The Blood Sugar Rollercoaster
You are hungry, tired, shaky, or irritated. You need energy now. Your quick fix is a candy bar, a bagel, a soda, or a glass of wine. Why does this happen to you every day like clockwork?
Believe it or not when your blood sugar is low, you crave food that breaks down into sugar quickly. Next thing you know you are reaching into your desk for the licorice stash or hunting down the nearest vending machine for those quick sugar pick-me-ups!
“Clients arrive at our offices discouraged from battling thoughts about food and cravings all day long,” according to Darlene Kvist, licensed nutritionist. “By the time clients meet with me, they have usually tried many diets, regaining and adding pounds because of overwhelming cravings for bread, sugar, chocolate, or soda—especially diet soda.”
Although people often attribute sugar cravings to stress or weak wills, the truth is that cravings have biochemical origins. Blood sugar imbalances cause powerful cravings and this leads people to spend their days on a roller coaster of blood sugar highs and lows, constantly eating to correct the imbalances. The result? Eating sugar around the clock. Once people understand the biochemical nature of their sugar craving, they realize it’s not about will power. They become empowered to take charge and correct their eating habits to get off of the sugar rollercoaster once and for all.
Breaking the cycle
Balancing meals and snacks is often the first step in controlling cravings. Eating protein, good carbohydrates (vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains), and healthy fats (olive oil, olives, nuts, avocadoes, and butter) at each meal or snack will balance blood sugar and keep you satisfied until the next meal.
Try eating five or six small meals per day to stabilize blood sugar and manage sugar cravings. Many people struggle with blood sugar because they skip meals, eat meals heavy in carbohydrates (e.g., fast food, pre-packaged convenience foods), or eat low fat because they have bought into the fat-free propaganda. Once your blood sugar is out of balance, you no longer make good choices set yourself up for sugar cravings. The simple shift to balanced eating will not only eliminate most of your sugar cravings, it will also help stabilize your mood, increase your energy, and result in clearer thinking.