Last Updated on February 7, 2024
If you’re struggling with cravings and willpower you’re not alone. Cravings, especially sugar cravings are very common. Every single client I’ve ever had experiences sugar cravings. I also used to be addicted to sugar. I used to have the WORST sugar cravings. I felt completely out of control over food. I felt like something inside of me was causing me to eat sweets because I knew the foods I was eating weren’t good for me but I couldn’t stop.
If you crave sugar, if you feel out of control with sweets, or know that sweets are healthy but continue to feel cravings to consume them, this is for you! A lot of people think sugar it’s is to blame, but there are actually TONS of things that cause sugar cravings and I find that most people have no idea what they are (or how to resolve them.)
That’s why I’m sharing a list of all of the science-backed things that cause cravings and tips to reverse the root cause so you understand what causes sugar cravings and how to stop them and regain control over food.
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12 Things that Cause Sugar Cravings
This is the real deal advice and TRUTH I wish I would’ve had back when I was struggling with nonstop sugar cravings. If you struggle with cravings or feel like you’re completely out of control over food – the root cause reason is on this list! Generally speaking, the more you crave sugar, the more root causes of cravings you have.
- Dietary Habits: Regularly consuming sugary foods can create a cycle of dependence, as the body becomes accustomed to the quick energy boost provided by sugar. Over time, this can lead to cravings when blood sugar levels drop. The drop in blood sugar will naturally trigger another craving. The problem is sugar causes massive spikes and major drops and the cycle makes sugar very addictive. All sweets, including sugar-free sweeteners, fruits, dairy, alcohol, and processed carbs (like chips, crackers, pretzels, rice, baked goods, processed grains, etc.) can cause cravings for more. Remember, a food/drink doesn’t have to taste sweet to be sugar. If a food, like a grain or fruit, is processed to remove fiber and nutrients, it’s technically sugar. All simple carbs are sugar and affect the brain, hormones, and body causing cravings for more. The Solution: Stop consuming sugar. This is easier said than done because sugar is so addictive… If someone has cravings I’d recommend either my Reset Cleanse, a berberine supplement, or a combination of both to help stop the cravings and balance hormones so the cravings won’t come back.
- Neurotransmitter Activity: Sugar activates the brain’s reward system by increasing the release of neurotransmitters like such as serotonin and dopamine, in the brain. These “feel-good” chemicals can create a temporary sense of pleasure and reward, leading to a desire for more sugar. Dopamine is associated with pleasure and reward, creating a positive reinforcement loop. Over time, the brain may develop a preference for sugary foods, leading to cravings as it seeks the pleasurable experience associated with sugar consumption. Simple sugars are 8 times MORE addictive than drugs. If you struggle with sugar cravings, willpower, and feel out of control over food, you’re likely addicted to sugar. Sugar alters brain chemistry. A huge sign that your neurotransmitters are affected is defensiveness if someone mentions your eating habits or having a negative emotional reaction when you’re asked to stop eating sweets or making excuses/justifying eating it. The Solution: Stop consuming too much of the wrong sources of sugar. Again, this is easier said than done because sugar is so freakin’ addictive… If someone has cravings I’d recommend either my Reset Cleanse, berberine, or a combination of both to help stop the cravings and balance hormones so the cravings won’t come back.
- Insulin Resistance: Regular consumption of high-sugar foods can contribute to insulin resistance, a condition where cells become less responsive to the effects of insulin. This can lead to elevated blood sugar levels and an increased demand for insulin. As a result, the body may crave more sugar to cope with the insulin resistance and maintain energy balance. Having insulin resistance is a key factor in the development of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and metabolic syndrome. It’s often associated with obesity, inflammation, and an increased risk of various health issues like PCOS. Insulin resistance creates a cycle where excess body weight contributes to resistance, and resistance promotes further weight gain. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 88 million adults in the U.S. have prediabetes, and the majority of them are not aware of their condition. Cravings are a symptom of prediabetes FYI. The Solution: Balance blood sugar and reduce insulin. This is easier said than done. In most cases, I’d recommend taking this berberine supplement because it makes it SIGNIFICANTLY easier to stop cravings and balance blood sugar levels.
- Hormonal Changes: Hormonal fluctuations, especially in women during the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, or menopause, can contribute to sugar cravings. Hormones such as estrogen and progesterone can influence appetite and cravings. It’s very normal to feel cravings for sugar when you ovulate or menstruate because, during these phases of the cycle, your body requires more energy. On average the body needs approximately 100 additional calories to facilitate these natural hormonal fluctuations. For reference, a medium-sized apple has approximately 100 calories. Eating more calories than that… or eating highly processed sugars can trigger everything else listed above. The Solution: Balance hormones. To resolve this, functional labs are necessary to pinpoint the imbalanced hormones. From there a custom protocol would be needed. If you’re interested in labs, you can apply to work with me to see if you’re a candidate for labs.
- Stress and Emotional Factors: Stress and emotions, such as boredom, sadness, loneliness, or anxiety, can lead to cravings for comfort foods, including those high in sugar. People may use sugary foods as a way to cope with emotional challenges. Over time, this reinforces the habit of using sweets to self-soothe and regulate emotions. When the nervous system is activated (which happens instantly when stressed or emotionally triggered) causes cravings for sweets because sugar is an instant energy source needed to ‘take flight or fight’. That’s why they say stressed spelled backward is desserts… because stress will ALWAYS cause a craving for sweets. The Solution: Calm and balance the nervous system and reduce cortisol levels in the body. My Magic Moves Somatic Exercise Program can calm you down in 60 seconds or less.
- Nutrient Deficiencies: Nutrient deficiencies, such as a shortage of magnesium, can contribute to sugar cravings. Magnesium plays a crucial role in various physiological functions, including glucose metabolism. When the body lacks an adequate supply of magnesium, it may affect insulin sensitivity and the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar levels. As a result, individuals experiencing magnesium deficiency might find themselves craving sugary foods, as the body seeks a quick source of energy to compensate for the disrupted glucose balance. Dark chocolate is an example of a food rich in magnesium, and a craving for chocolate may be a subtle signal that the body is yearning for this essential mineral. Most people never reverse the deficiency, and continue to eat processed foods without nutrients, which sets them up for more deficiency and cravings. The more deficient you are, the more emotional, anxious, stressed, and fatigued you’ll become… which sets you up for more and more cravings. The Solution: A quality multivitamin, multimineral. I use, love, and recommend this pharmaceutical-grade multivitamin, multimineral most.
- Lack of Sleep: Poor sleep patterns or insufficient sleep can disrupt hormonal balance and increase cravings for sugary foods. Just one poor night of sleep causes 7 different hormones to fluctuate which can trigger sugar cravings and hunger. When tired, people often seek quick energy fixes, which may come in the form of sugary snacks because of these hormone fluctuations. The Solution: Get 7-9 hours of deep sleep a night. If you struggle to sleep through the night that can be a sign of insulin resistance or other hormonal issues. To resolve this, functional labs are necessary to pinpoint the imbalanced hormones. From there a custom protocol would be needed. If you’re interested in labs, you can apply to work with me to see if you’re a candidate for labs.
- Fatigue: Simple carbohydrates provide a quick source of energy. When individuals experience a drop in energy levels or feel fatigued, they may naturally crave sugar as a way to get a rapid energy boost. Poor sleep can trigger cravings but anything that triggers fatigue (like allergies, nutrient deficiency, hormone imbalance, etc) has the potential to cause cravings for sweets for a ‘boost’, too. It’s very common to see people reaching for sweets, especially stimulants with sweets when they’re feeling fatigued. The Solution: Get more sleep and reverse the root cause of the fatigue, which are most commonly nutrient deficiency, hormone fluctuations or imbalances, inflammation, allergies, nervous system dysfunction, or poor sleep habits. At a minimum, a cleanse, and a quality multivitamin, and exercise would be recommended. This combination should create a noticeable improvement in natural energy, if not diagnostic labs would be recommended.
- Dehydration: In some cases, the body may send signals for food when it’s really just dehydrated. When thirsty, the body’s cue to drink can actually feel like hunger and thirst signals can sometimes be misinterpreted as hunger or sugar cravings. The Solution: It’s essential to stay hydrated to prevent this ‘false hunger.’ Use my Water Intake Calculator to find out how much water you need to prevent dehydration.
- Parasitic Infections: Certain parasites can affect the digestive system, leading to symptoms such as changes in appetite, weight loss, and nutrient deficiencies. Toxoplasma gondii is a parasite, which primarily infects mammals including humans, has been associated with changes in behavior and appetite. Some studies suggest that infection with Toxoplasma gondii may lead to alterations in dopamine levels in the brain, which could influence food preferences, potentially increasing cravings for sweet foods. According to the National Library of Medicine, parasites can also hijack your serotonin release, which controls appetite resulting in an intense sugar craving in the host. The Solution: For parasite-related cravings, I’d recommend CellCore Phase 1, Phase 2, and then Phase 3. A minimum of 90 days is necessary to begin killing and detoxing parasites and the toxins that they release. Use Patient Direct Code: dW7NRP9q to create your account to be able to order CellCore Products.
- Bacterial, fungal/mold, or Viral Infections: Infections affecting the gastrointestinal tract can cause nausea, vomiting, and changes in taste perception, which might influence dietary preferences. Candida albicans is a type of yeast/fungus that is normally present in small amounts in the human body, but overgrowth can lead to infections. Candida overgrowth can lead to sugar cravings and also mood, energy, anxiety, and depression which can trigger cravings as well. Consuming sugary foods can influence the gut microbiota to cause infections, potentially leading to changes in appetite regulation and food preferences because an imbalance in the gut microbiota may contribute to cravings for sweet foods. Feeling unwell due to an infection, parasite, or dysbiosis can result in feeling anxious, depressed, or fatigued which can in turn trigger sugar cravings, too. The Solution: For bacterial, fungal/mold, or viral-related cravings, I’d also recommend CellCore Phase 1, Phase 2, and then Phase 3. A minimum of 120+ days is necessary to begin killing and detoxing microbes and the toxins that they release safely. Use Patient Direct Code: dW7NRP9q to create your account to be able to order CellCore Products.
- Inflammation: The immune response to an infection often involves inflammation. Inflammatory signals can influence the brain and impact appetite regulation and can cause cravings. Chronic inflammation may alter the normal signaling pathways related to hunger and satiety. Any consumable that causes inflammation has the potential to cause cravings. Pathogens, infections, sugar, and food allergies/sensitivities can cause also inflammation leading to more cravings. The more you crave something, the more likely it is that you’re having an inflammatory reaction to it. The Solution: Reduce inflammation and get to the root cause of what’s causing it. You can also try these tips to reduce inflammation naturally.
Use the options I recommend for each root cause of sugar cravings to stop your cravings quickly and naturally.
If you want to chat more about your options or need additional support you can see the steps to work together here.
If this post helped you, let me know in the comments.
Your Coach & Biggest Cheerleader,
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