Very few of us can stay away from sweets and a lesser number can stop having it when they wish too. It demands too much of self-discipline. However, there could be several reasons for one to experience sugar craving, which could not be because of a lack of self control but beyond.

Sugar releases serotonin, the “feel good” chemical, which provides us a pleasant, natural high. The endorphins released post sugar consumption calm us down while leaving us asking for more. A sugar addiction can be tough to eliminate but these are the other issues that could cause them.

Ensure a balance of minerals – Imbalances in calcium, zinc, chromium, and magnesium in the body can manifest as sugar cravings. These minerals help us in maintaining a balance in hydration which can wrongly seem as sugar craving when one might just be thirsty. Zinc is crucial for proper insulin and glucose utilization and its deficiency can lead to sugar craving.

Eat sufficient protein – A deficiency in protein can cause sugar craving as the body seeks a quick source of energy. Protein is important in each meal to ensure the body has the fuel required to maintain a steady level of blood sugar thereby preventing spikes and drops.

Reduce processed foods – Processed food is highly deceptive when it comes to its sugar content and you can have a more sugar than you presume it has. Simple whole-wheat crackers for example can have as much as 4 grams of sugar per serving. It is advisable to read the label, check for the calorie/sugar content and reduce/ stay away from packaged food.

Have a balanced diet – This is important to follow. If you are consuming too much of one flavor profile, there can be a strong craving for the opposite flavor. Salty foods for example, usually tend to create cravings for sweets. Just take note of what you are consuming and ensure you have a balance.

Get charged with vegetables – Vegetables such as sweet potatoes, beets, carrots, pod peas and sweet bell peppers offer you a quick burst of energy when you just need it. Go for these to address your sugar cravings instead of sugar-powered sweets.

Use the right spices – Spices such as cinnamon, clove, coriander and cardamom naturally sweeten your dishes without the added sweeteners. These go a good way to reduce your sugar cravings.

L-glutamine supplement – This amino acid helps reduce, and even eliminate cravings by working to stabilize blood sugar. Add 500 milligrams thrice a day to your meal and take an equal dose when the craving hits. As little as a quarter teaspoon is proven to stop sugar craving effectively.

Rest enough before you get moving. Being over exhausted will create a craving for sugar or any such energy source to counteract that tiredness. Instead, get good amount of sleep and then move your body to reduce tension and reduce your chances of experiencing a quick sugar rush.

Importantly, just remember that a sugar craving does not last for more than 20 minutes. Just divert your mind till it passes. Also, as you learn to resist, you will notice the cravings disappear.