I am Joiz and I’m a chocoholic. I think I’m not the only one when I say that it’s very usual that I get cravings or sweet every now and then. I’m not just pertaining to chocolates (enough amount of chocolates can be very healthy) but also cakes, pastries, candies, ice cream, and whatever sweet things we can get our hands on.
The causes of these cravings can vary widely but chief among them are hormonal imbalances especially in insulin and serotonin, unhealthy dieting, Adrenal Fatigue, various eating disorders from the Body Dysmorphic Disorder group of symptoms, and even in very rare documented cases, premenstrual syndrome (National Institute of Health).
Addiction is not regarded as a cause of cravings so anyone who got those cravings should get a doctor to pinpoint the cause of the cravings and follow steps to fully combat it.
I should get this noted since I found this somewhere and should follow it.
- Remove temptations. Go through your refrigerator and food pantry. Get rid of the cakes, ice cream, cookies, etc. When you go food shopping, make a conscious effort not to buy sweet items.
- When a craving hits, wait 10 minutes. Do something else. A good habit to get into is to take a walk instead of eating dessert. If, after 10 minutes, you still want sweets, gargle with an antiseptic mouthwash or brush your teeth. The aftertaste doesn’t mix well with sweets and you’ll probably lose your craving quickly. Or for a more dramatic altering of the taste sense, try getting Gymnema Sylvestre leaves and chewing a pinch of them thoroughly. (chewing the pill or capsule form might have the same effect) In the following hour or two anything that is unsweetened will taste better than anything containing sugar.
- Substitute fruits, juices and honey for candy, sweets and sugar, respectively. The sugars in fruits are digested differently than the empty calories of white sugar that are in most candy and processed foods. The fiber in fruit also slows the absorption of the sugars so you don’t get as high a sugar rush (and as low a crash).
- Go for quality, not quantity. Eat a small piece of 70% dark chocolate instead of a candy bar. Have a small scoop of gourmet ice cream instead of an entire bowl of light ice cream. The treat will be more satisfying and you’ll be consuming less sugar in the long run.
- Read labels. You might be surprised to learn how much sugar there is in a lot of the foods that you eat. Being aware of sugar content can help you avoid high-sugar foods and kick the addiction.
- Improve your diet overall. Eat more whole grains, healthy fats and lean meats, all of which make you feel full and satisfied. Have small, frequent meals to help keep your blood sugar level stable and eliminate your body’s need for a quick sugar fix. Avoid skipping meals (especially breakfast). Take a daily multivitamin. Some nutrients help keep blood sugar stable, so ensure you get those by supplementing your diet appropriately.
My doctor said to keep my iron up because she said, in some women like me, low iron levels appear to stimulate chocolate cravings. Some of us ladies also tend to get sweet cravings the week before or week of their menstruation. If you know you have powerful cravings during a certain time of the month, prepare yourself by keeping sweets out of the house and having healthy snacks available.
What do you know, I’m being conscious of my health.