Why do you crave sweets right after you eat? You know that internal dialogue you have with yourself; “I can’t focus on anything until I eat something sweet, and then i’ll be fine.”
Sugar cravings, in general. come from an imbalance of your internal biochemistry. These cravings are usually a result of the following situations:
- You ate too much salt and now your body has to compensate
- You ate too many carbs (from bread, or high sugar food). Remember these kinds of carbs cause drastic and rapid spikes in blood sugar which causes your insulin to rise as well.
- Chew well. Don’t make your digestive system break down entire pieces of food. It takes a lot of work for your body to do that, and in return, your body will crave something sweet so that it can fuel its duties to break down the food that you did not
- 1 glass of water after your meal. Dehydration can be mistaken for hunger.
- Be mindful. If you know you are craving sweets after a meal, understand why. Know your trigger points and control them.
- Balance your macronutrients at your meal (carbs, protein, and fats) so that the uneven levels in your blood sugar don’t neurologically require sugar to even them out.
The war on calories. It’s never ending.
And most of the time, we either lose, or come to the conclusion that the battle is far too hard to constantly fight, right?
Essentially, there are 2 ways to lose weight:
- Expend more calories than you consume (exercise and/or have a BMR that is higher than what you consume)
- Make sure that the calories you do consume (if the number is higher than your expenditure) are quality calories.
For example, let’s look at how your body digests a can of Coca-Cola, which is about 192 calories, and then let’s compare it to how your body digests 192 calories of broccoli.
Soda: Your gut immediately absorbs the sugars (glucose & fructose) which prompts your insulin levels to rise and your hormones to send a signal for your body to go into bad biochemistry mode, which in turn increases your storage of belly fat. As if this weren’t bad enough, the high insulin levels in your body block your appetite control hormone (leptin) and because of this, your brain never receives the “I’m full” signal. In addition to this, the pleasure/reward section of your brain is also triggered, which causes a domino effect: you want more and more.
We like junk food and high-sugar foods because it signals off the same section of your brain that drugs, sex, or anything else pleasurable does. This is the root of addiction.
Broccoli: Yes, broccoli is a vegetable, but it’s also a carb; a good carb. This is a high-fiber, low sugar carb, which has a slower digestion and in turn, doesn’t cause spikes in blood sugar. On the other hand, carbs like bread are digested quickly and cause immediate spikes in blood sugar. There is no hormonal chaos in consuming broccoli.