Clean Plates Team
Craving sweets at certain times—we’re looking at you, 3 p.m. energy slump—isn’t unusual. But sometimes that desire for a treat seems to come out of nowhere. Here are some possible reasons you may find your hand in the cookie jar, and some healthy ways to quell the cravings.
1. You’re not getting enough sleep.
You already know that your brain doesn’t function as well when you don’t get a good night’s rest, and that can translate into your food choices. Researchers at UC Berkeley found that when you don’t sleep well, you’re more likely to give in to primal desire, rather than making complex, reasoned decisions. In other words? Hello doughnut, adios broccoli. Plus, a recent study from Kings College in London found a direct correlation between increased sleep and reduced sugar intake.
2. You’re dehydrated.
Score another point for H2O. Along with helping boost digestion and metabolism, maintain body temperature and blood pressure, and fight illness, staying hydrated can keep sugar cravings at bay. But getting enough water can be challenging.
Fix it: Sip water regularly throughout the day. Keep a reusable bottle on hand and filled, and set reminders on your phone if you tend to forget to drink up.
3. You’re stressed.
Sure, you may want to comfort yourself with food after a hard day, but there’s more to it than that. Your body’s hormonal response to stress can also lead to craving sweets.
Fix it: Look for other ways to manage stress, such as exercise, deep breathing, and meditation.
4. You have a nutrient deficiency.
Several nutrient deficiencies are linked to craving sweets, including magnesium, calcium, zinc, chromium, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Fix it: Talk to your doctor or a naturopath to find out how to pinpoint deficiencies and healthy ways to fill in what you’re missing.