When you eat carbohydrates (including sugar) you can trigger neurotransmitters in the brain, including calming ‘Seratonin’ and feel-good ‘dopamine’.
Repeated treats build a powerful behavioural and chemical pattern of reward that seems to sing, “I need to medicate with chocolate!” Researchers now even think that a single dose of fatty, sugary foods can start the junk food addiction.
If this process continues over and over then what happens in the body is a continual need to be rewarded and the adrenal glands (those that release feel good hormones) become overworked. Cortisol is a stress hormone which is released to restore normal body function, breathing, etc, after an adrenalin burst. Have you ever had a high moment such as a win? And then find yourself come crashing down or perhaps you can relate to the raised alertness of a noise in the middle of the night? The body must be brought back to it’s steady state and therefiore for this action there is a reaction and that is cortisols job. If we continually overwork these adrenal glands with high processed sugars, ( it is said that 100 years ago we would eat 2kg’s of sugar a year compared to 75 kilo’s today- that is shocking! What’s worse is that for each person who eats 2 kilos of sugar annually today, there is another out there eating there share of 300 pounds annually) cortisol becomes constant in the blood stream. Chronic malnutrition, in this way, is basically poisoning our moods and zest for life!
Matt O’neill from smart shape shares the following on how you can beat the sugar cravings;
Step #1 >Re-Energise with nourishing foods
Re-energise your foodswith nutrient-rich, naturally sweet foods like fresh fruit, dried fruit and yoghurt to trigger a natural high. The nutrients nourish your body, reducing biological hunger, therefore taking the edge off cravings.
Treating your existing cravings with naturally sweet foods and eating well in general, sets you up with a great baseline defence against random munchies.
Step #2 > Master your appetite
After you’ve re-energised your diet it’s time to get back in sync with your normal biological sensations of hunger and fullness. Take time to think if you are genuinely hungry when you experience a craving. Then when you eat, take it slowly so you can stop eating when you feel satisfied rather than when you feel too full.
By simply knowing your hunger levels throughout the day, you’ll be better able to gauge whether you really need to eat. This process helps re-wire all your natural appetite signals to work for you rather than against you.
Step #3 > Reduce eating triggers
You’ve re-energised your diet and you’ve re-wired your appetite. Now, it’s time to reduce or eliminate eating triggers that can push your plan off target.
Who are the people and what are the places, events or situations that challenge your resolve to eat well. For example, if you know that family get-togethers almost always leave you binging at the buffet, you can make plans ahead of the event to handle it differently. This could involve drinking mineral water, limiting to one serve of dessert or just moving away from the snacks.
By going to a party with rehearsed plan, you will be more likely to stick to that plan and avoid slipping into your usual automatic eating behaviour.
I hope this helps and look forward to seeing you eating and feeling better around our club.