Sugar cravings

We might think we’re addicted to sugar because sugary foods taste so good, but it seems to be that almost all of the time, the real problem is a lifestyle imbalance. The good news is that once we address the lifestyle imbalance, the out of control eating quickly stops being an issue.

Take a look at the following lifestyle imbalances below that can lead to a sweet tooth and ask yourself if your sugar cravings happen to coincide with any of the following scenarios:

Prolonged stress

Functioning under high-pressure through work and our personal lives means the body is in a constant state of stress. It also means our levels of the stress hormone cortisol are probably higher than they should be. And while this increase in cortisol during a stressful episode usually leads to a loss of appetite in the short term, once things have calmed down, the body usually moves into refuel mode and that’s when we may start to eat everything in sight.

This is also the reason we rarely eat when we’re stressed at work during the day, but the second we come home and relax, we reach for the biscuit tin, before we start our evening meal.


Our desire to eat sugary foods dramatically rises the day after a bad nights’ sleep or if we’re staying up late. There are two reasons for this. Firstly, when we’re tired our judgment is impaired and our ability to make good dietary choices flies out of the window. Secondly, glucose (i.e. sugar) is the primary source of fuel for the brain, which means it’s an instant pick me up.

From a physiological point of view, if we’re tired and decide not to go to sleep, the body will go for the next best thing, instant fuel in the form of sugary foods.


Have you ever noticed that when you’re not happy you reach for something sweet? The reason for that is because sugar acts directly on the brain, causing it to make more of the hormones that makes us feel happy and relaxed. But even with the feel-good factor, it’s often short lived unless the cause of the unhappiness is addressed; our instinct to want to feel better as quickly as possible doesn’t go away and the pattern continues.

It may be time to take a closer look if there is a long-standing source of unhappiness in our lives that we may continue to ignore. Next time you have a craving, take stock of what exactly is going on in the present moment. You can accept that you might really want chocolate but perhaps ask yourself why. There is always something else driving the desire for a sugar fix, especially if the desire is sudden, strong and it’s all-consuming.

The answer to that simple question will give you all you need to know about the real cause of your sugar craving.

Source: Huffington Post, 5th May, 2017

14 Sep, 2018

4 thoughts on “Sugar cravings

  1. This is another very informative post. It makes sense to look for the reasons behind the cravings and I’m pretty sure the ‘hit’ from a sugar rush can be addictive.

    Given the prevalence of Type 2 Diabetes, throughout the West, we all need to look at our sugar consumption and balancing our blood sugars.

    1. Thank you. Yes, it’s important to look for the reasons behind our cravings.

      I believe sugar is addictive but I also believe that with a more active lifestyle we will become more proactive on our health and therefore we’re less likely to rely on sweet sugary foods.

      I do think lifestyle plays a part. I also think conditions like depression and anxiety means we’re more likely to eat the wrong foods, including sugary foods.

  2. Yes, to all of the above. My biggest problem is definitely a lifestyle imbalance, since I’m living with someone who is highly unstable and who can go from being calm to psychotic, in what seems like a heartbeat.

    One of my friends actually told me that ‘I’m eating my feelings,’ which makes sense, since I find it difficult to deal with my feelings. I really need to change my environment and change isn’t something I deal with well.

    I know it’s what I need to do, so that I can have some peace and serenity and so I can lose the spare tire that I have developed, in order to be a lot healthier.

    1. Thanks Randy. A life imbalance can be responsible for many of our vices, particularly around mental health. I hope it won’t belong before you can make the changes you know you need to make.

      A healthier lifestyle in an environment that works for you, will give you more motivation to change certain other aspects of your life, including your choices around food.

      It’s not just sugar cravings we may struggle with, but other food vices also.

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