Sugar, spice, and everything nice. These were the ingredients to create the powerpu… OK, I’ll stop right there. If you got that you’ve lived through the 90s’ like me. Well, my point is that sugar is everywhere and some of us can never get enough of it, but WHY? Why do I crave sugar so badly?
We need sugar to survive
WAIT – It doesn’t mean you get to spam sugar!!
Back to basics – Sugar is carbs and we need carbs to supply our body with the energy to work and think. Of course there are many forms of sugar, the natural ones in fruits or refined sugar like in cakes. But the body doesn’t care where the sugar comes from, and it will crave for high sugar stuff because that gives MORE energy.
It’s all planned
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Food manufacturers want to earn $$, so they create food that is addictive – the perfect calculated combination of sugar, salt and fat. Eating these releases the happy hormone known as dopamine, which makes you happy when you eat it. But this is short lived and lasts from 1 – 2 hours.
What to do: I know it will be tough but you need to cut down on it or you’ll keep wanting more!! Start by cutting your intake by 3/4 your usual intake, then to 1/2 and 1/4. During this time, include fresh and dried fruits, nuts and fermented foods like Kimchi.
Picture credits: https://www.theodysseyonline.com/stressed-desserts-spelled-backwards
When we’re stressed, the body releases a stress hormone known as cortisol. Naturally, the body will want to help you calm down and chill by releasing happy hormones such as serotonin, which is released when you have sugary foods.
What to do: The happy hormone serotonin is also released when you exercise (y’know that shiok feeling after a run), or have a good night snooze zzZZZZ
You’re on a restrictive diet
You’re on a diet that is 1200 calories or below with no rice, and just salads. It’s your body’s way of trying to tell you ‘I need more energy’, so it will crave for the most high energy foods, like processed sugary and fat loaded snacks.
What to do: Increase your daily intake to 1400 – 1500 calories and include more healthy fats like nuts, protein and complex carbs like brown rice and wholemeal bread.
Allow yourself to indulge in a small pack of chocolatey brittle so you could satisfy cravings while not going overboard!
It’s that time of the month
Picture credits: http://indianexpress.com/article/lifestyle/health/natural-and-pharmaceutical-remedies-for-your-period-cramps/
ugh, UGGGGH! Darn you PMS cravings >:( The time of the month is a stressful period for us and your body’s stress hormone, cortisol, are at its peak, and so it craves sugar to release the calming hormone, serotonin.
What to do: All my life I’ve had to deal with bad period cramps and nasty cravings but it all miraculously disappeared when…
Picture credits: http://blog.guavapass.com/2016/08/11/are-lighter-weights-just-as-effective-as-heavier-weights/
I started strength training — I hate running but I make it a point to do some bodyweight exercises like squats and pushups. One month in and there was no more pain!
But if exercise is a no-go, have a nice big breakfast in the morning with a good amount of protein and healthy fats so you’ll have lesser cravings. Here’s a good Monday to Friday meal plan for you!