Knowing what's causing your sugar cravings can help you put a cap on them long before they force you into bigger clothes. Which of the three main types of cravings do you have?
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- You say: Feed me now, or I'll kill you.
This usually reflects low blood sugar. Eating sugar helps in the first few minutes but makes things worse in the long term.
Sucking on a Tic Tac or two can be enough to stop the attack. After that, eat more protein and fewer sweets to keep your blood sugar stable. And eat those foods often: Multiple small meals instead of three big ones decrease cravings.
- You say: I'd really like a Twinkie.
You generally feel okay but find yourself going through your cabinets looking for sweets.
Holistic docs say—without great evidence, yet there have been some successful treatments—this could reflect yeast overgrowth in the gut and that treating it with probiotics (healthy bacteria) can help. We like probiotics made from bacillus coagulans, such as Digestive Aide or Sustenex.
- You say: It's my period, and I'm depressed.
Low levels of serotonin—the "happiness molecule"—around your period can cause you to crave carbs.
Eating dark chocolate (not a whole storeful; try an ounce or so) will supply a natural antidepressant called PEA, plus the carbs you crave. And any other time you think you might eat something when you're not really hungry, go for a walk or have some water. Much of the "I want to eat" feeling stems from lack of sleep (walking can help wake you up), lack of sex or lack of water.