I've been craving sugar for years now. And you know what? It's part of a healthy diet! You see, we all have biology and chemistry at our core, which dictates some of what we crave and how much energy we need throughout the day. But there are also psychological factors at work: For example, watching someone else eat something sweet can trigger your cravings. In this article, I'll explain why we crave sugar so much—and how to manage them so they don't get out of control.
Why do we crave sweets?
Cravings are a sign that your body needs something. They usually mean that you're deficient in energy, nutrients, or vitamins. But they also can be caused by stress and anxiety. In other words, when your brain sends out a craving for sweets, you need some quick energy boost (which is why we often crave sugary foods after working out).
Sugar stimulates the brain just like cocaine does—and yes, that includes chocolate! It makes us feel happy and relaxed because dopamine is released into our brains when we eat sweet food—including ice cream! The problem is that these feelings don't last long enough—so we keep eating more sugar to keep getting those good feelings back again and again.
It's healthy for us to eat sweet things.
To understand why we crave sugar, it's essential to understand what sweetness is. Sweetness is a basic taste that tells our brains that the food we're eating contains carbohydrates and calories. It can also be a signal of energy, which makes it more attractive than bitter-tasting foods. So while you might think that your craving for chocolate or ice cream is just an excuse to indulge in something sweet and delicious, there's some science behind it! Sweetness is a signal indicating that the particular food item in question will provide energy and nutrients—which means it's good for us!
Even though we know that sugary foods are packed with calories and carbohydrates, they don't always feel as satisfying as other types of meals. This phenomenon has been studied extensively by behavioral psychologists who have concluded that this effect comes from both psychological factors—like learning from past experiences—and physiological ones like how much time passes between eating something sweet versus something else (if this takes place over several hours).
There's a reason we crave it.
When you eat sugar, it's broken down into glucose. This sugar can be an immediate energy source for your body and brain.
Sugar also acts as fuel for muscles—the more intense the activity or exercise, the more glucose your muscles need to keep working.
Glucose also helps your heart generally beat by providing oxygen to cells throughout your body. This includes brain cells and heart muscle cells.
We've been hardwired to seek out sweets.
One of the most important things to understand about sugar cravings is that they are a biological condition. Your body is hardwired to seek out sweet foods as a sign that they can provide energy, nourishment, and healthy carbohydrates. This is because these were scarce in our ancestral environment and had to be sought cautiously. When you look at how many calories are in your favorite foods (sugary snacks like cookies) compared with their protein or fiber content, it's clear there's something else going on here besides simple calorie needs — which explains why we're so obsessed with them!
Watching others eat may cause cravings.
We are hardwired to copy others. We also desire to eat what others eat, even if it's unhealthy. We may not realize that we're doing this, but our brain sees the food and wants it too. It's a type of survival instinct for us. Eating something wrong for us can be seen in animals as well: when one group member eats something terrible for them (toxic berries), then all the other members of their group want to eat those berries too because they think, "If I don't eat these berries right now, then I won't survive."
That same survival instinct plays when we see people eating sugary foods on TV or in movies—we want what they want!
Decaf coffee can make you crave sweets.
When you drink coffee, your body produces adrenaline and norepinephrine. This can lead to increased alertness, heart rate, and blood pressure. However, it can also cause jitteriness and anxiety. As a result of these feelings, many people find that they crave sweets as an energy source—and this craving is often more vital if you drink a lot of coffee (or other caffeinated beverages).
Why does this happen? Caffeine acts as a stimulant in the brain by blocking adenosine receptors for dopamine and serotonin—two chemicals involved in regulating moods. Usually, when we're stressed out or want to feel better about ourselves, we reach for foods high in sugar, like chocolate or candy bars; however, since caffeine blocks these receptors, it leads them to seek other energy sources, like sweet treats!
Decaf isn't always the answer, either! While less acidic than regular coffee beans due to lower levels of roasting time during processing methods etc., decaf still contains some amount which should be taken into consideration during consumption periods where sugar cravings might be more prevalent such as pregnancy periods or hormonal changes associated with menopause symptoms (I'm looking at YOU MOMS OUT THERE WHO ARE HAVING THEIR CHILDREN IN periods WHEN THIS CAN OCCUR).
People with allergies are more likely to crave sugar.
People with allergies are more likely to crave sugar.
People with pollen allergies may experience an increased desire for sweets, according to a study published in the journal Allergy. The researchers found that patients allergic to birch pollen complained of transient cravings for sweet foods, such as candy and chocolate, during their allergy seasons. They also noted that these cravings were associated with sneezing or itchy eyes after eating a particular food that contained high levels of carbohydrates—a sign that your body is trying to provide energy through quick sugars (sugars) rather than long-term energy sources like proteins and fats.
Chart your cravings.
Write down when you crave sugar, what you desire, and how long it lasts.
How much do you want to eat?
When do you give in?
How long does it take for the craving to go away?
For women, it's related to their menstrual cycle.
Women are different. That's a fact of life that most men will learn early on, and it's true in many ways: We have other bodies, we experience things differently, and sometimes our brains work differently.
We also crave sugar during our menstrual cycle. It makes sense when you think about it—our bodies are preparing for a baby, so they're secreting hormones that may make us feel extra moody or crave specific foods (chocolate included). The rise in estrogen levels during these times can lead to an increase in serotonin production and, thus, an increased desire for sweets!
So next time you're looking for something sweet, think about your lady parts first!
We crave sugar because we need energy, and it tastes good!
You crave sugar because you need energy, and it tastes good! Sugar is a source of energy. It provides your body with the fuel it needs to function correctly, so when you're tired or run down, your brain may tell you that eating something sweet will help perk you up.
As discussed earlier in this article, sugar also makes us feel good—so much so that some people rely on it as a way to cope with stress or depression. Some studies have found that prolonged consumption of sugary foods can decrease activity in areas of the brain associated with reward processing. This means overeating sugar could cause cravings by messing with chemical signals in our bodies.
The main reason people become addicted to sugary foods is that they contain compounds called carbohydrates which are easily converted into glucose by the body (3). Glucose provides an immediate energy source for almost every cell in our bodies—it helps fuel our brains so we stay alert; it powers our muscles when we exercise and supports digestion and immunity.
So why do we crave sweets? It's simple. We crave sugar because it's an essential part of our diet and gives us energy—but it also tastes good! If you're feeling like you're overeating sugar or that your cravings are out of control, try some of these tips: charting them can help you see patterns in your eating habits; drinking decaf coffee may also make you feel less hungry; and finally, if all else fails (and again, this is only if all else fails), go ahead and indulge in some dark chocolate or another treat that's low in calories but still has some sweetness.