Chocolate, Cravings, Hunger Pains and Sugar Addiction

Chocolate-Cravings-Hunger-Pains-and-Sugar-Addiction-1Easter is right around the corner and I know you want chocolate! Well most of you. There are very few people like me who are not that keen on chocolate.

This Easter I gave my personal training clients chocolate.

It wasn’t any old chocolate though. It’s a new 70% dark chocolate sweetened with stevia, not sugar. Stevia comes from a plant and is MUCH sweeter than sugar. (If I didn’t see you at Bootcamp my appologies!)

Now I know you may be addicted to chocolate, and this is not a way to get you addicted to this new chocolate. It’s merely a way to suggest you only have the healthier stuff, and not as often.

Chocolate addiction is a real thing. Well its more like sugar addiction.

How do you get over it? We’ll get to that further along, and don’t tell me you don’t want to get over it!

In the April edition of Women’s Health magazine they suggest about 552kj is how much chocolate you should be eating this Easter if you’re trying to lose weight. That’s over the WHOLE WEEKEND!

Chocolate-Cravings-Hunger-Pains-and-Sugar-Addiction-2Anyway, I’m not writing about chocolate this week!

I watched The Biggest Loser last Sunday night. It was a bad week for weigh-ins for almost everyone.

Now these guys have a lot of weight to lose so why weren’t they dropping bigger numbers? Surely they should be doing better than this!!!

Everyone has bad days and bad weeks! EVERYONE!

Even though The Biggest Loser contestants may be training many hours a day under the supervision of expert trainers, we can’t control what you put in your mouth! All we can do is encourage you to trust what we say and try to take your mind out of it.

You Never Fail a Diet

You may break a diet for a meal or two, but you never fail it!

You have probably got over 20 years of bad habits to break and they are hard to break! Replacing old habits with new ones can take years.

The mind is a very powerful thing and will make you revert back to old habits some times.
Don’t get down on yourself when this happens!

Just accept that you will cheat or binge some time, let it go, and get on with healthy eating again.

I have a soft spot for icecream and on my diet I’m not supposed to eat it. But my mind craves it so bad sometimes that I just have to have it.

Chocolate-Cravings-Hunger-Pains-and-Sugar-Addiction-4So my solution is to buy a small tub and eat what I want, and then get rid of it and get on with my diet again.

I’ll be able to go a few weeks fairly easily, but after that time I’ll start craving it again. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.

Now when I do have icecream, I’ll barely sleep, feel real bad and wake up with a sugar hangover. I’ll just feel like crap afterwards and this helps me to NOT touch sugar for a week or two, sometimes more. This is the real effect of sugar.

Why a sugar hangover? Well candida, a fungal yeast infection that can be developed in the gastrointestinal system (which I have), steals the glucose, puts it through alcohol fermentation and leaves byproducts of alcohol and acetaldehyde.

The alcohol slips through the gut lining into the blood stream and leaves you feeling tipsy, and acetaldehyde is the same chemical that leaves you feeling hungover.

You may have sugar so often you never experience this!

Fighting Cravings

Now another trick is to ban yourself from junk food for the weekdays, and save it until the weekend. Fighting the craving is an important skill to learn. This is where your mind will try to trick you into reasoning why it’s ok to treat yourself.

You don’t always have to be full!

Chocolate-Cravings-Hunger-Pains-and-Sugar-Addiction-3You must stay strong and fight it! The more you learn to fight it the easier it will be to fend off the cravings.

The next time you have a craving, start a stop watch and see how long you can last without succumbing to it.

If you can distract yourself, it’ll be easy because the craving will magically disappear.

Many people crave something sweet after dinner. This can be habitual if you’ve gone many years eating dessert after meals.

But once again, just don’t have anything and get used to going to bed hungry.

Fighting Hunger Pains

What about hunger pains? It’s like Facebook. You don’t need it, but sometimes you can’t help yourself!

So what if you’re really hungry and just NEED something to satisfy that carb craving? Well it’s a false hunger anyway.

You think you need carbs, but what you really need is some fat and protein to level out your insulin levels and satisfy the body.

You crave carbs so you eat some carbs (glucose) which boosts insulin levels and makes you crave more carbs. This turns into a vicious cycle which people get stuck in and don’t know how to break!

Sean Croxton writer of ‘The Dark Side Of Fat Loss’ puts it like this:

Chocolate-Cravings-Hunger-Pains-and-Sugar-Addiction-5‘To make matters worse, elevated insulin gives rise to inflammation, which triggers the release of more cortisol (a stress hormone). One of cortisol’s main duties it to increase blood sugar. That’s the last thing you want! With even more sugar being dumped into the bloodstream, a vicious cycle ensues.

And you get fatter. Mix in the slowed metabolism and appetite stimulating hormones triggered by leptin resistance, and you’re up Blood Sugar Creek without a pancreas.’

Low fat foods are one culprit of this carb craving. Many low fat foods have sugar added to give it more taste, but that just doesn’t fill you up. It increases insulin and makes you want more!

Balancing out your blood sugar should be your priority.

Do this through a healthy diet of mostly meats, fish, vegetables, fruits and good fat according to the plates we looked at last week in the serving size article.

I’ve got a few videos below about sugar addiction too. The first one is pretty simple and you should definitely take the time to watch it. The second is more full on, but some people like lots of information so I’ve added it too.

They’re both from Sean Croxton, who I quoted above. He makes complex things easier to understand. Not easy, easier.

Hope it helps you and have a great Easter!

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