What causes cravings for sugar and junk food?
“How do I get off sugar and junk food? It’s so hard!”
If you feel alone in this struggle, please know you’re not.
Most people don’t succeed from mainstream diets, even when they go all in on them.
Why is that? Is it because the diet or lifestyle habits to succeed are not practical?
Or you might be thinking you are not determined enough or simply lazy.
Though some of the factors we’ll cover will make you feel low in energy to the point you may feel it’s laziness, no, it’s not.
Here’s the thing, when one is “overweight” or “on a bad diet,” there’s a lot more going on than just needing to lose weight, stop eating sugar and grains, lower calories, or whatever else has been suggested.
Most of these diets or plans are based on a few pieces of the puzzle.
If those pieces are missing for you, you’ll do great on the plan or diet.
However, if they’re not, or if something else is missing, they won’t work — because you need all the puzzle pieces to succeed.
For most people, suddenly cutting out sugar or lowering calories, or eating the “perfect” food without addressing any other vital factors is:
a) almost impossible
b) somewhat destructive to overall health, and
c) not very helpful.
When trying to lose weight or get off sugar and junk food, there are many different bodily factors to take into consideration:
- Hormones – both those responsible for energy use in the body and those that control cravings.
- The type of foods eaten – not just calories.
- Bacterial and yeast infections cause sugar cravings and steal the nutrition you get from food.
- Age, as things change in the body. What is right before 40 often isn’t after 40.
- Digestive ability – or lack of it.
- Cellular structure and cellular addiction.
- Insulin resistance, where your cells don’t receive the energy they need from food and demand you eat more.
If we don’t think about all of these, mainly if one or more are missing pieces for you, then success will be limited, making it easier to give up.
It’s nearly impossible to “quit sugar” if bacteria in your intestine demand it, you are insulin resistant, your cells aren’t structured to receive something else, or there’s an addiction to sugar that’s as hard to quit as heroin.
The type of bacteria in your lower intestine is based on what kind of foods you’ve been eating.
So, while the bacteria may have gotten to your small intestine and taken root there because they weren’t killed in your stomach, they thrive and grow because you’re feeding them what they like.
These bacteria will communicate to your brain the same way your actual body cells do, telling the brain to create cravings for more sugar.
The more you feed them sugar, the more the bacteria grow and the more sugar they demand.
If we stop eating sugar, then life becomes an emotional roller coaster due to the intensity of the cravings because, after all, if they don’t eat, then they’ll die. And they don’t want to die.
Which leads us to the other side. These bacteria, whether “good” or “bad” bacteria, absorb toxins that come through the intestine.
These can be herbicides like glyphosate, plastics, metals, or thousands of other chemicals in our water supplies and food.
Not only do these bacteria demand sugar and make you feel terrible if you don’t provide it, but if you were to push through these demands to the point that they did die, they would release the harmful toxins they’ve been holding onto once dead.
This can make you feel urges for sugar and also be quite sick until these toxins are cleared out of your system.
This is part of the “Keto Flu” you may have heard of when people come off carbs. It’s natural and not fun.
We also need to ensure your detox and digestion pathways are set up for success to quickly rid you of this while at the same time providing your body exactly what it needs to remove cravings fast.
Thanks, Dr. Minkoff for sharing this information.
If you are looking for guidance on cleaning up your gut and nutrition safely and healthily, sign up for my 6-week Nutrition Essentials course and dial in your desired results with all the support you need.
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Erinne Guthrie is a USA Triathlon Level II Certified Coach since 1999 and Chief Motivating Officer at Full Circle Coaching, LLC since 2010. Creator of Triathlon Transformation. She has been training, racing and coaching triathletes since 1997. She is also a CHEK Holistic Lifestyle Coach Level 3, USMS Master’s Swim Coach, Motivational Speaker, Metabolic Efficiency Specialist, Mom, Mermaid and much much more.