It can seem like the frequency and magnitude of our usual cravings are intensified over the holidays. Not only do we have access to treats we don’t eat all year (hello eggnog and gingerbread!) but these treats are everywhere, more accessible than ever.
One of the best ways to prevent subsisting on cookies and pumpkin pie candy cane lattes is to gain an understanding of what’s causing these cravings. Sure, part of the cause is the prevalence of these treats in the staff room and at family functions, but there’s also a biological basis behind your cravings.
Slash Sugar Cravings!
If your body is craving sugar, it indicates that your body is asking for energy. When sugar is digested, it becomes glucose which is essentially fuel for your body’s cells. This is where we want to introduce the concept of simple vs. complex carbohydrates.
Simple Carbs vs. Complex Carbs
When you eat simple carbs, your body’s sugar level spikes, providing you with a burst of energy. However, your blood sugar will quickly drop and thus, you become hungry again. To maintain the balance in your blood sugar, your body wants you to eat something again and this is when people turn to quick sugar fixes because they typically feel drained and lacking in energy.
Complex carbs will give you the same energy and increase in blood sugar but the crash is not as intense and doesn’t tend to allow your energy to plummet. Instead, your glucose level will dip more slowly so you won’t feel the desperate need to replenish with something sugary.