We all have them
Sugar cravings are a common complaint. Usually craving the sweet stuff is one of the main reasons people struggle to remain diet compliant.
But before you justify your sugar indulgences in the name of "insatiable cravings"- REMIND YOURSELF what a craving REALLY is. A craving is merely your body's way of alerting you to a nutrient deficiency or problem.
In the case of persistent sugar cravings, it could be that you are either not consuming enough protein or not digesting the protein you are consuming, properly.
You might think being protein deficient would lead you to crave eggs or chicken breast, but one of proteins most critical functions in the body is to create stability with your blood sugar, which means if you're lacking protein, your glucose levels will start to run amuck, prompting you to reach for a quick fix- like sugar. Instead, try drinking a half serving of a protein shake mixed with some unsweetened almond milk to take care of the craving or nibbling on some chicken breast. And reassess your total protein intake across the day.
A good rule of thumb for active individuals is .85-1g of protein per lb of bodyweight, coming from healthy sources such as grassfed or hormone free meats, cage free eggs or egg whites, wild caught seafoods, plant based sources including nuts or sprouted grains, and quality protein replacement supplements like protein powders.
If you feel like you're getting enough protein but still having sugar cravings, your cravings might come from an inability to digest the protein that you're eating. Sugar doesn't just upset your blood sugar levels and cause weight gain, it also wrecks havoc on the digestive system, feeding bad bacteria and making is hard to absorb nutrients from the food you eat.
How you eat your food can affect the way it digests, so try to chew thoroughly, eat calmly and slowly, and avoid drinking too much water with your food, as this may dilute the enzymes that digest your food. Smaller meals are also easier to digest than larger meals which can overwhelm your digestive system.
Lastly, if you’re eating enough protein, eating mindfully , and you’re STILL ravenous for sugar, you might want to look into your stomach acidity.
Low stomach acid can prevent protein absorption, and high stomach acid can mimic hunger, prompting sugar cravings.