Question: My biggest challenge with healthy eating is sugar cravings. How can I control my sweet tooth?
Answer: Humans are born with an innate craving for sweet foods. Throughout our history, it has provided energy when action is required, helped us store fat when food is scarce and supplied essential nutrients.
Sugar cravings extend to feasting on fresh strawberries when you are supposed to be picking them. However, when we talk about sugar cravings today, we are generally referring to processed, sugar-rich foods rather than freshly picked fruit. Let’s take a closer look at those cravings by considering a few questions.
Do your cravings relate to specific foods or just to eating in general?
If it’s the latter, it might be that you’re simply hungry. Many of us aren’t in touch with our hunger and fullness cues thanks to a diet culture that praises food restriction and hunger in the quest for a more socially acceptable body. Pause and listen to your body; you may be lacking in energy and starting to feel tired. You may just need a snack.
Pushing aside hunger in the quest for weight-loss can cause all sorts of problems, the first of which is an overwhelming desire to eat with reckless abandon. The brains of hungry people, as shown in MRI scans, are overwhelmingly focused on searching out high-energy, high-fat and high-sugar foods. Once hunger becomes overwh