about sugar again. This time about extreme sugar cravings.

A sugar craving is extreme if either the feeling of needing sugar is very high or the physical effect on the body is extreme, for example if you feel like you are going to faint because of too little sugar in your system.

Too little sugar???

Image courtesy of Grant Cochrane / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Yes. You see, when you bombard yourself with a lot of sugar, for example from a piece of very sweet cake, your body goes crazy over it. There is so much sugar that insulin is sent out to reduce the sugar in your blood. The problem is that your body, for a very specific reason, can't control this process well enough. So instead of decreasing your blood sugar level to the exact amount that is needed to be normal, it's overdoing things. You suddenly have too little sugar in your blood because the insulin threw all the sugar out of your blood and into the fat cells.

Why does my body act in such a weird way?

You are now wondering why your body, a human body, the highest being on planet earth, can't cope with so much sugar. Why can't a human body just, you know, take that sugar and regulate the blood sugar level to what is appropriate.

The reason is that throughout the long history of mankind, humans only ate natural foods until, let's say, the industrial age. Of course, there were unnatural foods like bread before, but they came in times when people were still thankful to God to have bread, and they ate very little. If they ate a little more, they would lose all the sugar again out in the fields harvesting their food.

This is what the bible means with "In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread".

It certainly doesn't say "In the sweat of thy fat belly shalt thou eat Chicken McNuggets and feast upon the sweetest of the sweet, and thus shalt thou enter paradise". But I digress...

You get the idea. And I'm not just talking about sugar in general. I mean, carbohydrates, also known as carbs, have different levels. Glucose is on the lowest level, it's the super fast sugar that makes food sweet from the start. Starch is at the other end, as present in potatoes.

Now, when you eat chocolate, you already eat the super sweet, super fast glucose. Your body thinks that a food that has so much sugar will probably also have a lot of long term carbs, also known as slow carbs. Your body wants to be prepared for more sugars to be created from the starch, and that's why it makes sense to assume that what you just ate is a bomb of carbs.

The truth is that a human body just has no way of knowing all this. Our biology has developed over the years to adapt to normal food, natural food. And that's the whole secret behind it.

What to do about extreme sugar cravings

As I mentioned in my other posts about cravings, you need to slowly balance things out. Everyone sometimes commits a big sin and indulges in bad food, extremely bad food. Once you give in, it's easy to eat more and more, and one cookie becomes two cookies and two cookies become three cookies. The trick is to find a point where you reverse things and get normal again. If it's difficult for you to fight the craving with fruits, you could try this other trick I haven't mentioned yet.

If you must eat the sinful food, add a slow carb food!

Let's say that you already tried replacing chocolate or cookies with fruits. But you still have sweet food at home and you just can't let go of the craving. Here is a new trick: When you give in, also eat a slow carb food like dark bread, peanuts or something like that. Something that does have carbs, but not as sweet.

The positive effect you gain is that you are not only full, your stomach actually gets a chance to save some carbs to spread over the next couple of hours. That way, your body gets sugar on a regular, consistent level, and not by the permanent "give me sugar, quick quick!" routine.

And then what do you do? You go on with it, and over time you replace more immediate sugars with long term carbs. At some point in time, you find yourself eating mostly dark bread, potatoes, dark rice and so on. I don't recommend this for weight loss since these foods are still in the way of burning fat, but this is one step you can take if your worst problem is not how to lose weight, but how to reduce cravings!
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