Are you ready to learn How to kick the sugar habit without giving up sweetness, so you can experience a total transformation that gives you your best body, your best moods and your best life ever.
First, let’s talk about WHY you have sugar cravings.
The concept of polarity is pretty simple. It’s based on the principle that everything has 2 “polarities” or extremes. For example, hot and cold are extremes of the pole called “temperature.” It’s the same way with every apparent opposite: hard and soft, noisy and quiet, light and dark, good and bad, love and fear. When you find one thing, you’ll also find the potential for its opposite. To look at the world through the lens of polarity is to look at it in pairs: dark/light, night/day, yin/yang, male/female, etc.
So how does this concept apply to food? First, we want to consider that food is more than simply fuel. It has energetic qualities that are beyond the science and mechanics of calories, fat grams, and nutrient values. For example, leafy greens grow upward, so they have a “lifting” energy, whereas root vegetables, like a potato or squash, grow deep into the ground, so they have a “grounding” energy. So what does the polarity of food look like? And how might this polarity in your food actually be CREATING your cravings?
On one side you have “Expansive Bliss” foods. Foods that represent this energy are represented in alcohol, caffeine, sugar, dairy and to some extent fruit. The energy of these foods make you feel light, relaxed and happy – blissful! But when you eat too many “bliss” foods you start to feel spacey, maybe even a little forgetful.
Then, on the other extreme are the “Contracted Tension” foods. These foods are contracting versus expansive. Examples of these foods are salt, eggs and red meat. These are the kinds of foods that put “meat on your bones.” They make you feel grounded, focused, aggressive, but when you eat too many you start to feel tight, agitated and perhaps even angry. So that’s all fine and good, but how do the two extremes of the polarity of food – the “Expansive Bliss” and the “Contracted Tension” – relate to sugar cravings?
If life is a system of opposites and your body is always trying to balance itself out, what do you think happens if you are having too many Contracted foods, like salt, meat, and eggs? What do you think your body might start craving to balance itself out? It will crave the opposite of Contracted foods – it will crave sweet, expansive bliss foods! Do you find that if you have something salty like potato chips, you crave something sweet afterwards? That’s the challenge, if we have too many contractive foods we’ll crave the expansive. If we have too many expansive foods, we’ll crave the contractive. So what many people don’t realize – and I didn’t realize this myself either – is that we’re often times CREATING our cravings, unknowingly. That craving is your body trying to balance itself out again.
Let’s take a quick look at what’s happening in the body when you eat sugar.
And why we experience that awesome sugar high. Products containing lots of sugar usually don’t contain lots of fiber, fat or protein. Fiber, fat and protein slow down sugar absorption, so when those nutrients aren’t present, your blood sugar shoots up really fast, like to the top of a roller coaster. Now at the top of this roller coaster, your brain is alerted. Your brain uses about 50% of your blood sugar at any given time, so any drastic rise or fall in your blood sugar levels cause your brain flip out. So when you’re blood sugar spikes up, your brain and your body aren’t happy – to YOUR body THIS IS AN EMERGENCY. So what does your body do? Your pancreas secretes the hormone INSULIN to bring your blood sugar back down.
Here’s the problem. We have spent a lifetime eating a lot of high-sugar, processed products – hey, I grew up in 80s and 90s and that’s what was popular then – so insulin has gotten really used to doing its job too well. When insulin is sent out, it doesn’t just bring your blood sugar back down into balance, there’s often too much insulin secreted, and our blood sugar dips way down. And that’s the blood sugar crash you feel after the sugar high – that shaky, spaced out, uncomfortable feeling. So you’ve had a blood sugar crash – now what does your body crave when you are down there, in the middle that nasty crash? MORE SUGAR! And what happens to our blood sugar when we eat the sugar again? It goes up, up, up – back to the top of that roller coaster. And so the up and down cycle continues. Has anyone experienced that before? How does it feel? This is one of the reasons we start eating sugar and we quite literally can’t stop and crave it constantly.
Your body is actually trying to find blood sugar balance. So, the sugar craving is your body’s way of saying it needs something specific to restore this balance. The easiest and most convenient food to restore blood sugar balance when your blood sugar is in the toilet is sugar. However, if we keep eating sugar, we will stay on that crazy craving roller coaster. And that roller coaster affects your mood, causes weight gain, and can lead to serious diseases. And there’s a little more to the story….. After the hormone insulin is sent out to take excess sugar out of the bloodstream, it has three places it can take that sugar: 1. Your brain 2. Your blood cells 3. Your muscles. Now if all those receptors are full because you’ve been eating a lot of sugar already, where does that excess sugar go? Yep, right on the hips. That excess sugar is stored as FAT. So let’s talk about some practical ways to get of this blood sugar roller coaster and back on level ground.
Here are 7 Solutions to Sugar Cravings.
These are also displayed on the picture. Print it out and put it on your fridge to remind you to pause before you reach for that sweet snack.
- Check Your Bevvies! Sounds crazy, but sometimes sweet cravings are a sign of dehydration. So pound a glass of water, wait 5 minutes and then see if you still have the craving. Also, too much caffeine mimics a blood sugar crash – you’re high for a bit but then you coming crashing down and crave….SUGAR, of course.
- Satisfy your sweet tooth with sweet veggies, fruit and spices. Your tongue has sweet taste buds that demand to be satisfied, so don’t hold out on ‘em! Add naturally sweet foods & spices to your diet like squash, yams, carrots, beets, berries, figs, apples, cinnamon, coriander, nutmeg, cloves, and cardamom.
- Sleep. For many of us, this is easier said than done. But if you’re constantly tired, your body is going to look for energy, usually in the form or sugar or caffeine. Power down an hour earlier than usual, and notice how your cravings disappear.
- Check your protein. This is a fun, cool fact – watch how much protein and what kind of protein you’re eating, especially animal protein. Eating too little animal protein can lead to massive sweet cravings. Eating too much animal protein can lead to sweet cravings. When I work with clients we find just the right sweet spot for protein intake so they feel satisfied.
- Sniff out low-fat and fat free foods. When food manufacturers take the fat out of foods, what do they put in? Yep, sugar.
- Move yo’self. Movement is another kind of food for your body. It releases stress, makes you feel great and look great. When you don’t get enough, the body starts to look for other ways to blow off steam, like binging on Snickers bars
- Create new post-meal rituals. If you’re a “dessert after your meal” person, one of things you might love about that is the ritual of it. What are other possibilities for post-meal rituals?
If you find yourself saying, “I don’t have time to exercise,” which is one of the fastest ways to double your energy and kick the sugar habit, then check out my FREE guide to “Make Time To Exercise” at www.coahlesliej.com.
To Your Health,
Coach Leslie J.