Cravings are a normal phenomenon for everyone. Studies have shown that nearly 100% of young women and about 70% of young men have food cravings. For many people, the worst cravings can do the body is a little fat here and there, but for diabetics, it can be a dangerous game to play as they can cause you to consume too much of foods that can raise your blood sugar to unsafe levels.
Craving can arise due to different things, from normal body functions, such as hunger, to psychological issues, such as emotional distress. When it comes to hunger, this is very normal as one can experience this as a result of a low blood sugar level or an empty stomach. In this case, all required would be to consume healthy foods like vegetables; or if the blood sugar is low, a regulated portion of carbs will suffice.
In the case of cravings due to emotional distress, then it’s just best to manage one′s stress. This is because studies have shown that stress is a defining factor in these kinds of cravings. Anxiety, depression, loneliness, and boredom also have a part to play, but all of these contribute to increasing the body′s stress levels.
This article will show you how to control your cravings and build your mental fortitude to keep your blood sugar levels in tip-top ranges.
Stop confusing tiredness or boredom with hunger
Sometimes, our bodies can create the sensation of hunger when we are tired or bored, which drives people to consume foods when the body isn’t ready. For people with diabetes, this can mean extra calories when your body isn’t done processing the food you’ve previously eaten, leading to an unexpected spike in your blood sugar.
If you have a habit of rushing to the kitchen when you′re tired or bored with nothing much to do, why don’t you try resting first? Taking a nap can help as your body feels much more refreshed when you wake up. In the case of boredom, engage in a hobby or something you enjoy, like reading a book or playing a video game, rather than snacking.
Anxiety can also cause feelings of hunger and make you think that you need to have something to eat, but with that, you could try meditation or yoga, which should help calm the nerves.
Water is your friend
Have you ever felt like snacking on something but then you have a bottle of water, feel alright, and suddenly realize that what you thought was hunger was thirst? That happens all the time. The danger here is that said thirst could lead you to crave drinks or sodas, which contain a high amount of added sugars , precisely what you are trying to avoid.
Drinks and Sodas can never substitute for water for quenching thirst. Drinks and sodas will only leave you craving for more – and the more you consume, the higher your chances of going into Hyperglycemia. If you feel a need to take something sweet, you can always add sliced lime or lemon to your water or try a bottle of Seltzer water (sparkling water). You can find out more about the benefits of Seltzer water here.
Mental and Physical distractions are a great way of putting your mind off that craving. You could call/visit a friend; writing some poetry makes n′t sound too bad, and taking a hot shower might be what you need.
Cravings come and go, so spending an extended amount of time doing something that isn’t feeding that craving should be enough to make it go away. And, if you are still hungry, you can get something to eat.
Exercise frequently and improve your sleep
An excellent exercise routine and healthy sleeping habits are two things that go hand in hand in improving your overall health. This is because exercise releases beneficial endorphins, making you feel good and helping combat cravings. Taking a walk, jogging around your house, or riding around your neighbourhood on a bike will help take your mind off your cravings, keep you fit, and help you better manage your diabetes.
When it comes to sleep, when we feel tired, our bodies tend to crave more carbohydrates and sugar, so getting a good eight hours of sleep without any disturbances should help you manage your cravings. This has been proven by research, especially regarding sugar cravings, as it has been found that heavy sleepers reduce their intake of sugars by around ten grams per day which can build up to produce a fantastic result on the body’s health and well-being.
When hungry, eat healthily
When you are feeling hungry, instead of grabbing a snack and postponing food which can lead to consuming more food when you eventually eat, it is essential to eat a balanced meal. Realistically, you increase your calories from snacks which can build into a massive problem for your blood sugar. So, not starving yourself and eating a filling and well-balanced meal when due can help to alleviate cravings throughout the day.
In addition to all these, planning your diet is another excellent way to manage your cravings. You can easily do this with the Klinio Diabetes Management App; it offers a wide array of meal plans that you will find enjoyable and comfortable but will help keep your cravings in check.
Ellen Diamond did her degree in psychology at the University of Hertfordshire. She is interested in mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.